Group analytic therapy is a method of working psychoanalytically with groups developed by S. H. Foulkes in the 1940´s. Group analysis is a type of psychotherapy that is based on a combination of psychoanalytic insights and social sciences. It is based on the premise that interpersonal and psychological difficulties can be resolved and worked through in a group. It is usually comprised of 6 to 8 members, and it is lasting for 1 hour and a half. The members of the group are sitting in a circle and are invited to free associate.
A group therapy can be once or twice weekly always with a duration of 90 minutes. A group psychotherapy is a different setting to individual therapy. The focus is spread out between the group members with a special focus on the interactions between them, their shared difficulties and differences. Groups are a great tool to explore and improve social anxiety, interpersonal relationships and difficulties with intimacy.
A group therapy is the right method of treatment for you if you are struggling with issues such as: procrastination, AD(H)D, low self- esteem, relationship difficulties of all sorts such as: difficulty maintaining long term relationships, ongoing conflicts and disappointments with those around you, anxiety, depression, the wish to work through the effects of traumatic life experiences, losses etc.
Seeing oneself through the eyes of others and participating in the therapy of others are factors that foster deep insight, change and a heightened sense of personal responsibility. The ongoing, stable long-term nature of a group therapy also offers time and space to develop a deeper relation to the members of the group and the therapist. In a group you are not only learning from your own experience but also from the experience of others.
“The individual gains in independence and strength by his experience of
an effective interaction between himself and the group—a two way
process, on many levels. Thus, individuality, which we so
rightly estimate highly, emerges in greater spontaneity in the
group in both patient and therapist alike.” Foulkes, 1963
Group psychotherapy: group relies on verbal communication, the individual member is the object of treatment, the group itself is the main therapeutic agency. ’The group is treated for the sake of its individual members and for no other reason. All psychotherapy is, in the last resort, the treatment of the individual.’
‘Group analytic psychotherapy involves further steps: that the verbal communication is changed into group association – equivalent of free association; that material produced and actions and interactions are analyzed – voiced, interpreted and studied by the group.’ S.H. Foulkes
“The individual, while helplessly compressed into a mere particle of social groups and masses, is at the same time left without any true companionship in regard to his inner mental life. The relative isolation and alienation of the individual is thus a very real problem of our time. Whereas all sickness is liable to
register in this way, mental sickness has a disturbance of integration within the community as its very roots—a disturbance of communication. This modern sickness, so often displayed in deep doubts and fears about integrity and identity …” Foulkes, 1963