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`This book, part of a series from the International Library of Group Analysis, explores how the theory of group dynamics can be transferred to different areas of counselling, education, small and large group psychotherapy and industry. As an introductory textbook, it aims to present the complex ideas underlying group processes - in particular, psychodynamic theory - in an accessible way using numerous practical examples and anecdotes. The author, an experienced social worker, emphasises the relationship of parts to the whole, looking at the connections between the individual and the group then moving outwards to explore broader social relationships.' - British Journal of Occupational Therapy`In a very short time, Sheila Thompson's book, The Group Context, has become the primary reference material for one of my supervision groups. Her understanding of the group pressures we all live with, and her descriptions of counselling in groups and larger groups, bring theory and practice alive. She looks with great clarity at experiential training, educational groups, teams, institutions, families and individuals.' - Counselling`What are the similarities and differences between group psychotherapy, group counselling, and educational group work? How does the group context determine the way we work with individuals? What do family groups have in common with other kinds of groups, and how does the family group context influence approaches to family therapy? What happens to the group dynamic when groups enlarge? These are the sorts of questions this book asks eloquently and thoughtfully. The questions are answered by means of detailed comparisons and contrasts backed up with illustrative vignettes...The beginner would be hard put to find a better introduction to the work of Foulkes and other pioneers of small group work; Bion, Ezriel, Whitaker, Agazarian, and Abercrombie. The philosophy of each is captured in a few simple paragraphs, leaving the reader to contemplate their respective merits and draw something from each...In the best sense of the term, it stands for a return to basics, an exercise in integrative thinking that provides the foundation for building techniques and methods of group work. It deserves a place in the library of any organisation that hosts groups on its premises. Students and teachers of psychotherapy and counselling will also appreciate its comprehensive sweep and reflective style.' - Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry`The beginner would be hard put to find a better introduction to the works of Foulkes and other pioneers of group work; Bion, Ezriel, Whitaker, Agazarian, and Abercrombie. The philosophy of each is captured in a few simple paragraphs, leaving the reader to contemplate their respective merits and draw something from each. In the best sense of the term, it stands for a return to basics, an exercise in integrative thinking that provides the foundation for building methods and techniques of group work. Students and teachers of psychotherapy and counselling will also appreciate its comprehensive sweep and reflective style.'@QUOTE SOUCE = - Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry'It would be a useful intoduction to anyone interested in working with groups in any setting or for a more experienced practitioner who wanted to update their thinking.' - British Journal of Clincal PsychologyThis introductory book describes the complex ideas integral to group work in a clear and accessible way so as to make them available to a wide readership. Sheila Thompson provides ways to understand the group process and then shows how that understanding can be applied both inside and outside purely therapeutic settings.Starting with the special situation of the psychotherapeutic group, and using models of group dynamics derived from group psychotherapy but valid in other group situations, she shows how concepts and techniques can be transferred from this setting to others - counselling and problem solving, experiential, training and educational groups, work teams and institutions - and from small groups to median groups to large groups, and then to work with families and individuals. Emphasising the relationship of the part to the whole, the individual to the group, the author shows how this concept can usefully be extended to situations where group work is not an option, and where the network remains invisible except for its presence within the mental processes of patient or client and in the interaction with the professional helper.The book will be useful to all those who wish to work more reflectively with their patients or clients.