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. The group may then become a zone for collection, speaking and listening, for sharing and containing, where time passes and thoughts take shape through images.

Download pdf