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Rose, S. (1958). Group Psychoanalysis: The Group Striving for Unity and Union. Am. J. Psychoanal., 18(1):69-76.

(1958). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 18(1):69-76

Group Psychoanalysis: The Group Striving for Unity and Union

Sidney Rose, B.S., M.D.

Group work is such a uniquely complex process that any analyst must have many misgivings before embarking on it. The path of least resistance for most is to continue individual work, from which perspective they can feel free to find fault with the ad hoc theoretical formulations of group work. There are practical reasons which keep many from experimenting with groups. The mere task of getting a group together, arranging times convenient for all, excluding those who are unsuitable, the greatly added responsibility with increased numbers of patients, and the difficulty of evaluating progress will discourage beginning group psychoanalysts. However, every thinking psychoanalyst must question the very serious limitations of psychoanalytical therapy when so many are in need. This is an important stimulus to start work with groups. The analyst who accepts the challenge of the group begins to see unlimited opportunities for help and for research. It thus becomes important for us to clarify what we are doing in this pioneer area. We must develop a common language in order to understand each other and eventually communicate our findings to our justifiably sceptical analytical colleagues. We cannot convince others merely by saying it works. Without such efforts, group psychoanalysis will be relegated to the background despite its value. It behooves us to experiment, to report our results, to theorize, to sharpen our tools and develop an effective unitary theory which will also enable us to correlate group and individual analysis.

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