psychoanalyst author editor
Thinking about Group Experience
Returning to the understanding of therapeutic groups whilst developing my understanding of psychoanalytic ideas, especially the notion of linking from Bion, I began to think new about clinical material. In other words what does the attack on linking, as Bion understood it in the mind manifest itself in group. Bion’s own work on this lacked clinical application, and it builds on some ideas in What Happens in Groups (see section on Psychoanalysis and Therapeutic Communities).
2010 (with Enrico Pedriali and Louisa Brunner) Action as a vehicle of learning
Organisational and Social Dynamics 10: 22-39.
For a number of years I had worked with Enrico Pedriali in Milan to develop experiential workshops adapted from the Tavistock model of experiential group relations learning. These workshops however were based on the idea that many long-standing psychiatric patients do not use language competently, and cannot therefore learn as well as others from psychotherapeutic methods of understanding. The Workshops we developed were aimed to help professional carers to explore the ways in which people with symbolising difficulties could learn from more concrete action, and the relations arising such working and leisure activities.
Bion’s second phase of interest in groups resulted from his attempts to apply the theory of containing to the prevailing type of dynamics in the group between individual and the group culture, or Establishment.
1994 Attacks on the reflective space.
In Victor Shermer and Malcolm Pines (eds) Ring of Fire Containing Primitive Emotional States. London: Routledge
The reflection of the internal ’group’ of internal objects in the mind of an individual must in some respects be reflected in their expectations of the links within the group, and their response to their expectations. I was interested in the manifestation in the dynamic between individuals reflected the linking that occurred within intrapsychically in individuals, and how such phenomena can circulate around the group
2008 Group therapy as psychic containing
International Journal of Group Psychotherapy 58: 283-302
This paper is a development of the ideas outlined in the previous paper in 1994 in which the characteristic linking between individuals in a group becomes a cultural feature. Dysfunctional groups typically have degraded or distorted linking between the individuals, who unconscious contribute to a persisting dismantling of those links with each other.