Community therapy. Focusing on the foreign body. Effects on patients and caregivers


Therapeutic communities are now and have for several decades been used for a wide array of disorders that range from substance abuse to personality disorders, and from subacute to chronic psychosis. These disorders are often intertwined and causes an overly dense diagnostic framework.

It is possible to observe two different perspectives which converge into the therapeutic  community system and allow us to pinpoint two pivotal factors of treatment. The first one, which we could define as individual, privileges the protective and facilitating function of the setting, which tends to be seen as a third element, between patient and caregiver, and therefore such that it can permit a one-to-one relationship that would otherwise be made difficult by the intensity of the transference From another standpoint (1), however, collective and group factors must be stressed, insisting on the Read more


Family field therapy: from the dialogue between generations of therapists to that with contemporary patients. A clinical research project on therapy for individuals and their transgenerational family field


This text is dedicated to research on the setting and therapy provided by a research team that worked on the relationship between the extended family mind and the individual, where the former becomes an ectopic storage space for the individual’s content. The team acts as a container for issues that the individuals of the family group Read more


A hypothesis for a third topic regarding intersubjectivity and the subject in a common, shared psychic space


The question of a third topic was one of the main themes debated in the recent Congress of Psychoanalysts of the francophone countries. The principal debate centred on the relationships between the configuration of the internal world of a subject and the relationships dealing with its “first others”, namely the parents and the family. I would like to underline that this theoretical point of view is focused on the practice of individual therapy. When the psychoanalytical method extends to multi-subjective situations, like the group, the family, the couple, and the institutions, for example, the psychic space that develops has a specific reality that is common and shared by all the subjects. In 1976, when I first got interested in group psychic apparatus I began to construct a third topic based on the articulation between the common and shared psychic reality, the internal world of the single subject and the space of the link among the subjects. This third topic became necessary to illustrate the way in which the subject is formed in Read more


Reality and fiction for the therapeutic couple

Article already published in the Notebook n. 14 – July-December 2001 of the Institute of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy of Milan edited by the Pisa-Rome International Polygraphic Institutes


The necessity to have a precise time and a limited place where the group processes could take place, is a fundamental requirement for the survival of the group. This is to say that a stable setting with clear limited space must to be respected and offered to the group and to the therapeuthic couple’s mind. The group allows some important dynamic movements for the adolescent, allowing the displacement of the infantile unsolved dependence conflicts in regard to their parents on the group of peers. This permits the working-through of the object-relationships in function with the relationships connected with actual experiences and unsolved conflicts Read more


Presentation, Individual, Group and Nature

The quality of our future depends more and more on environmental balance and its stability. Nevertheless, there’s a contradiction that’s difficult to explain, without entering into complex psychological processes – between the widespread interest the public opinion has for environmental issues and, on the other hand, how little this results in specific awareness, or in a different way of behaving, and ultimately in putting strong pressure on political leadership. In point of fact, how serious is the environmental issue? The greenhouse effect? Degenerative diseases? Or energy resources? These are problems that are already a reality, and today imply a dramatic prospect for our species. The greenhouse effect isn’t just a simple idea that represents the phenomenon as a gradual rise of the temperature of the planet’s soil, the melting of the polar ice cap or other flights of fancy. Today the stability of the climatic cycle is seriously effected, something our small country pays for every year Read more


A quick guide to the papers in this issue

Paper Title: Genius Loci: A function of a group’s affective regulation

Author: Claudio Neri (Italy)


This paper builds a picture of a characteristic that is shared by both places and groups. Each place and each group has a “Genius Loci” which can be compared to a deity whose constant presence gives character, coherence and ‘spirit’ to that place or group. In nature… <<The Genius Loci tries to maintain a congenial balance between water, wind, vegetation, buildings etc. Conversely, it gets irritated if the characteristics and harmony of a specific place are changed by actions or gestures which are outside its nature>>.

In groups the genius loci works in harmony with the group leader, but is not the group leader. Read more


A Sense of Place: Matters of space, mind and personhood


The article emphasizes the importance of the place, which acquires profound significance in the mind of the group, influencing moods and emotions. The space itself, and ‘neutral, while the place and’ a cultural landscape on which are projected and constructed meanings. The trainers, through experience, using the effects of nature on the body and mind, and outdoor Read more


Psyche and enviroment


The psyche, in the totality of conscious and unconscious processes, is revealed through the image, thought, and language, and within the group phenomena in relation with the environment. Within this framework are the concepts of protomental and psychoid, respectively, in Bion and Jung, as well as the implications of transference and countertransference, but also in Read more