N.26 - Sensoriality, corporeity, and sexuality in the group

The lounge of restless. The experience of UNITRE in Vico Equense (Naples)


A psychotherapist has been leading an open group for seven years. It lasts one hour monthly and it is composed of elderly men and women. This initiative is part of UNITRE local programme: a cultural association placed in a lot of Italian towns. It starts its work as a discussion group about preordained subjects or themes, but recently it has become an interactive group based on communication and interaction among the members of the group. These features with the number of components of the group (15-30 units) and the involvement in the time and in the space have allowed to shape a setting of the median group. The communication requirement marks out this group: it is difficult for elderly people to communicate, because they are often considered, together disabled people and children, the weak class. The themes, expressed in terms of opposition, youth/old age, health/illness, life/death, were discussed by the group giving them new meanings, thanks to the group’s work based on communication and koinonia. In this way people have managed to overcome the sense of isolation and to exorcise the fear: together they can experiment a force that alone doesn’t exist. It seems that the group has allowed them to feel themselves in a compact and strong entity, in opposition to their old, sometimes ill body with the possibility to live this phase of life not as a sad waiting of death but in a horizon of sense.

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