Basics of Group Relations Revisited: What’s it like?

Now that I’ve actually been to a group relations conference – I survived the spiral! – I’m taking a second look at my initial group relations impressions to see how my perceptions have changed. One thing I didn’t get after the Psychoanalytic Understanding of Organizations course was how exhausting a group relations conference can be. […]

Basics of Group Relations: Group defences against anxiety

This is the fourth in a five-ish part series on the background and basics of group relations. Read parts one, two, and three. It’s an axiom of group relations that, just like the way we organize our lives can illuminate our preoccupations and hang-ups, institutional policies can illuminate the preoccupations and the anxieties of the […]

Basics of group relations: Projection and projective identification

This is the third in a five-ish part series on the background and basics of group relations. Read parts one and two here. For whatever reason, some psychoanalytic concepts have thoroughly entered the mainstream. They may not be present in the popular consciousness as fully realized ideas but as bits of pop psychological parlance – […]

Basics of group relations: Bion’s basic assumption groups

This is the second in a five-ish post series on the background and basics of group relations. Read part one here. A key figure in the history and development of group relations was Wilfred Bion (1897-1979). (Incidentally, he is also the originator of the quote that inspired the title of this blog – “The purest […]

The basic assumptions of group relations

This is the first in a 5-ish part series about the experience of group relations. Although the tagline of this blog is “The young person’s guide to group relations”, you may have noticed that I haven’t written all that much on the supposed topic. This is because up until very recently I didn’t really have […]

The group relations blogosphere (such as it is)

If you are like me, the very first thing you do when you need to learn about something is Google it. I do not know what I did before constant Internet access (which I’ve only had for about 6 years, BTW – I somehow made it to my late 20s without Twitter or Netflix). I literally do not remember how I went about my daily life without being instantly able to answer the question “What was Dougie Howser’s best friend’s name?” (Vinnie, in case you were wondering.)

So when I got this job I started looking for resources to learn about group relations online. There is a decent amount of information around – more to follow on that later – but what struck me was the complete lack of an informal online community.

There is a thriving psychoanalysis and psychotherapy blogosphere, mostly centring around Psychology Today. But if you google “group relations blog”, this blog you are reading right now is the second result. This isn’t because I’m so amazing that I’ve rocketed to the top of the group relations blogosphere, it’s because there really isn’t one. The group relations blogosphere is…me and Larry Hirschhorn.

I am only one person with one blog (on this subject anyway), so I can’t do much more than this to jumpstart a group relations conversation online, but I thought I’d compile a list of helpful links and so on to get you started learning about group relations. Then you can start your own group relations blog and we can get something going here.

So here are some helpful links… Continue reading “The group relations blogosphere (such as it is)”

A brief history of group relations

Before coming to work for Bureau Kensington, I had never even heard of group relations. Which is too bad, because it’s a fascinating and, I think, really important field. Group relations is the brainchild of a group of psychiatrists, psychologists and sociologists from The Tavistock Clinic (eventually the Tavistock Institute) who were interested in applying […]