Group analysis

Group analysis is a method of psychotherapy which merges psychoanalytic findings with understanding of social and interpersonal functioning. The basis of the group analysis is found in the psychoanalytical theory and practice. However, the group analysis is also relies on other theories and findings such as social psychology, developmental psychology, findings on group dynamics and system theory. The German-British psychiatrist and psychoanalyst S.H. Foulkes, who was is considered to be the founder of the group analysis had a significant impact on the development of the group-analytic theory. 

The group analysis is an established form of group psychotherapy based on the point of view that a deep and permanent change can happen within a carefully formed group, the combined membership of which reflects broader standards of the society. This is form of treatment of an individual within a group and with the assistance of the group, which are based on the psychodynamic understanding of psychological processes and principles developed by S.H. Foulkes.  Group analysis uses the concepts and techniques from individual psychoanalysis, as well as original psychoanalytical findings from the research of groups. Group analysis is a way of understanding group processes in small, median or large groups.

There is an interest in the group psychotherapy for the relation between an individual member of the group and the rest of the group, which results in the strengthening of both the individual and the group, as well as better integration of the individual with his community, family and social network. The aim of the group analysis is to establish better integration of the individual within his relation network.

There is a process developed in the psychotherapy group from which everyone gains at the same time. An incentive interaction between the members of the group becomes the focus of treatment and therapeutic work so that the understanding of the group interactions, conversations and happenings becomes a strong way of learning about ourselves. Sharing of feelings and experiences in a dynamic and supporting group creates such an atmosphere in which mutual trust and support can be developed.

Earlier patterns of behaving, attitudes and feelings become in the group here and now. Relations developed within the group creates a live demonstration of the earlier behaving patterns can take place in present and block growth and creativity. The analysis of this process creates the way for changes and enables the growth and development of each member of the group. The members of the group see themselves through the eyes of others. They get new insights about themselves and learn about themselves and others through the work of the group. 

Application of the group analysis

The group analysis is applied in different problems and life situations. Anxiety, depression, difficulties in interpersonal relations, low self-esteem are some of the problems for which the group can be recommended. Besides  helping to getting rid of the symptoms, the group analytic psychotherapy treats also discovery of undeveloped aspirations and creativity of the members of the group. The members of the group make huge changes in their lives and relations in the group, partially through therapeutic effects which result seeing themselves through the eyes of others, and partially through the possibility of participation in the therapy of other members of the group.

The group analytic approach is an interactive approach which has numerous applications in the area of human relations, educations, trainings and organizational consultancy. The group analysis is also applied in organizational consultancy, teaching and training. Group analytic work in various situations and with broad range of difficulties and problems, which the individuals face with.

How the group works?

The group is founded and lead by a conductor. A typical group consist of seven to eight members, who meet once or twice a week with conductor for 90 minutes. They meet always at the same time and at the same place. Usually the group has a semi-opened door, which means that new members enter occasionally, and some old members leave when they finish the therapy. The members of the group sit in circle. The middle of the circle is used as a symbol for the group as a whole. Sitting in the circle enables the best contact face to face and the situation in which each member is equal.

The therapist in the group analysis is called a conductor. The conductor of the group prepares each new member for entering the group, but also prepares the group for welcoming a new member. The aim is to establish a stable membership in the group so that the members could get to know each other and to develop and maintain the dynamics of the group. The members leave and enter the group in a reasonable time frame and with due notification.

The group has very strong boundaries in relation to confidentiality and anonymity, which means that they do not have contacts with the other members of the group. This helps the therapy process in the way that it ensures confidentiality and makes the members of the group be more open without having any fear from any consequences for their lives outside the group. Discretion of the content of the group has an important role in the process. The responsibility of the conductor of the group is to establish and monitor the boundaries of the group, thus ensuring safe and confidential environment.