Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa - latest Issue
Volumes & issues
Volume 24, Issue 2, 2016
Source: Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa 24, pp i –vi (2016)More Less
In this special issue of the Journal of Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa the focus is on psychoanalytically informed group work. In our call for papers we stated that the special issue will focus on publications which describe and critically reflect on innovative applications of psychoanalytic concepts to community-based and group interventions in novel or diverse South African settings. We endeavoured to include papers that are firmly grounded in psychoanalytic theory, show the application of psychoanalytic concepts to community/group interventions, and are critical and reflexive.
Author Katherine BainSource: Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa 24, pp vii –viii (2016)More Less
PPSA is proud to announce the introduction of two annual prizes. The first is the Rika Van den Berg Prize for the best publication written by a first time contributor to PPSA (R 3000). The second is the PPSA Student Prize (including PhD students) for best publication by a student contributor (R 2000 per annum). Decisions will be made by the Editorial Board and prizes awarded at the end of each year.
Author Lisa PadfieldSource: Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa 24, pp 1 –34 (2016)More Less
LifeLine Western Cape is a non-profit organisation in the under-resourced mental healthcare sector which provides an invaluable contribution, both in terms of service delivery and cost-effective training. It makes use of a facilitated, experiential, small closed-group process to offer training to prospective volunteer counsellors. In this article I employ an experience-near vantage point based on my involvement as a facilitator, to reflect critically on LifeLine’s person-centred training methodology. I draw on Bion’s notion of containment, Winnicott’s holding, and Kohut’s empathy as well as fundamental psychoanalytic concepts including the unconscious, the frame and countertransference, to reflect on the training process. I suggest that the value of using psychoanalytic ideas to understand the group process may lie chiefly in the containment it provides for the facilitator. Furthermore I propose that there is perhaps more congruence between these two apparently very different theoretical approaches, than initially meets the eye.
When virtuous (‘deugsame’) women flee : a reflection on dread and flight in group therapy in one South African settingAuthor Lou-Marié KrugerSource: Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa 24, pp 35 –78 (2016)More Less
The literature strongly suggests that low-income South African women are psychologically at risk and that, for various reasons, the treatment of choice should be group therapy. In this paper I reflect on my experience of supervising graduate students’ clinical and fieldwork with women in a low-income semi-rural community. In this community it seems that despite everyone’s good intentions, group participants, therapists and the supervisor have unconscious but unspoken fears regarding the group encounters. I argue that Bion’s notion of the ‘nameless dread’ is useful in understanding the group dynamics that seem to be typical of group therapy in this particular context. Nameless dread is thought to be communicated through projective identification, where therapists and participants constantly but unconsciously ‘nudge’ each other to act out in accordance with their respective internal states. Instead of projections being contained by being metabolized, therapists and participants defend against their anxieties through enactment. The participants do this by not being emotionally present, by literally not attending the group or dropping out of the group (Bion’s ‘flight’ response). Similarly, there are also enactments on the part of the group therapists and supervisor. These enactments often involve an unconscious emotional abandonment of the group, but also consciously deciding to give up on trying to keep a group going. I reflect on whether or how group therapy can be an appropriate psychological intervention for low-income women in South African contexts, but also argue that psychoanalytic theory is useful for understanding the dynamics of such groups.
Expanding the terrain of psychoanalytic practice to diverse group settings in South Africa : possibilities, challenges and future directionsAuthor Jason BantjesSource: Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa 24, pp 79 –102 (2016)More Less
The mental health care landscape in South Africa is characterised by high rates of mental illness and poor access to psychological care. Psychoanalytically-informed group interventions might provide opportunities for psychoanalytically orientated therapists to expand the terrain of their practice in a cost-effective way and reach larger numbers of people in need of psychological care. In this article, I critically present the arguments for and potential problems inherent in employing psychoanalytically-informed group interventions to expand the terrain of psychoanalytic practice in SA. I describe what is meant by psychoanalytically-informed group interventions and consider how expanding the terrain of practice might be achieved by applying psychoanalytic theory in diverse group contexts and training a broader range of practitioners to deliver psychoanalytically-informed group interventions. Two vignettes are used to illustrate these possibilities and highlight how expanding psychoanalytic practice in local group settings might be hindered by problems relating to professionalism and ethics, the need to establish an evidence base for practice, political implications of applying Western theoretical concepts within an indigenous African context, and structural problems with current training models.
Author Wendy CainSource: Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa 24, pp 103 –107 (2016)More Less
Power begins Forced Endings in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis by reflecting on her aged cat’s dismount from sill to sidewalk, wondering how he knows how much longer he can make the perilous leap. As its subject matter the book contends with the nuanced and difficult process of considering and embarking on therapist-led endings and retirement in the psychotherapy process. Using accounts offered by therapists who have imposed endings on patients, whether through retirement, or other forced endings such as maternity breaks and sabbaticals, Power traces a path through various themes of relevance such as the whys and hows of leaving, what is helpful, what is lost and what comes next. The book takes into account the difficult choices that come with leaving a profession which is personally sustaining and intimately linked in with one’s own attachment style and dynamics. While the book has as its focus forced endings, the nature of the writing and the engagement with ideas of attachment theory lead to a subtle, gentle and reflexive gaze that is useful to psychotherapists across the generational divide and in different stages of their careers.