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From the Couch to the Circle: Group-Analytic Psychotherapy in Practice
Schlapobersky, John
Routledge / Softcover / 2016-01-01 / 0415672201
Psychoanalysis & Groups, Organisations / Group Psychotherapy
reg price: $100.95 our price: $ 90.86 (may be subject to change)
498 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 3-6 business days

From the Couch to the Circle: Group-Analytic Psychotherapy in Practice is a handbook of group therapy and a guide to the group-analytic model - the prevailing form of group therapy in Europe. The book draws on both John Schlapobersky’s engagement as a practitioner and the words and experience of people in groups as they face psychotherapy’s key challenges - understanding and change.

This book provides a manual of practice for therapists’ use that includes detailed descriptions of groups at work; accounts of therapists’ own experience and the issues they face in themselves and in their groups. The book is devoted to the Group-Analytic model but the other principally psychodynamic models of group therapy - the Tavistock, Interpersonal, Psychodynamic, Modern Analytic and Structural/Systemic models - are brought into a comparative discussion and drawn upon to create an integrated and coherent approach.

The book is divided into three sections:

Foundations – aimed at practitioners using groups of any kind and working at every level, including those providing supportive psychotherapy and providing groups for psychosis, trauma, the elderly, people at risk, the elderly and children;

The Group-Analytic Model – defines the group-analytic model at a basic and advanced level;

The Dynamics of Change – aimed at group analysts, psychotherapists and psychologists providing short-term psychotherapy and long-term group analysis

The book is illustrated with clinical vignettes including incisive, instructive commentaries to explain the concepts in use. It is intended for those seeking psychotherapy, whether to resolve personal problems or to find new sources of meaning in their lives. It is also intended for policy-makers in mental health, students of different models of psychotherapy and the psychosocial field. The comparative discussion running through the text about methods and models of practice will likely be of interest to the wider mental health and psychotherapy fields.

The author draws together the inherited wisdom of group analysis since Foulkes’ time and makes his own lasting contribution. From the Couch to the Circle will be an invaluable, accessible resource for psychotherapists, psychoanalysts, psychologists, family therapists, academics, psychologists, mental health practitioners, academics and teachers in psychotherapy.


"Schlapobersky and his book – the literary analogue of a group at its best - are worthy successors to his predecessor giants: Foulkes and Anthony, Yalom, Skynner, Pines. Read him: for instruction, for joy, to live and laugh more fully, more contentedly, more dangerously and become a better, braver, more compassionate, more confident yet questioning therapist whilst doing so." - Jeremy Holmes

"The massive strength of the book is the case material that drives it with engaging, moving examples and instructive commentaries. John shows acute clinical sensitivity and virtues as a teacher deploying concepts to make sense of clinical material and using clinical material recursively to flesh out theoretical concepts … a terrific way to work." - Stephen Frosh

"Rarely nowadays do we read a single author text written with the authority that derives from such rich experience as a practitioner and teacher who enjoys and is able to utilize the work of his students who he quotes from so generously. The writing of former patients gives the final stamp of authority to his work." - Malcolm Pines

"This is an encyclopaedic handbook that will be a source of reference for all group psychotherapist, and a significant teaching text for trainees. It is a rich and generous work, the culmination of John Schlapobersky's many years' experience of working in this field as a clinician, teacher and supervisor. Reading this book is like participating in a lively and exciting group. It organises group-analytic thinking in a multilayered structure where contributions and arguments are opened up, examined and stored like nodal points in a splendid theoretical web. And also like being in a good group, the experience enriches and deepens as each layer is explored and integrated… This book equips us with a current and mature clinical discipline that enables us to find form in both the spoken word and silence and peentrate the secrets of inner injury that have created hurt and isolation… For Schlapobersky, group analysis is not a theoretical form of psychotherapy but a way of being in and of the world. From The Couch to the Circle is a beautifully written testimony to the complexity of group analysis and the simplicity of strangers meeting." - Camilla Matthews, group analyst and supervisor, Therapy Today

Table of Contents

Frosh, Foreword. Pines,Tribute. Anthony, Historical Preview. Schlapobersky, Introduction. Part I: Foundations. Section Overview. The Aims And Vocabulary Of Psychotherapy. The Three ‘R’s’: The Three Dimensions Of Psychotherapy: Relational, Reflective, Reparative. Personal and Group Development. The Language Of The Group: Monologue, Dialogue And Discourse In Group Analysis. Speech And Silence In Psychotherapy: Silence That Brings Words And Words That Bring Silence. The Range of Applications: Duration, Frequency, Setting and Form: Ten Clinical Studies. Methods Applications And Models: The Group-Analytic Model And Its Contemporaries: The Tavistock, Interpersonal, Psychoanalytic, Modern Analytic and Systemic. Part II: The Group-Analytic Model - The Basics. Section Overview. The Three Dimensions Of Life In A Group: Structure, Process And Content. Structure: Composition, Selection, Dynamic Administration. Process: Socialisation, Exchange (Reciprocity), Resonance, Valency, Mirroring, Amplification, Condensation. Content: Narrative, Discourse, Six Key Questions And The Voice Of The Symbol. The Conductor: Convenor, Therapist And Group Member. Part III: The Dynamics Of Change – Beyond The Basics. Section Overview. The Four Domains Of Communication In Groups: Current, Transference, Projective And Primordial. Lost Or Found In The Transference? Transference, Countertransference, Projection and Identification in Groups. Longing, Belonging and The Intermediate Territory: Holding, Play and The Group’s Figurations. Metaphors And Metamorphosis: Symbols, Transition And Transformation. Location, Translation, Interpretation: At The Heart of The Group-Analytic Model. Conclusion and The Last Word.

About the Author

John R. Schlapobersky is a Training Analyst, Supervisor and Teacher at the Institute of Group Analysis, London and Research Fellow, Birkbeck, University of London. He is in private practice at the Bloomsbury Psychotherapy Practice and works with individuals, couples and groups. He has trained generations of group analysts, teaches internationally and has many publications. This book is the professional life’s work of a leading British group analyst.

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