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Boris, H.N. Zinberg, N.E. Boris, M. (1975). Fantasies in Group Situations. Contemp. Psychoanal., 11:15-45.

(1975). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 11:15-45

Fantasies in Group Situations

Harold N. Boris, Norman E. Zinberg, M.D. and Marylynn Boris

IN 1921 FREUD PRESENTED his major essay on group psychology. Since he had not studied groups from the vantage point of the group psychotherapist, it was inevitable that his theory could only surmise the unconscious fantasies which are at the heart of psychoanalytic formulations. But, by the same token, it is all the more remarkable that Freud was able to replace the then current thinking concerning the group mind with dynamic and even genetic concepts and thereby lay the ground-work for a systematic psychoanalytic model. (For a detailed consideration of Freud's contributions, see Yalom's review, Yalom, 1974.) Freud, moreover, never confined his treatment of any subject to one work. If taken together with formulations available, notably in his works, Totem and Taboo(1913), On Narcissism(1914), Mourning and Melancholia(1917), The Future of an Illusion (1927), Civilization and Its Discontents(1930) and Moses and Monotheism(1939), his basic work on groups gains in dimension and richness.

In the approximately fifty years following Freud's essay, major additions have been made to group theory. Perhaps chief among these are Kurt Lewin's, whose work opened the way for further insight into the phenomenology of groups, and H. S. Sullivan, whose treatment of the subject detailed the vital function of the group as introject in the establishment of the personality both phenomenologically and developmentally. (Lewin, 1948) ; (Sullivan, 1953).

Nor has there been a shortage of contributions from within the psychoanalytic group therapy movement itself.

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