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Power, K. (1994). A Work Book of Group-Analytic Interventions by D Kennard, J Roberts and D A Winter, with contributions from Y Arzoumanaides and M Pines. Published by Routledge, London, 1993; 120 pages; £35.00 (hardback); £12.99 (paperback).. Brit. J. Psychother., 11(1):148-150.
    

(1994). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 11(1):148-150

A Work Book of Group-Analytic Interventions by D Kennard, J Roberts and D A Winter, with contributions from Y Arzoumanaides and M Pines. Published by Routledge, London, 1993; 120 pages; £35.00 (hardback); £12.99 (paperback).

Review by:
Kevin Power

The purpose of this book is to ‘present the reader with a practical insight into the group-analytic method of group psychotherapy’. It achieves this aim well while avoiding the pitfalls of an instructional manual. All group therapists, trainees and other professionals working with groups will be able to gain much from reading and reflecting on this volume's contents.

The meat of the book is in eight ‘group situations’, each described near the start of the volume. Over thirty practitioners of group-analysis responded to a request to read each of the situations and explain how they would react to each and to explain their interventions. Most of these situations will be instantly recognised by all practitioners - except the last, on the threat of actual violence - hopefully only a rare experience. Each chapter deals with one of these situations and starts with the author of the chapter outlining how the situation challenges the conductor and specifying the tasks and problems. Each introduction is followed by an examination of how a selection of the responding therapists reacted to the situation together with their reasons. There are further chapters on interventions; establishing and maintaining a therapeutic environment; interpretation: why, for whom and when; and a chapter of conclusions. An appendix provides a brief overview of other analytically-oriented group therapeutic approaches. All this makes for absorbing reading, especially when you have previously made your own hypothetical interventions on paper.

For it is intended that the reader should respond to all situations her/himself, stating for each what the situation is understood to be about, what intervention, if any, would be made and lastly, giving briefly the reasons for having made such an intervention. It is a most useful activity - interesting to compare what one has written with what the thirty respondents provided, and with the encompassing remarks of the writer of the chapter concerned. The variety of response was quite wide in each situation, with the personality of the respondent sometimes rather predominating over the usefulness of the response itself to the member or group concerned.

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