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From Psychoanalysis to the Group

This volume gathers a selection of psychoanalytic and group analytic essays by Trigant Burrow (1875-1950), precursor of group analysis and co-founder of the American Psychoanalytic Association. They show the development of the relational orientation in psychoanalysis, and the origin and evolution of group analysis, namely, from drive to the relation and the group processes as the person's structure.The events that led Burrow from psychoanalysis to group analysis, the censorship of the psychoanalytic orthodoxy, the silence of group analysis and the distortions of historiography are reported in the editors' introductory essay.The book presents the richness and originality of the theoretic, clinical, and methodological themes developed by Burrow either in the psychoanalytic or the group analytic fields. Such themes are still questioned and the object of study, among which stands out for its topicality the Principle of Primary Identification of the infant with the mother which Burrow connected to the study of narcissism, homosexuality, and incest, besides the relativity of consciousness which implies the abrogation of the absolutistic conception inherent in the observation as a mirror of reality, and the observer-analyst's neutral position.The book represents a work of significant value on the historical, epistemological, theoretic-clinical-methodological, and social aspect, as it evidences the relevancy and topicality of Burrow's research, from which one may draw new clinic-theoretic proposals to face the unsolved problems of our time.
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About the Author

Edi Gatti Pertegato, Psy.D., training in psychoanalysis and group analysis, is interested in precocious developmental processes, the role of the environment, and research on psychoanalytic-group analytic history. She used to deal with expert reports for the Italian law courts and was responsible for the Foreign Section of the Rivista Italiana di Gruppo Analisi. She is a founder-member of the European Journal of Psychoanalysis, fellow and supervisor of the Italian Group Analytic Society, full member of the Group Analytic Society, member of the American Group Psychotherapy Association and the Association of Group Psychotherapy, and author of many articles and books on psychoanalysis and group analysis. Giorgio O. Pertegato, M.D., psychiatrist, training in psychoanalysis and group-analysis integrated by the phenomenological approach. He has worked in family psychotherapy and with people with drug addiction, and since 2000 has worked in the Mental Health Department of ULSS 12 of Venice, where he specifically deals with rehabilitation and self-help promotion of psychotic patients through group techniques, including the conduction of a group of 'voices hearers'. He has collaborated on articles and books on psychoanalysis and group analysis.


'Trigant Burrow is a forgotten pioneer of group and social psychology whose exploration of humankind's self-destructive tendencies is of the utmost relevance in today's world. In From Psychoanalysis to Group Analysis: The Pioneering Work of Trigant Burrow, Edi Gatti Pertegato and Giorgio Orghe Pertegato offer us an important reminder of Burrow's long-neglected research on group analysis, which embodied a social conception of human beings, a study of their interactive behavior within the community, and an innovative tool to overcome conflict in favour of cooperation and solidarity.'- Steven Rosen, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York, and member of the Board of Directors of the Lifwynn Foundation'Trigant Burrow, philosopher of the mind and pioneer of group analysis, was a man ahead of his time. His revolutionary ideas on the social nature of the person and the healing properties of groups anticipated the work of later figures like S.H. Foulkes and many others, but jarred with the psychoanalytic establishment of the day, whose members edged him into obscurity. It has taken several decades for Burrow's voice to be heard again. Now, thanks to the rigorous and painstaking work of reconstruction by the authors of this book, his radical therapeutic techniques and his all-embracing optimism for group therapy have come to light with a relevance which astonishes.The authors have located Burrow in his social context through their compilation of essays and commentaries which bring him to life with refreshing veracity. Coupled with this they have faithfully reproduced his key papers, allowing the man to speak for himself. True to the spirit of group analysis, they have enabled the silence surrounding Burrow's work to be broken and in so doing they have advanced our understanding of the therapeutic nature of groups. At last, almost ninety years after his enlightened break with traditional psychoanalysis, Trigant Burrow has found champions for his beliefs. This is a book in which the past speaks to the future with prophetic wisdom.'- Dr Harold Behr, consultant psychiatrist, training group analyst, Institute of Group Analysis, London, and former editor of Group Analysis, The International Journal of Group-Analytic Psychotherapy

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