Group Clinical Experiences in Psychiatric Institutional Settings

In this article, several young colleagues, who have been trained in individual and group psychoanalytic contexts, who have all been asked to support activities in the field of highly skilled psychiatry (group psychotherapy) with a “low cost” and implicitly unsafe contract, have tried to outline some features of their experiences of managing groups in psychiatric institutions. Their position is situated on one hand, in a line of continuous progress from their trainers, and on the other appears in a complex and difficult gap between the philosophy of staff working today (eg Evidence-Based Medicine) and psychoanalytic psychotherapy training, which provides radically different concepts, like, for example, the “dreamability” of care processes.
The pathway proposed in this work sees different group psychotherapy experiences, usually with acute patients, often in a separate psychotherapy area in treatment units (the social value of their work and the frequent poverty, which is not only economic, of the institutions should be noted).
Although these contributions may perhaps be a little fragmented (these individual “snapshots” of Read more


A Shared Journey of Discovery – Psychoanalytic psychotherapy within a psychiatric institution


The culture of an institution depends on the way that it enables individuals to use its psychic space; the institution may either foster thinking abilities, or stimulate defensive mechanisms, hindering these abilities by giving prevalence to ideological stances. The psychoanalytic group that I am going to talk about was influenced by the culture of the institution in which it was placed. Thoughts, affections, linguistic and somatic expressions typical of the institution were brought into the group despite being bound by the setting which established its limits and with which it had a dynamic relationship at the same time. In this paper, I set out to demonstrate the importance of adopting a field perspective that ‹‹makes it possible, on the one hand, to comprehend the common mental elements, grouped together, as it were, into a single shared pool, and on the other, understand how each individual contributes›› (Correale, 1991). I underline, moreover, the group’s influence over the analyst who responds to the individual’s communicative strains in a personal manner. The patient’s perspective distances contents which Read more