Groups in Transactional Analysis, Object Relations, and Family Systems
Studying Ourselves in Collective Life
Groups are arguably an essential and unavoidable part of our human lives—whether we are part of families, work teams, therapy groups, organizational systems, social clubs, or larger communities. In Groups in Transactional Analysis, Object Relations, and Family Systems: Studying Ourselves in Collective Life, N. Michel Landaiche, III addresses the intense feelings and unexamined beliefs that exist in relation to groups, and explores how to enhance learning, development and growth within them.
Landaiche’s multidisciplinary perspective is grounded in the traditions of Eric Berne’s transactional analysis, Wilfred Bion’s group-as-a-whole model, and Murray Bowen’s family systems theory. The book presents a practice of studying ourselves in collective life that utilizes a naturalistic method of observation, analysis of experiential data, and hypothesis formation, all of which are subject to further revision as we gather more data from our lived experiences. Drawing from his extensive professional experience of group work in a range of contexts, Landaiche deftly explores topics including group culture, social pain, learning and language, and presents key principles which enhance and facilitate learning in groups.
With a style that is both deeply personal and theoretically grounded in a diverse range of studies, Groups in Transactional Analysis, Object Relations, and Family Systems presents a contemporary assessment of how we operate collectively, and how modern life has changed our outlook. It will be essential reading for transactional analysts in practice and in training, as well as other professionals working with groups. It will also be of value to academics and students of psychology, psychotherapy, and group dynamics, and anyone seeking to understand their role within a group.
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. Engaged Research; 2. The Shared Bodymind; 3. Learning and Hating in Groups; 4. Social Pain Dynamics in Human Relations; 5. Looking for Trouble in Professional Development Groups; 6. Maturing as a Community Effort; 7. Groups That Learn and Groups That Don't; 8. The Learning Community; 9. Principles and Practices of Group Work; 10. Closing Reflections; References; Index
N. Michel Landaiche, III, Ph.D., has practiced for 30 years as a psychotherapist and group facilitator. He also provides training and supervision for counselors, therapists, and organizational consultants in his hometown, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, and in Europe.
‘Mick Landaiche has done us all a great service in bringing together his excellent writing on living and learning through groups. For those not familiar with his work, Mick brings his understated style to exploring his longstanding experience of working with groups. Opening with a cautionary hesitation about being in group processes, Landaiche expertly navigates the complexity of group life that, in its unfolding, demonstrates that neither he, nor us as readers, can be anything other than immersed in the business of being together. Transactional analysis had its early history rooted in group work, which whilst innovative in its time, has at times, been overlooked as the central arena in which our practice and training takes place. In this much needed title, Landaiche resets the dial, reminding us of the enduring complexity and promise of what it is to be with others.’ - Giles Barrow, MA, MEd, PGCE, TSTA-Education, author and co-editor of Educational Transactional Analysis (Routledge)
‘Perhaps the best treatise on the nature of collective life that I have ever read. Landaiche brilliantly integrates object relations and other psychoanalytic theories of the mind with Transactional Analysis, family systems theory and the author’s own unique perspectives honed over the course of a lifetime in and out of the treatment room. Indeed, it is the interweaving of personal and theoretical that makes this work unique and compelling, providing the reader with both an overview and deeply sophisticated understanding of the complex nature of groups. This book will be of great value to anyone with an interest in how we learn, lead and function in groups—psychotherapy, classroom, societal and the gamut.’ - Steven Kuchuck, DSW, President of IARPP, the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy; editor of the Gradiva Award-winning Clinical Implications of the Psychoanalyst’s Life Experience: When the Personal Becomes Professional (Routledge)
‘Michel Landaiche draws up the work of the "three B’s"—Berne, Bion, and Bowen—to offer an understanding of group cultures, group process, and the experience of learning in groups. Written in a voice both clear and humble, this book addresses the somatic, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of group life and work. While the content is rich and stimulating, I found the ways in which Landaiche involves himself deeply and honestly into his own learning in and about groups, an exceptional demonstration of compassion and respect for the other. I hope this book will be translated into French, so that I will be able to recommend it to my students and clients.’ - Isabelle Crespelle, psychologist; psychotherapist; Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst-Psychotherapy; co-founder of the French School of TA; and co-founder and former VP of the French Federation for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy
‘This in a timely compilation of thought and practice about groups and social systems. The author brings his wealth of experience and reflection on the many aspects of conscious and unconscious group process. A must-read for organizational consultants and for any professional who works with the notion that the direction for organizational transformation is already existing in the client organization, only covered by unconscious inhibitions.’ - Servaas van Beekum, Drs, TSTA-Organizations; winner of the 2015 Eric Berne Memorial Award
‘A unique and honest contribution to the field of group work, which respectively integrates the wisdom of the masters with a spirit of contemporary enquiry. The openness, transparency and honesty of Landaiche’s writing reflects the very nature of the paradigm to which he introduces us - one which beautifully encapsulates his passion for and belief in groups, offering us a profound way of grappling with the complexities of being human and living in the world.’- Elana Leigh, BSc, MSc, TSTA-Psychotherapy, President of the International Transactional Analysis Association