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Looking Again At The Team Dimension In Systemic Psychotherapy: Is Attending To Group Process A Critical Context For Practice?

G. Clarke, A. Rowan
Published 2009 · Psychology

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Team work and group supervision are essential features of the systemic model, yet there is surprisingly little literature on the impact of group process on both group supervision and team-based therapy. Beginning with two vignettes which evoke some aspects of group process and are based on the personal experiences of the authors, this paper will review the literature on working in teams from within a systemic perspective.1Early models of teams and group processes within the literature will be criticized for their over-reliance on technique; more recent models for their over-reliance on collaboration. It will be argued that some systemic approaches to understanding teams can lead to group process issues becoming marginalized and covert, and therefore inevitably more difficult to address. However, viewing supervision groups as ‘social constructions’ is seen as a position offering more possibilities and, it will be argued, opens a pathway to embracing ideas from within psychoanalytic thinking on group process. Here ideas on group functioning, including the theories of, for example, Foulkes and Bion will be briefly reviewed and their implications for helping both supervisors and teams conceptualize group process discussed.
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