This book contains eleven selected papers on difficult topics group therapists encounter in their work. Based on the author's forty years in the field, these papers include the topics of shame, courage, hostility, combined individual and group therapy, money, indirect communication, difficult patients, silence, and the missed session. Written from a psychodynamic orientation with a relational emphasis, they pay special attention to countertransference. An autobiographical introduction to each paper discusses what experiences have led the author to write on each topic. These introductions honor the role that personal experience has played in the evolution of Dr Gans' therapeutic presence.
--- from the publisher
Reviews and Endorsements:
"Gans, a distinguished fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, draws on more than 40 years of personal experience as a gropu therapist to explore the themes of shame, hostility, courage and the relationship between patients and therapists as they play out in group psychotherapy."
- Rochester Review
"Jerome Gans has written the book that no one else has had the courage to write. He addresses the underbelly of group therapy--both of the therapist and of the member. No education of psychotherapy is complete without this knowledge. Every practitioner and trainee should read this book. No other textbook can substitute."
- Elaine (Lonergan) Cooper, PhD, LCSW, CGP, FAGPA, Clinical Professor, University of California School of Medicine , San Francisco Department of Psychiatry
"What a refreshing and reassuring book for group psychotherapists! This collection of Jerome Gans' most important papers confirms his unique ability not only to pinpoint the difficulties that beset us all as group therapists but to bring humour, wisdom and compassion to the discussion. Resolutely determined to leave behind the strictures of theory, he confronts the deepest human paradoxes in which our weaknesses are often our strengths and our difficulties are vital signposts of development. The book pulsates with a sense of Yalom's 'universality': we are all in it together, therapists and patients alike. Readers will learn and enjoy, returning to their groups with renewed curiosity and courage."
- Morris Nitsun, PhD, Consultant clinical psychologist Camden and Islington NHS Trust, training analyst , Institute of Group Analysis, London
“This major book, a collection of incomparable essays on group psychotherapy, is a true marvel. It offers a new way of thinking and will have a profound impact on beginning therapists as well as experienced teachers and supervisors. Therapists who treat individual patients will benefit as well. Dr. Gans describes universal aspects of group treatment, situations in which the therapist feels baffled and frustrated. Instead of being the ‘difficult patient’, he examines his own personal experience, the very essence of the therapist. We are inspired by his honesty and courage.
Dr Gans discusses what we, the readers, think we know; themes of coutertransference, shame, hostility, growth and change; and we get in touch with the excitement we had forgotten as well as quiet and meaningful reflection. The patients and the therapist share the same interests and concerns in love and work and Dr. Gans shares his concerns—which include his conflict over the murder of a neighbor and understanding the harshness of a parent.
His theoretical framework is solid and implicit. Dr. Gans is a beautiful writer. We never get lost in jargon. The words sparkle. This is a book we shall reread many times. Lucky patients and lucky readers.”
- Bea Liebenberg, private practice, Distinguished Fellow, ASPA, Faculty , The Washington School of Psychiatry
Table of Contents:
Chapter One: Shame
The Detection of Shame in Group Psychotherapy: Uncovering the Hidden Emotion
The Group Therapist’s Shame: A Much Undiscussed Topic
Chapter Two: Hostility
Hostility in Group Psychotherapy
Broaching and Exploring the Question of Combined Group and Individual Therapy
Chapter Four: Money
Money and Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy
Chapter Five: Indirect Communication
The Leader’s Use of Indirect Communication in Group Therapy
Chapter Six: Difficult Patients
Difficult Patients: Their Construction in Group Therapy
Chapter Seven: Silence
Silence in group psychotherapy: A powerful communication
Chapter Eight: The Missed Session
The Missed Session in Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy
Chapter Nine: Courage
A Plea for Greater Recognition and Appreciation of our Group Members’ Courage
The Courage of the Group Therapy