The treatment manual is intended to serve more than one purpose. It is designed to be a research tool, making possible the standardization and validation of a treatment method. It is also a highly condensed primer and a practicum, offering a description of psychoanalytic group therapy which will act as a handbook for the beginner and as an aide-memoire for the more experienced therapist. Many therapists will have had some experience with individual patients but wonder how they are to convert that knowledge into the practicalities of running a group, in which seven or eight patients are seen simultaneously. For young practitioners in a National Health Service setting, this can be a daunting prospect. It is difficult to do group therapy well, yet when it is done well it provides an invaluable therapeutic medium for a collection of patients it might be neither possible nor wise nor even necessary to see in individual treatment. In other words, there are many patients for whom a group is the treatment of choice.
“This book is very important both for psychoanalysis and for social science. Psychoanalysis began with the treatment of individuals and in its early days attended to the conflict between the individual’s wishes and society. It was not for some time that it fully addressed the fact that the ostensible individual was a social animal, who was never outside his group even when ostensibly alone. In this book what has been learnt from the study in depth of individual psychopathology is brought to bear on what can be learnt from studying people in groups and vice versa. This integration is a challenge to both, and is perhaps the most relevant in contemporary psychoanalysis.”
- Dr Ron Britton, Psychoanalyst, former President , British Psychoanalytical Society
“This excellent book provides impressive depth, and refreshing clarity of expression and thinking about psychoanalytic group psychotherapy, as well as insights about group life more broadly. The editor’s profound conviction in the value of psychological work done by groups, her masterful use of psychoanalytic theory to understand group life, and the liveliness of the clinical examples (often of patients with severe difficulties) make it very pleasurable to read. A splendid section of the Manual on the group therapist’s tasks outlines the principles of technique and will inspire future generations of group therapists. An outstanding volume, which I am delighted to recommend."
- Margaret Rustin, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist , Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, London
“This book is unique in that it contains the first usable, lively and informative Treatment Manual for psychoanalytic group psychotherapy, bringing together a wealth of anecdotes and experience in an eminently user-friendly way. Anybody practising psychoanalytic group therapy would do well to immerse themselves in the volume as a whole. It creates a whole new opportunity for rejuvenating this field of work, containing chapters by an impressive body of experts, with many clear examples of Tavistock technique at its best.”
- Anton Obholzer, Psychoanalyst, Organisational Consultant, former Chief Executive Officer , Tavistock Centre, London
Table of Contents:
A Selection from the Contents
The Clinical Approach
The Theoretical Background
Group Relations and the Wider World