Reflections on psychoanalytic contributions to understanding (psychiatric) institutions


Personal experience of being a psychoanalyst in a standard and old-fashioned psychiatric service is reviewed to consider how psychoanalytic ideas may be presented as relevant to psychiatry. The difficulties are considered, and several forms of intervention by the psychoanalyst are reviewed – those forms are described under the headings Education and professional 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