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(1970). Psyche, 23, No. 7, 1969: EUGEN MAHLER (Sigmund Freud Institute, Frankfurt/Main, Myliusstr. 20, Germany). Beobachtbare kollektive Ichreaktionen (Observable collective ego reactions). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 51:76.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psyche, 23, No. 7, 1969: EUGEN MAHLER (Sigmund Freud Institute, Frankfurt/Main, Myliusstr. 20, Germany). Beobachtbare kollektive Ichreaktionen (Observable collective ego reactions)

(1970). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 51:76

Psyche, 23, No. 7, 1969: EUGEN MAHLER (Sigmund Freud Institute, Frankfurt/Main, Myliusstr. 20, Germany). Beobachtbare kollektive Ichreaktionen (Observable collective ego reactions)

Over and above individual neuroses and group-dynamic processes, the therapist in psychoanalytic group therapy takes on the group as a whole as his partner. Communications of members are understood as reflections of the group's collective condition. Unconscious phantasies and expectancies which are shared by all members become the contents of the group's transference towards the therapist. Since the overall set-up and therapist's interpretations do not encourage tendencies to act out rising tensions, the problems are internalized and patients become aware of their own existence in the 'here and now' of the therapeutic situation. The group develops a 'group ego', a particular character structure and a central conflict, which are reflected in the converging relationship to the therapist. These developments are especially emphasized because, in contrast to theories of ego loss or ego regression in group or mass behaviour, the therapeutic group makes an integrative effort, and its regressions are 'in the service of the ego'. These achievements, shared as they are by all members of the group, will leave demonstrable traces in the individual egos of the patients after termination of the therapy. The difficulties in understanding these complicated mental processes which are encountered both by the group and the therapist are illustrated in the report of a group treatment in the terminal phase of which the group ego experienced the threat of falling apart.

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Article Citation

(1970). Psyche, 23, No. 7, 1969. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 51:76

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