Women in groups in Italy today and yesterday. Social change and inner transformations in three decades


Author’s reference theory
As group Psychoanalyst the author refers to Ferdinando Vanni’s Interactive Group Theory (1988, 1992).
In F. Vanni’s theory Interactive groups are characterized by interactional communicative exchanges among participant. In these exchanges an “interactive” self emerges: the “self-in-others”.
This “self-in-others” presents itself as an indifferentiated Self which allows parts of personality to be projected, reflected or induced in others. The leader of an interactive group will then, as a first step, activate feed-backs from participants in order to recognize projections and inductions. He/she will, as a second step, begin the psychoanalytic working through, thus allowing the remodelling of self through group exchanges.
Interactive Group Theory refers to mixed gender groups.
In all women’s groups interactional communicative exchanges have revealed specific therapeutic power.
Relaxations of boundaries between individual selves derive from the affective quality of women’s interactions in group cultures like Interchangeability (Cantarella, 2002; 2005), Read more


Group and women’s dreams


The paper I present to you refers in a certain way to a traditional work: the process of finding and giving sense to some recurrent dreams in long-term psychoanalytically oriented therapeutic women’s groups. But I propose to you, though not being in the specific setting, to “treat“ now these dreams in the mental attitude suggested by Gordon Lawrence in his “Social Dreaming”, almost “dreaming them again”, giving space to the echo, to our associations. As they come from the shared experience of our cultural context where our fears and desires as males and females take shape. Moreover, though relating to a “traditional” work of giving sense to dreams, the process through which the sense came to light was due to a long staying in the “negative capacity”, to the “attentive passivity” David Armstrong underlines in his contribution to “Social Dreaming”. The “attentive passivity” is always necessary in our therapeuts’ life but it has Read more