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Daum, M. (2002). ‘Dangerous Liaisons’: Projective Identification, Basic Assumption Envy, and the Conflict between Love and Hate in the Relationship between Two Psychiatric Teams. Organ. Soc. Dyn., 2(1):120-138.
   

(2002). Organizational and Social Dynamics, 2(1):120-138

‘Dangerous Liaisons’: Projective Identification, Basic Assumption Envy, and the Conflict between Love and Hate in the Relationship between Two Psychiatric Teams

Matthieu Daum

This paper is based on a piece of research that I undertook on the affective processes at work between a community mental health services team and an in-patient ward's team covering the same sector of a large city in England. Whilst there is an abundance of literature on psychiatric work - including psychodynamic explorations of the primary task of psychiatric institutions - it tends to focus mainly on either the ward, the hospital or the community team as the level of inquiry. As such, the dimension of relating and relatedness - and the affective processes at work that it involves - as well as the irreducible systemic resonances of phenomena and affect at any level in the system, have tended to be overlooked. A systemic dimension, coupled with a psychoanalytical framework of exploration, inspired by the Group Relations tradition, were the foundations to this paper, in order to attempt an exploration of the complexities of psychiatric work in our society that considers the work itself, the irreducible systemic and societal foundations and connections that underpins it, and the affective processes that this generates.

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