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


The institution is sinking: is the group the lifeboat?


The management of a psychoanalytic group within an institution has specific characteristics. It is a group within a group, similar to a series of concentric circles, and as such is deeply influenced by the institution. Therefore an understanding of the functioning and dynamics of the institution – and of the team – is essential in order to understand the meaning that the group may have within that context.
The significance of the group for patients, but also the meaning of the group for the institution, is important and should not be taken for granted. Particularly if the institution in question seems to work according to persecutory and expulsive mechanisms with perceivable violence, where the main activities offered are “entertainment” and time seems suspended. Read more