PSYCHOANALYTIC GROUP WORK
In group work, it is particularly important to focus on experiences from the first six years of life because the roots of present conflicts usually lie there. Group work encourages participants to relive significant relationships, and the group ideally functions as a symbolic family so that members can work through these early relationships.
Insight, understanding, and working through repressed material should be given a primary focus in group therapy.
Free association, dream work, analysis, and interpretation are essential components of effective group work.
Analytic group work is usually long-term due to the reconstructive element of the analytic group. Dealing with transference and resistance constitutes the bulk of the work. The primary goal of analytic group work is to work toward uncovering early experiences.
The object-relations theory focuses on predictable developmental sequences in which early experiences of self shift in relation to an expanding awareness of others. It holds that individuals go through phases of autism, normal symbiosis, and separation and individuation, culminating in a state of integration.
The group therapist frequently makes interpretations in the group session for individuals.
Resistance in the psychoanalytic approach is viewed as an unconscious dynamic.
In a group setting, free association could be used for uncovering repressed material, helping members develop more spontaneity, work on dreams, and promote meaningful interactions within the group.
Psychoanalytic dream work consists of interpreting the latent meaning of the dream. The manifest meaning of the dream is the actual dream.
An advantage of using groups with the psychoanalytic approach is that members benefit from one another's work, multiple transferences can be formed, members can learn to identify their own transferences, and the group can become the family of yesterday.
Establishing an identity is an ongoing process during most of one's life cycle.
Group disequilibrium is when members experience too little intimacy or isolation, or too much intimacy or engulfment.
Group malequilibrium exists when group members become so comfortable with one another that they avoid challenging one another's defenses.