Recipient of the 2017 Anne Alonso Award for Excellence in Psychodynamic Group Therapy, conferred by the Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health, part of the American Group Psychotherapy Association.

From the Couch to the Circle: Group-Analytic Psychotherapy in Practice is a handbook of group therapy and a guide to the group-analytic model - the prevailing form of group therapy in Europe. The book draws on both John Schlapobersky’s engagement as a practitioner and the words and experience of people in groups as they face psychotherapy’s key challenges - understanding and change.

This book provides a manual of practice for therapists’ use that includes detailed descriptions of groups at work; accounts of therapists’ own experience and the issues they face in themselves and in their groups. The book is devoted to the Group-Analytic model but the other principally psychodynamic models of group therapy - the Tavistock, Interpersonal, Psychodynamic, Modern Analytic and Structural/Systemic models - are brought into a comparative discussion and drawn upon to create an integrated and coherent approach.

The book is divided into three sections:

Foundations – aimed at practitioners using groups of any kind and working at every level, including those providing supportive psychotherapy and providing groups for psychosis, trauma, the elderly, people at risk, the elderly and children;

The Group-Analytic Model – defines the group-analytic model at a basic and advanced level;

The Dynamics of Change – aimed at group analysts, psychotherapists and psychologists providing short-term psychotherapy and long-term group analysis

The book is illustrated with clinical vignettes including incisive, instructive commentaries to explain the concepts in use. It is intended for those seeking psychotherapy, whether to resolve personal problems or to find new sources of meaning in their lives. It is also intended for policy-makers in mental health, students of different models of psychotherapy and the psychosocial field. The comparative discussion running through the text about methods and models of practice will likely be of interest to the wider mental health and psychotherapy fields.

The author draws together the inherited wisdom of group analysis since Foulkes’ time and makes his own lasting contribution. From the Couch to the Circle will be an invaluable, accessible resource for psychotherapists, psychoanalysts, psychologists, family therapists, academics, psychologists, mental health practitioners, academics and teachers in psychotherapy.

chapter |28 pages


part I|192 pages


chapter 2|25 pages

Psychotherapy's three dimensions

Relational, reflective, reparative

chapter 4|23 pages

The language of the group

Monologue, dialogue and discourse in group analysis

chapter 6|42 pages

The range of applications in ten studies

Duration, frequency, setting

chapter 7|21 pages

Methods applications and models

The group-analytic model and its contemporaries

part II|104 pages

The group-analytic model

chapter 8|12 pages

A group's three dimensions

Structure, process and content

chapter 9|12 pages


Dynamic administration, composition, selection

chapter 10|31 pages


Concepts and applications

chapter 11|23 pages


Key questions about narrative, discourse and the voice of the symbol

chapter 12|24 pages

The conductor

Convenor, therapist and group member

part III|150 pages

Dynamics of change

chapter 13|31 pages

Four domains of communication

Current, transference, projective and primordial

chapter 16|22 pages

Metaphors and metamorphosis

Symbols, transition and transformation

chapter 17|19 pages

Location, translation, interpretation

The heart of the group-analytic model