1st Edition

The Ecosystem of Group Relations Culture, Gender and Identity in Groups and Organizations

    224 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    224 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The unconscious dynamics that surface in groups when authority is exercised are of paramount importance in Group Relations Conferences; this volume addresses these considerations through research findings and speculation on the future of Group Relations both within conferences and outside of them.

    This is the sixth instalment in a series of books based on Tavistock Group Relations Conferences and contains a collection of papers presented at the sixth Belgirate conference. Combining chapters on theory and practice, this volume delivers a meditation on the relationships between the physical spaces we inhabit or co-create, the psychic, inner or spiritual space and the liminal space in-between. Group Relations provides a window of understanding into why inequity and intergroup hostilities pervade the modern world alongside a method that illuminates how people consciously and unconsciously contribute to these tensions, whether personally, in groups or in organisations.

    This will be an invaluable resource for practitioners, academics, and scholars of Group Relations, as well as managers and organisational members wanting to learn more about how Group Relations methods can contribute to their organisational success.


    Coreene Archer, Rachel Kelly, Gordon Strauss and Joseph Triest


    Susan Long

    Section 1: The Psychoanalytic – Systemic Approach

    1. Unbounded Worlds – A Challenge for Group Relations?

    Shmuel Erlich

    2. The Place Where Psychoanalysts Live: Introducing Group Relations to Psychoanalytic Institutes

    John Lundgren

    3. Nothingness: A group phenomenon or a Seventh Basic Assumption. Does it really matter? Does anything matter at all?

    Daphna Bahat

    Section 2: Social, Political and Spiritual Issues in Group Relations

    4. Transforming the world, Transforming Ourselves: the place for activism and spirituality in group relations

    Rosemary Viswanath

    5. A Call to Consciousness on the Unknown Known of Dominance: Basic Assumption Authority and Basic Assumption Identity Behavior in Group Relations Conferences

    Zachary Green and René Molenkamp

    6. A Nomadic State of Mind: In search for a place to live

    Coreene Archer

    7. Co-Constructing a Society that Promotes Life: An Exploration of the Unconscious Dynamics in Radicalisation Processes

    Joan Roma, Sandra Carrau, David Sierra and Jaume Benavent

    8. In the Shadow of Envy: Shame in Group Relations Conferences

    Ellen L Short, PhD and Janice K Wagner, LICSW

    Section 3: Issues of Practice and Methodology in Group Relations

    9. Polyglossia or Babel? An Exploration of Authority, Innovation, and Identity in Group Relations Conferences

    Diane Forbes Berthoud, Patricia Kummel, Janice Wagner, Schmuel Erlich, and Jack Marmorstein

    10. Exploring Difference – A Group Relations Adaptation

    Fabio D’Apice, John Wilkes and Barbara Williams

    11. At Home at Work and Vice Versa: Exploring the Dynamics of Dual/Special Relationships in Group Relations Conferences and Organisational Life

    Katherine M Zwick and Seth B Harkins

    12. LFA as a Learning Community: Experiencing Living and Learning in the Conference Space and Territory

    Luca Mingarelli, Giada Boldetti, Simona Masnata & Gilad Ovadia

    Section 4: Post-Meeting Reflections

    13. "The father is a little bit crazy and the mother doesn't serve enough nourishing food": Political Correctness in Group Relations

    Yermi Harel

    14. A Home for the Soul: Reflections on Belgirate VI

    Sivanie Shiran


    Coreene Archer is a Principal Consultant and Executive Coach at the Tavistock Institute. Coreene’s interest lies in the study of leadership and identity. Her works have expanded Group Relations ideas to include work with emergent young leaders. Coreene teaches a number of programmes and her work has expanded Group Relations ideas to include work with young and emergent leaders.

    Rachel Kelly is a Principal, Engagement/PR lead, and Group Relations Consultant and at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations. She explores relatedness between the unconscious and consciousness and journeys into the psychophysical by exploring concepts such as embodiment, sensation, and imagination.

    Gordon Strauss is a Psychiatrist who has practiced and taught Group Relations for over 40 years. He is a Fellow and Board member of the A. K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems.

    Joseph Triest is a Training Psychoanalyst (IPS; IPA), Clinical Psychologist and Organisational Consultant. He is the head of the “Freud and Followers Root” at the Tel-Aviv University Psychotherapy Program and past President of the Israel Psychoanalytic Society.

    'For some years now, Belgirate has been the place to gather for the most innovative thinking in the area of group relations. Based on a highly engaging conference at Belgirate, this volume brings together some of the foremost innovators and thinkers in the field. It makes for fascinating reading, and I whole-heartedly recommend it.'

    Mark Stein, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Leadership and Management, University of Leicester and Associate Lecturer in Consultation and Organisation, Tavistock Clinic London, UK

    'This book serves as a transitional space ship, for exploring new territories of Group Relations life, thinking and methodology. Various aspects of (the relationship between) outer physical and inner psychic worlds are being studied thoughtful and reflective. The crew skillfully guides you in crossing several boundaries, (re)visiting conceptual planets, shows comets of practice, bright stars of experience and also leaves enough black holes to grapple with yourself. Fasten your seatbelts for this inspiring flight.'

    Martijn van der Spek, Senior Organisational Consultant and Program Leader Inside Dynamics in Organisations, Utrecht University, the Netherlands