Becoming a psychotherapist, or in this case a group psychotherapist, is a continuous process. As many of you have already experienced, you learn through working with people, and talking about the work with other professionals in supervision. You also learn through exploring your own experiences within your own therapy.
This is in itself a strange name for a process of learning together about the human condition, and about the nature and sources of human suffering. So what do we learn through listening to lectures, reading and discussing papers written by others’ attempt to make sense of what they have learned through their work?
We hope that through reading the explorations of our forefathers and colleagues, we will feel stimulated to reflect on these processes of discovery. We hope that you will feel part of a process that does not end in fixed knowledge, but that it will enable you to find new insights through working with and getting to know the person who has come to you asking for help. When reading the early papers of Freud, we witness his thought processes and understand them in the context of his time. We see them in different ways now, as we have learned so much more, and live in different times, but we might still think that some of it is as relevant now as it was then. It is this curiosity, and your ability to reflect and relate what is presented to your own experiences, that we would like to encourage. It is a process of sense-making that never ends.
We will read psychoanalytic literature which gives us insights into how different people have made sense of understanding clinical situations, their thoughts of how we develop as human beings, and how to understand the suffering we encounter. We will talk about ‘technique’, which is a term used to describe how people understand what they are doing in their work as psychotherapists. Again, this is never fixed and changes from context to context.
And, as this is a study of Group Analysis , the main focus will always be that of the group, and how we might see and experience things differently from other individualistic schools of thought. There is a vast literature in the group analytic world; reading these papers will hopefully encourage you to reflect and relate what you are experiencing to your work, so you can develop your own way of working as a group psychotherapist.
During this training we will be a learning community, learning together through experiencing, talking and reflecting together in groups.