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Pines, M. (1981). Psychoanalytic Group Dynamics. Basic Readings: Edited by Saul Scheidlinger. New York: International Universities Press. 1980. Pp. 315.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 8:239-239.

(1981). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 8:239-239

Psychoanalytic Group Dynamics. Basic Readings: Edited by Saul Scheidlinger. New York: International Universities Press. 1980. Pp. 315.

Review by:
Malcolm Pines

This book contains classic papers on psychoanalytic group psychology which the Editor considers fundamental to the understanding of psychoanalytical contributions to the group psychology. The contributions are grouped into 3 sections; Section 1 deals with the earliest psychoanalytic conceptualizations on group psychology, beginning with Freud's 'Group psychology and the analysis of the ego' and developed further by Redl. Section 2 contains 3 articles from the 'British School' of group dynamics, those of Bion, Ezriel and Foulkes. The third section, entitled 'Ego Psychological Group Theories' contains articles by American writers including Erikson and Scheidlinger himself. Section 4 is an overview of current psychoanalytical group theory by Scheidlinger. Each section has an introduction by the Editor that links the articles and the different sections.

It is useful to have these articles grouped together in one volume and thereby to be able to gain an overview of the contributions by psychoanalysts to group psychology. That there are major contributions is clear; yet the reader may be left, as I was, with a sense of the limitations of the psychoanalytic contribution. Perhaps this is because the great influence of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic thinking upon the understanding of group processes does not always appear solely in articles devoted to the topic. The work of Winnicott, Mahler, Loewald, George Klein and others has not been specifically directed towards group psychotherapy yet their influence is affecting basic attitudes towards the field of group psychotherapy.

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