Introduction to Group-Analytic Psychotherapy: Studies in the Social Integration of Individuals and Groups

By S. H. Foulkes | Go to book overview

PART I
GENERAL INTRODUCTION

The individual as a whole in a total situation

Life is a complex whole. It can only artificially be separated into parts, analysed. Such isolation becomes necessary when we want to know what a particular set of forces contribute to the total phenomenon or, to put it more precisely, how the whole is affected by the absence or altered function of any one part.

This is of immediate importance in dealing with disturbances, as, for instance, in the field of Medicine, with so-called diseases. Disease has been defined as life under changed conditions.

The healthy organism functions as a whole and can be described as a system in a dynamic equilibrium. Dynamic means that it is never in a state of rest, has constantly to adjust actively to the ever changing circumstances, milieu, conditions in which it lives.

Such adaptation, however, does not take place mechanically, following physical or chemical principles merely. There is always a creative element present, even in the simplest forms of adaptation.

The organism acts as if it knew its aim and had a choice as to the means to achieve this aim. It chooses those means which suit best all the prevailing conditions, inside itself or outside itself. If we want to say that we are aware of this and need to take into account all these factors in order to describe and understand what happened, we speak of the "total situation."

On the highest levels creative activity seems to be an inevitable ingredient, the hall mark of healthy life. Dynamic equilibrium therefore means: the active and creative maintenance of a good balance. From the point of view of the person such a state is described as being well, healthy, feeling happy, contented.

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Introduction to Group-Analytic Psychotherapy: Studies in the Social Integration of Individuals and Groups
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Table of Contents xi
  • Part I - General Introduction 1
  • Part II - The Background 35
  • Part III - The Group-Analytic Situation 55
  • Part IV - The Conductor's Contribution 133
  • Part V - Survey 153
  • Bibliography 171
  • Index 175
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