We want to show the features of the group analytic Situation and Method by means of some exemplary illustrations. But, before we can do this we must pause to consider what is the background upon which it rests. What are the preconditions on the part of the Therapist and the patients, what do they bring with them into this situation, what are the tasks and general conditions suitable for it to become established?
We shall, of course, mainly have to draw upon our own experiences with our own patients and on the particular circumstances under which this work has been and is being carried out. I would have to describe these in any case in order to make my snapshot illustrations intelligible. It must, however, be understood that Group Analysis can be applied under a far greater variety of circumstances than the selection here represented.
The Therapist. -- The Therapist's background of experience can vary widely in detail, so can the patients' problems and the general conditions under which they meet. Any change in any of these preconditions influences the group-therapeutic situation in major and minor detail. Still, the essential features of a group-analytic procedure, or at least orientation, can be maintained, if we only know what these essential principles are. It is not so much my intention in this book to define them systematically and precisely as to show them in operation.
The Group Analyst, then, brings with him the experience of his work with individual patients. He is familiar with the analytic situation. He can understand, handle and analyse transference reactions in terms of their unconscious significance. He can discern and interpret resistances. He has a sense for the meaning of direct expressions of the unconscious in symbolic and primitive, primary language, as exemplified in dreams; an appreciation of the ways in which repressed urge finds its