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Kirsch, J. Spradlin, S. (2006). Group Process in Jungian Analytic Training and Institute Life. J. Anal. Psychol., 51(3):357-380.

(2006). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 51(3):357-380

Group Process in Jungian Analytic Training and Institute Life

Jean Kirsch, M.D. and Suzy Spradlin, M.D.

Group process experience for analytic candidates is a neglected dimension of training, and receives little attention in the analytic literature. Jung observed group dynamics, but he never studied them closely, attending instead to the psychology of the individual. Unconscious currents in small groups have been studied by others, most notably by Wilfred Bion, and there are similarities between his theories of the group unconscious and Jung's theories of complexes.

Experiential and didactic seminars in group process were added to the analytic curriculum at the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco in the early 1990s, leading to changes in the group dynamic of trainees and analysts alike. A discussion of the theories of Bion and Jung are followed by a report on our experiences of facilitating group process for analytic candidates. We give quotes from candidates and analyst members to illustrate the group process and its effects. The need for further study to develop a uniquely Jungian perspective on the unconscious structure and dynamics of the group is suggested.

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