Siblings play a vital part in our lives, yet their impact is frequently underestimated. A Group-Analytic Perspective on How Siblings Shape Our Lives offers a fresh group analytic approach to siblings, recognising how these relationships are embedded in the framework of the family and how sibling experiences shape our lives, influencing relationships with partners, friends, and colleagues, and affecting how we take our place in groups and in society.
The book is divided into three parts. Part One focuses on the sibling life cycle, exploring how these relationships shift and change throughout life according to context and circumstances. In Part Two, Parker uses clinical examples to consider how therapists working with individuals and groups might expand their thinking to incorporate the sibling matrix. The final part investigates how the sibling matrix manifests in organisational life and considers how we might develop mutuality and cooperation in our universal sibling matrix.
Drawing on the author’s wealth of experience as a clinician, the book incorporates compelling personal stories and clinical examples to bring to life the realities and nuances, the good and bad, the healthy and supportive, and also the potentially damaging aspects of sibling relationships. Accessibly written, this is a rich and rewarding invitation to reflect on our own experience, whether as clinicians, researchers, or as members of our own sibling matrix.
"Parker’s book explores an important and too often neglected area in family psychodynamics." --Salley Vickers, former psychotherapist and best-selling novelist
"This book fills a gap in group analytic thinking, which people have intermittently looked at and then ignored again: sibling relationships and their role in psychotherapy, group analysis, and in life. Practitioners have perhaps ignored siblings because they have shied away from acknowledging that these relationships are often more powerful then parent-child dynamics. It is Val Parker’s achievement not to blink, and look at the powerful importance of sibling relationships within the family and in therapy groups. I recommend this book to anyone who works with groups." --Gerhard Wilke, group analyst, author, The Art of Group Analysis in Organisations
"The essential thesis of this book is that our sibling relationships help to organise our social selves and humanise us. Within this matrix we learn about competition and co-operation and the way our social selves are mutually constructed. With a wide range of clinical material, the author highlights the way sibling dynamics are played out within the group. This is a book for all those who are becoming increasingly aware that the need to co-operate with others is essential for our survival. They will find a powerful argument that we should begin by nurturing our sibling social selves." --Prophecy Coles, psychotherapist, author, The Importance of Sibling Relationships in Psychoanalysis, The Uninvited Guest from the Unremembered Past, and The Shadow of the Second Mother
"This is a timely and important book addressing the neglected field of sibling dynamics from a group analytic perspective. The author views the sibling matrix from developmental, analytic and socio-cultural vantage points -and brings her ideas to life with illuminating examples from her clinical practice. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all clinicians wanting to deepen their understanding of family dynamics." --Sylvia Hutchinson, group analyst
PART ONE: Sibling Life
PART TWO: Siblings in clinical work
PART THREE: Siblings in the wider world