N.37 - Research and clinical application of group therapy within mental health services

Group Psychotherapy in the Public Sector: The Impact of the Organisation on the Primary Task

Abstract

In this paper we will discuss psychoanalytic group psychotherapy in the process of treating complex patients as part of their clinical management, both of which are set within the context of a large and changing public sector organisation in the United Kingdom. Included in this we will examine how the many correlative services can be slotted together, acting like a jigsaw of provision, and consider their impact upon group psychotherapy. We will explore how this can lead to the organisation being both a container of high levels of disturbance, but also become a platform for the projection of both an individual pathology and the anxieties within the group itself, there by potentially both enabling and compromising the quality of patient care. Furthermore, we will consider how the organisational dynamics interact with and at times conflate the disturbance within the group itself, the psychotherapists and the patients, thus creating a system where a complex set of dynamics continually moves and at times converges, impacting on the primary task of group psychotherapy in this setting.

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