Group psychotherapy is often assumed to be inferior to individual psychotherapy. The author's initial experience of group therapy - as an observer - led her to question this assumption. This work describes the classic analytic group and demonstrates its potential benefits for members. This classic group model is then applied to schizophrenics, couples and multiple family groups, median groups and groups with psychotic and borderline personalities, using examples from the author's own clinical experience to illustrate how group therapy can benefit these populations. The author goes on to examine the role of the analytic group in ethical relating and the development of a sense of duty and moral sensitivity in the light of theories of Money-Kyrle and Piaget. Her conclusion is that the analytic group goes further than Kant in the ethics of interpersonal relating, replacing his listed codes of duty with empathy, reciprocity and love.
Rachael Chazan is a psychiatrist who qualified in London and works in Jerusalem where she also graduated in philosophy. She is a supervisor of the Faculty of Psychotherapy, Tel Aviv University and has chaired the Israel Group Analytic Society.