Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To suggest new content…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Help us improve PEP Web. If you would like to suggest new content, click here and fill in the form with your ideas!

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Thomson, J. (1989). Menzies Lyth, I. Containing Anxiety in Institutions: Selected Essays. London, Free Association Books, 1988. Pp. 258. £12.95.. J. Anal. Psychol., 34(4):400-401.

(1989). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 34(4):400-401

Menzies Lyth, I. Containing Anxiety in Institutions: Selected Essays. London, Free Association Books, 1988. Pp. 258. £12.95.

Review by:
Jean Thomson

‘The functioning of social systems as a defence against anxiety’, Isabel Menzies Lyth's classic paper, is included in this book along with a conversation between her, Bob Young and Ann Scott, of Free Association Books. These, as with most of her papers, are concerned, broadly speaking, with the application of the Klein/Bion concept of projective identification to institutions, groups and families, an application which has been developed as group relations theory. The conversation is a small and fascinating historical record of the growth and decline of the group relations movement in the context of the socio-political changes of the years since World War Two, changes from comparative liberalism to comparative repression. Menzies Lyth describes here how she, along with Bion, Eric Trist, A. K. Rice and others came to work together to form the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, and how there has been an uneasy bridging between those who focus on individual analysis and those who want to apply psychoanalytic theory to understanding and influencing social organisation. At the moment, the main place to find group relations work is in the courses and conferences which form part of psychoanalytic and psychotherapy training.

Isabel Menzies Lyth's main work, apart from her role as psychoanalyst and as training analyst for the Institute of Psychoanalysis, has been research in the fields of nursing and child care. As Bob Young points out, the above-mentioned classic paper is one of the few papers which makes psychoanalytic thinking clear to sociologists and it has become widely used in teaching about how stress at work is both relieved and increased by professional defences organised in a system of tasks and hierarchy.

The idea that tasks and roles can themselves create emotional stress is disturbing.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.