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Glenn, L. (1992). HOBDELL, ROGER. (London). ‘Individual and group therapy combined’. In The Practice of Group Analysis, ed. J. Roberts and M. Pines. London, Routledge, 1991.. J. Anal. Psychol., 37(3):361-362.

(1992). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 37(3):361-362

HOBDELL, ROGER. (London). ‘Individual and group therapy combined’. In The Practice of Group Analysis, ed. J. Roberts and M. Pines. London, Routledge, 1991.

Review by:
Liza Glenn

A treatment which offers combined individual and group analysis has been little documented, partly because in fact few analysts have favoured such a flexible approach, and partly because those who have such experience may have been reticent in declaring their practice. A certain sensitivity centred around the split transference has proved difficult to confront with clinical evidence that some patients not only benefit from this approach, but might otherwise not be ‘held’, or not be healed, as economically (I refer to psychic as well as practical economy) as Dr Hobdell describes after almost twenty years as conductor of a group in which all patients may choose to have individual sessions concurrently with their group analysis.

Perhaps this reflects that the time is now ripe for a less closeted exploration; we learn that S. H. Foulkes, himself a psychoanalyst, first mentioned such a combined approach in 1944, but later discouraged individual sessions so that the analytic work could be contained solely within the group. We can suppose that, in those days, when Foulkes was innovative and something of a pioneer, his bias was also in some measure strategic in the context of his own rigorous psychoanalytic training and the more or less classic form of analysis to which other analysts, his colleagues, then subscribed. Group analysis had relatively few followers then, and to this day few psychoanalysts have experience of how profound and powerful can be the analytic encounter which takes place in a group.

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