Note about a new Association for the Research on the Homogeneous Group

This issue of Function Gamma on “The Homogeneous Group” was edited by A.R.G.O. (Association for the Research on Homogeneous Groups), with the collaboration of the Psychiatric Consultation Service, S.P.D.C. San Filippo Neri, Mod.19, D.S.M., U.S.L. ROMA E.
It comes out in conjunction with a convention organised in Rome 2nd June, 2001, entitled “Groups of Formation and Clinical Groups in the Health and Social Field”.
It is the first public manifestation of the association after a long process of work and confronting ideas between the founding members. During that time, theoretical reflections, clinical experiences, and above all a wealth of personal competences explored the use of the analytic micro-group in different spheres. Alimentation disorders, general medicine, disabled persons, social problems to do with the mixing of different cultures, formation and training for students and people in the helping professions are the main areas where efforts were concentrated.
In time we observed that these work experiences were starting to consolidate, resulting in the individuation of an area of interest in a wider analytic-group sphere compared to the orientation of some institutes of psychiatry (see the recent re-edition of The Italian Society of Psychiatric Consultation), and demands for help and signs of interest from the more open and un-biased sectors of traditional medical circles and social involvement started to come in.
At the very beginning, the initial stages were highlighted by meetings between friends who had the same objectives; little by little the group widened to other colleagues bringing an input of clinical experiences that were already launched in different institutional realities around Italy, and even abroad. The group started to meet more regularly, defining its areas of study and beginning supervision of clinical work. It established an important link with the Chair of “Theory and Technique of Group Dynamics” at the University of Rome, “La Sapienza” in the person of Prof. Neri, and together started to coordinate and conduct new experiences that were taking form in the field. At that point it became necessary to give an identity to the work we were constructing, resulting in the foundation of the association that we named A.R.G.O. a private association (Onlus) with the aim to develop and promote, both in the association itself and in the health field in general, an active role in theoretical research, clinical knowledge in depth, specially of a didactic-formative kind regarding the use of homogeneous groups in medical, psychiatric and social spheres.
Henceforth, the association is directly concerned with groups of people suffering from diverse pathologies. Namely, organic illnesses, drug addiction, and women affected by alimentation disorders. The association also devotes itself to all those people, who professionally or for family reasons participate to turbulent, emotive and painful situations. These include, nurses, doctors, social assistants, educators, psychologists and patients’ families.
Cultural activities are also promoted, among these, editorial initiatives and telematic circulation through its own web-site with particular attention to didactics and linking up with other associations in Italy and abroad. For instance, A.R.G.O. has established an important bond with the Consultant Psychiatry Service at S.Filippo Neri Hospital, which together with the Chair of “Theory and Technique of Group Dynamics”, collaborated to promote a project of short term monothematic groups inside the Hospital for formation and clinical purposes. The first result of this collaboration was the creation of a group of women affected by breast cancer, published in the second issue of Function Gamma on “Groups and Dreams”. The second experience was a group of formation for the medical staff who care for oncological patients in the wards of the Hospital. The relation of this experience can be found in the present issue of Function Gamma.
A.R.G.O. wishes to continue to link up with other institutions in the future as in the past, for example the fruitful collaboration had with the “Caritas”.
Another important objective is to offer to the scientific community, to health workers, and to patients and their families, a space where ideas can be confronted and debated and to acknowledge a psychological area of intervention that is still in part submerged. We hope to receive ulterior demands for participation and collaboration, and to be useful in giving visibility to fruitful experiences in order that they don’t remain isolated.