DEVELOPING A CULTURE FOR CHANGE IN GROUP ANALYTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY FOR MOTHERS AND BABIES

Authors


Address for correspondence: The Anna Freud Centre, 21 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SH. [email: sara.mitchell@annafreud.org]

Abstract

ABSTRACT I take clinical material from a nine-month period in a slow open analytic psychotherapy group for mothers and babies, to illustrate its potential as a therapeutic modality. I describe the process of creating a reliable setting, or ‘group culture’, and its role as a prerequisite for therapeutic change. Vignettes are used, alongside my commentary, to display the passionate involvement between mothers and infants, also with therapists, which develops in a shared therapeutic experience. Relationships formed in this group provide the vehicle for its holding and containing capacity, as members grow up and live through, collapse and recover, re-visit and re-work their internal worlds through the group's weekly action.

I make reference to mothers and babies using titles based on their behaviour. This is an aide-mémoire for the reader's mind which, of course, doesn't mean that each individual behaved only in that way.

Ancillary