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Weber, R.L. (2007). Relational Group Psychotherapy: From Basic Assumptions to Passion. by Richard M. Billow. New York: Jessica Kingsley. 2003 256 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 94(3):503-507.

(2007). Psychoanalytic Review, 94(3):503-507

Relational Group Psychotherapy: From Basic Assumptions to Passion. by Richard M. Billow. New York: Jessica Kingsley. 2003 256 pp.

Review by:
Robert L. Weber, Ph.D.

In the summer of 1973 I was part of a biblical—archeological study tour of the Middle East. Our first destination was Egypt, and our arrival in Cairo occurred after midnight, so the city was dark and mysterious as our entourage made its way through the streets to our late—nineteenth—century Hotel Victoria. The next day we were thrust into a city, a culture, and a country that was overwhelmingly unfamiliar and uncomfortably strange. It was difficult to become oriented since all signs were written in Arabic and, of course, all discourse was in Arabic as well. Our guide, a man fluent in eight languages and familiar with the culture, helped us to settle down and begin to see what was there and to learn what there was to learn.

Dr. Billow is such a guide, one who leads his readers into and through the world of Wilfred Bion, and a world of relational group therapy that is suffused with Bion's thinking and language. Until reading Dr. Billow's book, Bion's ideas and conceptual framework were, like Egypt upon my arrival, an inviting and appealing mystery, and a collection of ideas and conceptualizations that I needed assistance to decipher and translate. For me Billow is the “Rosetta stone” that opened up the hieroglyphics of Bion's language and world.

Perhaps readers who are individual analysts or psychotherapists might not be interested in a book titled Relational Group Therapy: From Basic Assumptions to Passion.

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