There are multiple meanings to the term 'group-as-a-whole' and all have a contribution. This book emphasizes that the therapist ideally listens with the fourth ear, not only attending to the latent communication of each individual, but also listening for the shared theme of the whole group. Ferreting out the underlying theme that the entire group is dealing with, the common group tension, provides a valuable opportunity for each individual to change the underlying issues that impair his or her relationships. In addition, the author provides a wide ranging coverage of theoretical, clinical, and training issues. These include a clarification of the confusing, but all-important conception of projective identification as well as a contribution to the understanding of the similarities and differences between group and individual psychotherapy. He presents a special perspective on why groups are particularly indicated in dealing with narcissistic pathology and also explores the effect of the therapist's narcissism on his patients. Finally, he emphasizes that therapists' participation as members of experiential groups is an essential part of their training.
Drawing on the seminal ideas of British, European and American group analysts, psychoanalysts, social psychologists and social scientists, the books in this series focus on the study of small and large groups, organisations and other social systems, and on the study of the transpersonal and transgenerational sociality of human nature. NILGA books will be required reading for the members of professional organisations in the field of group analysis, psychoanalysis, and related social sciences. They will be indispensable for the "formation" of students of psychotherapy, whether they are mainly interested in clinical work with patients or in consultancy to teams and organisational clients within the private and public sectors.