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Paparo, F. (1992). The Practice of Group Analysis: Edited by Jeff Roberts and Malcolm Pines. London: Routledge. 1991. Pp. 208.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 19:261-262.

(1992). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 19:261-262

The Practice of Group Analysis: Edited by Jeff Roberts and Malcolm Pines. London: Routledge. 1991. Pp. 208.

Review by:
Franco Paparo

The Practice of Group Analysis or the Group Analytic Practice? Throughout the book these two facets seem to intertwine and overlap. In fact the practice of group analysis, rather well known in Europe, is looked at via one of its physical and historical premises, i.e. The Group Analytic Practice, 88 Montagu Mansions, in the West End of London. The book is a very detailed account of the history and of the present state of this unique and well established Practice.

Founded at the end of World War II, it housed the experiments pioneered by S. H. Foulkes and a few of his colleagues interested in researching the principles and the clinical applications of the group analytic method to group psychotherapy. Developed over the following years, it is now one of the very few successful private practices of the kind, offering twenty-three twice weekly groups and twenty-six once weekly groups.

Foulkes' work is rooted in the context of the years of the two World Wars, when there was a growing interest in group behaviour. Foulkes researched into the application of psychoanalytic principles to the sphere of the group.

Bion at the time was developing his own work on group behaviour and introduced the innovative role of a psychoanalyst who treated the whole group as one patient, by offering interpretation to the group and not to the individual. Foulkes—who had been analysed in Germany by Helene Deutsch, was a psychiatrist, and became a training analyst of the British Psycho-Analytical Society—developed another method of group psychotherapy, called by him groupanalytic psychotherapy, where the patient—ideally part of a small group of six–eight people of both sexes plus the therapist, known as the conductor—is treated in the group, but, most of all, by the group.

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