On the Genealogy Of Group Analysis:

Our Version of the Greek Context

Mylona, D., Lamnidis, N. & Moraitou, S.

(Institute of Group Analysis ‘S.H.Foulkes’, Athens, Greece)

This paper aims at pinpointing some aspects of Group Analysis, especially in inter-relationship to Psychoanalysis, as they have emerged and have been personified in the context of current Greek Group Analytic (and Psychoanalytic) Institutions.

Although Group Analysis was meant, by definition (Foulkes), as an analysis of the collective/individual dichotomy, e.g. an integrative project that would serve as a therapeutic tool and as a method of understanding human affairs, Group Analysis in our country has been institutionally and collectively trapped and rigidified:

  • As a ‘therapeutic-community-oriented’, anti-psychoanalytic polemic and intransigent project
  • As a ‘Psychoanalytically-informed-group-work’ applied in institutional settings and attributing secondary importance to group matrix project
  • As a ‘Phenomenological’, a-theoretical, non-specific, supportive ‘group therapy’ project.

This situation has been amplified by the prevailing Psychoanalytic  Institutions’ tendency (in opposition to Freud’s legacy) to minimize the social origins of the unconscious processes.

Some historically implemented traumatic roots of this situation are examined and some interpretative assumptions are put forward.

In our current Greek context, the recent 7th Group Analytic institution (The Institute of Group Analysis ‘S.H.Foulkes’, founded by us and another 18 colleagues, with a more or less 30-years-presence in the Greek Group Analytic and Psychoanalytic scene),  has as its core aim a ‘healing’ return to the original, integrative Foulksian vision: A search for integration of contemporary  psychoanalytic developments and the  legacy of Group Analysis.