1st Edition

Beyond the Anti-Group
Survival and transformation

ISBN 9780415687386
Published December 6, 2014 by Routledge
266 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

"Beyond the Anti-group: survival and transformation" builds on the success of Morris Nitsun's influential concept of the Anti-group, taking it into new domains of thought and practice in the current century. The concept focuses on anxiety and hostility within, towards and between groups, as well as the destructive potential of groups. In Beyond the Anti-group".  Morris Nitsun continues his inquiry into the clinical implications of the anti-group but also explores the concept beyond the consulting room, in settings as wide-ranging as cultural and environmental stress in the 21st century, the fate of public health services and the themes of contemporary art.

Groups are potentially destructive but also have the capacity for survival, creativity and transformation. Focusing on the interplay between the two, Morris Nitsun explores the struggle to overcome group impasse and dysfunction and to emerge stronger. By tracking this process in a range of cultural settings, the author weaves a rich tapestry in which group psychotherapy, organizational process and the arts come together in unexpected and novel ways. The author draws on group analysis and the Foulkesian tradition as his overall discipline but within a critical frame that questions the relevance of the approach in a changing world, highlighting new directions and opportunities.

Readers of Beyond the Anti-group: Survival and Transformation will be stimulated by the depth, breadth and creativity of the author’s analysis and by the excursion into new fields of inquiry. The book offers new impetus for psychotherapists, group analysts and group practitioners in general, students of group and organizational processes, and those working on the boundary between psychotherapy and the arts. 

Table of Contents

Cape, Foreword. Preface and acknowledgements. Introduction. Part I: The Wider Context. The Question of Survival in the 21st Century: Challenges to Group Analysis. An Anti-Group Perspective of Organizational Change: The Case of the NHS. Part II: The Clinical Setting. Group Psychotherapy on The Edge. Group Analysis and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. The Group as Refuge: Group Psychotherapy in Inner London. Part III: Developmental Perspectives. Being a Group Therapist. Falling in Love: A Group Analytic Perspective. Part IV: Group Analysis and the Arts. Group Analysis and Performance Art. Rebel Without a Cause: Authority and Revolt as Themes in the Cinema. Summary and Conclusions. Postscript.

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Morris Nitsun is consultant psychologist in Camden and Islington NHS Trust, psychotherapist at the Fitzrovia Group Analytic Practice, Training Analyst at the Institute of Group Analysis, and Convenor, Diploma in Innovative Group Interventions, Anna Freud Clinic. His books The Anti-group: Destructive Forces in the Group and their Creative Potential (Routledge1996, classic edition 2015) and The Group as an Object of Desire (Routledge, 2006) have been described as 'classics in the field'. He has lectured and run workshops in countries across the world. He is also a practising artist who exhibits regularly in London.


"Morris Nitsun has created a rich tapestry in which group psychotherapy, organisational process and the arts come together in unexpected ways, rather like the interweaving process of a creative and well-functioning analytic group. It is likely to be of greatest appeal to readers who practise in some way as group therapists or facilitators." - Christopher Davies is a group analyst and NHS adult psychotherapist,  published in Therapy Today

"Morris Nitsun’s third major publication, ‘Beyond the Anti-group: Survival and Transformation" is a courageous book: relentless in its determination to address all facets of human nature, its capacity for denial and destructiveness as well as its ability to generate repair. His treatment of a key topic – the survival of the psychotherapy group - is far-reaching: creative, respectful, probing, poignantly personal, clinically sound, realistic, and ultimately hopeful. Further, the book urges us to keep pace with a rapidly changing world without relinquishing social – as opposed to virtual - communication. It is a must read for all who are concerned that an infatuation with technology and efficiency threaten what is essentially human about us."- Jerome S. Gans, MD, Associate Clinical Professor, Harvard Medical School, Distinguished Life Fellow, American Group Psychotherapy Association & American Psychiatric Association

"All who are serious about the survival and flourishing of both group analysis and our wider world should pay attention to his arguments." - Sasha Roseneil, Professor of Sociology and Social Theory, Birkbeck, University of London, and group analyst

"Morris Nitsun's pursuit of the difficult and uncomfortable aspects of groups adds spice to his enthusiasm and love for what they can offer - and for our all working creatively with groups. His long career as a clinician, particularly in the NHS, adds gravitas and power to his observations and his lucid writing illuminates complex and subtle aspects of group process. And a further delight - his talent as an artist flavours his exploration of the arts, taking the anti-group on a new and exciting adventure. Don't miss it!" - Sue Einhorn, M.Inst GA; Scientific Chair GASI

"This is Morris Nitsun’s most comprehensive text on group analysis to date, a product of his multi-faceted career, including that of successful artist. It is his most original and thoughtful book, refusing to accept conventional wisdom and fashion in group analysis, stepping right outside the box and offering new creative developments in theory and practice. These include opening up to greater interdisciplinary collaboration and looking towards the arts for new directions. This is an extra-ordinary book, refreshing, challenging, critical. Nitsun bravely pushes the frontiers of our field."- Bracha Hadar, clinical psychologist and group analyst in private practice and in Israeli Institute of Group Analysis.