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Date:
08-12-2013 at 12:39
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Group Analytic Dictionary

author:
Søren Aagaard
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Short text:
Background – from the starting point to a preliminary list of terms
Reference to:
My initial - and ongoing reflections on a Group Analytic Dictionary by Søren Aagaard

 

Text:

The first few steps.
10 years ago a Psychodynamic Dictionary was published in Denmark (edt. Ankjær Olsen).
Around 25 colleagues, most of us from psychoanalysis, analytical psychology and group analysis, were engaged. But before coming to the point of writing Ankjær Olsen had initiated a long interacting process with possible prospect contributors to the dictionary and which terms could and should be included and which should not, in order to ensure a general and comprehensive work. After these exchanges and discussions the actual writing began. I wrote about 25 references mainly on technical terms in psychoanalysis and group analysis.

As a pragmatic approach I have taken over this ”search--model” in the initial phases of the project for a group analytic dictionary in order to establish some certainty that nothing important is left out, fundamentally in an effort to pick up and cover as many terms in use as possible including their theoretical backgrounds.

Initially, in July 2011,I divided terms in 3 major categories as a search-model for the project as a whole. The division and mentioned examples reflects the common use and terminology in theory-teaching and supervision, not an epistemological endeavor.

 

1.
Specific group analytic terms: etc. group-as-a-whole, matrix, basic assumption group(s), conductor, anti-group.

 

2.
Terms from related professional fields with specific meanings or significance in group analysis:
etc. transitional space, transference, projection, transpersonal, conscious/unconscious, dream(s), sub-groups, chaos, intersubjectivity, attachment,

 

3.
Terms from various professional areas generally used in group analysis: etc. play, leadership, authority, role, power, field, research, empirical studies.

 

The idea obviously being to put this search-model into operation. Before doing so, in the Autumn 2011, I presented the idea and plan for a ”local” group of colleagues: Tove Mathiesen, Bente Thygesen, Lars Bo Jørgensen, Peter Ramsing and Robi Friedman (he is not exactely ”local”: but all of us participate in regular seminars on dream-work with Robi in Copenhagen).

The general response of the group was positive, both in respect to the professional usability of a group analytic dictionary and also concerning the proposed processes of producing it. Many ideas and possibilities were mentioned: seminars and workshops on different terms and topics could be arranged, exchanges and discussions on the internet could arise, new concepts might emerge, etc.

 

So the message from the group was: go ahead!

 

In October, November and December 2011 I handed out a sheet with a short description of the project and the 3 categories of terms, and asked colleagues and senior candidates in the IGA, Copenhagen to put down 25 specific and related terms (category 1 and 2) and 15 general terms (category 3). I had responses from about 15 participants; half of them group analytic colleagues, the other half candidates.

In January 2012 I gave a lecture at the institute in Copenhagen, centered around this project and its (very) preliminary ”results” - simply enumerated by frequency of appearance in the lists I received from the participants. ”Results ”were as follows, with 25 terms in each category, ordered alphabetically:

 

Specific group analytic terms:
anti-group
antigroup phenomena, ex. scapegoating
basic assumption groups: dependency, flight-fight, pairing
basic group dynamic law
difference as a therapeutic factor
dynamic administration
ego-training in action
free floating discussion
figure-ground
group analysis
group analytic principles
group analytic psychotherapy
group analytic standard group
group-as-a-whole
group conductor
group intervention/-interpretation
group specific factors: condensation, exchange, mirroring, resonance, socialization
large group
levels of communication: actual, transferential, projective, primordial
malignant mirroring
matrix: foundation and dynamic
median group
phases of group analytic psychotherapy
transpersonal processes
work-group

 

Terms from related professional fields:
acting out/in
clarification
collective unconscious
conscious/unconscious
container/contained
defense/resistance
empathy
idealization/devaluation
intersubjective
interpretation
manifest/latent
mentalization
parallel processes
potential space
projection
projective identification
regression
self-object representations
social unconscious
splitting
sub-grouping
termination
therapeutic alliance
transference/countertransference
transitional space

 

General terms used in group analysis:
affect/affect-regulation
authority
change
chaos/chaos theory
circle
communication
conflict
development
dream
effectivity/evidence
empirical and qualitative studies
environment/culture
family
hierarchy
leader(ship)
network
organization/organizational context
play
power
relation
research
role/role-theory
sociology
symbol/metaphor
system/systems-theory

 

These are, within the frames of the described search-model, the data of a simple counting – with no claims what so ever of being exhaustive or final, only preliminary.

 

These data comes from IGA Copenhagen, so certain questions must be asked.
How similar and/or different will these catalogues be in other group analytic institutes?
And what may individual group analysts wonder about, add, delete, etc.?

 

These are still, in the initial phase of this project, the questions and an invitation to all colleagues to comment within this frame (web blog solution)

Some last words of clarification of process and procedure.
The search-model of the 3 categories is not to be taken as an editorial guideline.
Just a glimpse at the 75 terms – and many more terms will emerge - indicates a wide range of fields for clarifications and discussions among colleagues, say in workshops and seminars.
A future editorial board will have quite a number of principal and pragmatic decisions to make as to the general grouping of contents in the dictionary and guidelines for writing it.

 

Søren Aagaard

December 2013

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Comments

Name
Torben Voigt
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Comments to David K.
31-05-2014, 07:28
Comment
Hi David
Interesting point you bring forward. I suggest that you write a contribution regarding the "Nodal point".
Take a look at the user manual (right side at the page top) to see how
Alle the best
Torben Voigt
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Name
David Kennard
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Nodal point
30-05-2014, 19:36
Comment
I am just looking at how to contribute to this blog, not that easy to find the way in. My initial brief contribution is that the group analytic concept i find useful that isn't yet listed here is the idea that each group member, being part of the group network, behaves in some ways like the nodal point within brain synapses (Goldstein/Foulkes). He or she never speaks only for him/herself but also at some level for the whole or part of the group. When a member speaks (or is noticeably silent) they are activated by something in the group, not only in themselves, and their utterance can be understood as communicating something from the group. I find this quite helpful to keep in mind, and would like to understand better the parallel Foulkes saw between how a group and the brain function as interacting networks.
Rating
Name
orit
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27-02-2014, 10:49
Comment
it is very interesting to read all this. i will be able to share more in a few weeks.
i just want to say for now that i am very plesed with this project , and i think we, as group analists, can gain a lot from it. orit mass- goldman
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Name
Chris Powell
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16-02-2014, 19:31
Comment
Rating
Name
Chris Powell
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Encouragement
16-02-2014, 19:31
Comment
I greatly applaud this endeavour. This will be very useful resource, and I hope I shall be able to make some contribution towards it.
Rating
Name
Torben Voigt
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25-12-2013, 19:16
Comment
Rating
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