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Grupo de trabajo de Nápoles

Autor/autores: Christine Schwankhart-Pérez de Laborda
Fecha Publicación: 30/12/2015
Área temática: .
Tipo de trabajo: 

RESUMEN

El workshop realizado en Nápoles en Octubre de 2014, en el contexto de las experiencias que un número amplio número de terapeutas grupales realizan desde hace varios años en distintas ciudades europeas es ilustrado por la autora, una de las líderes principales de la Asociación EATGA. Los diferentes miembros intervienen en  sus  propias  lenguas  lo  que  crea una confusión que, al margen de producir angustia, facilita la emergencia del inconsciente. La breve narración de los grupos pequeños y amplios que se celebraron en esta experiencia ilustra el poder terapéutico, hasta ahora no suficientemente explorado, de estas experiencias, nacidas de las relaciones nacidas hace más de 25 años de los programas de enseñanza organizados por el Instituto de Análisis Grupal (IGA) de Londres.

Palabras clave: grupos plurilinguales; terapia grupoanalítica

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Avances en Salud Mental Relacional
Advances in Relational Mental Health
ISSN 1579-3516 - Vol. 13 - Núm. 3 ­ Julio 2014
Órgano Oficial de expresión de la Fundación OMIE
Revista Internacional On-Line / An International On-Line Journal

GRUPO DE TRABAJO DE NÁPOLES
EATGA WORKSHOP NAPLES
Christine Schwankhart-Pérez de Laborda
info@laborda.org
RESUMEN
El workshop realizado en Nápoles en Octubre de 2014, en el contexto de las experiencias que un
número amplio número de terapeutas grupales realizan desde hace varios años en distintas ciudades
europeas es ilustrado por la autora, una de las líderes principales de la Asociación EATGA. Los diferentes
miembros intervienen en sus propias lenguas lo que crea una confusión que, al margen de producir
angustia, facilita la emergencia del inconsciente. La breve narración de los grupos pequeños y amplios
que se celebraron en esta experiencia ilustra el poder terapéutico, hasta ahora no suficientemente
explorado, de estas experiencias, nacidas de las relaciones nacidas hace más de 25 años de los
programas de enseñanza organizados por el Instituto de Análisis Grupal (IGA) de Londres.
Palabras clave: Grupos plurilinguales. Terapia grupoanalítica.
ABSTRACT
The author summarizes the content of EATGA workshop October 10th to 12, 2014. It took place in
Palazzo Zapata in the centre of the old city of Naples. The small group membership changed at each
session. Each small group had a different composition of members, normally about 10. During the
experience the members were all changed around so that we had the opportunity of being with nearly
each person of the workshop (70 persons) at least once in a group. The dynamics of the small and of the
large groups are described.
Keywords: Multilingual groups. Group analytic therapy.

© 2014 CORE Academic, Instituto de Psicoterapia

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Grupo de trabajo de Nápoles
The workshop started the October 10th in Palazzo Zapata in the centre of the old city of Naples. The
building had seen better days. We could climb up to the third floor to take a very special old elevator
with coin service. In the hall of the third floor we received our documents for the workshop with our
timetable.
Other towns with psychotic elements were mentioned like Vienna, where the psychot ic is better under
control. How to cure the psychotic elements? For me, it was a very dense experience, all this material of
madness in the first group.
The workshop started the October 10th in Palazzo Zapata in the centre of the old city of Naples. The
building had seen better days. We could climb up to the third floor to take a very special old elevator
with coin service. In the hall of the third floor we received our documents for the workshop with our
timetable.
Other towns with psychotic elements were mentioned like Vienna, where t he psychot ic is better under
control. How to cure the psychotic elements? For me, it was a very dense experience, all this material of
madness in the first group.

SETTING
The setting was different from previous workshops. In Naples the small group membership changed at
each session. Each small group had a different composition of members, normally about 10. The
conductors stayed in the same room, the members moved, so the leaders had to conduct each group
with different members. During the experience we were all changed around so that we had the
opportunity of being with nearly each person of the workshop (70 persons) at least once in a group.
`Our' floor, which was normally the home of the Institute of Artists of Naples, was divided into two
parts. The left one was restored and the right one was in a state of abandonment which left me feeling
like an occupant, or as though the actual group was doing a sit-in. The name of the rooms had
wonderful names, which later on, I discovered are names of neighbourhoods in Naples like Sanitá,
Vomero etc.

FIRST SMALL GROUP
It was difficult to switch the lights on, and to find the right room as though we should experience some
`enlightenment' but in the end it worked.

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Grupo de trabajo de Nápoles
Ruth Waldvogel, my first group conductor had to struggle with three young students and with us `oldies'
who formed part of the group of ten. Different associations of members about psychiatric hospitals,
madness came up and were treated. Carpe diem, vivere la giornata. People (specially in Naples) don't
think very much about natural events such as an eruption of `the' volcano.
Did one part of the palazzo represent the sane part of ourselves, the other side the obscure insane,
psychotic part of us? This dichotomy reminds me to Matte Blanco's bilogic thinking (1975). In former
times the psychically ill persons were separated from the others. I, personally, had the sensation like
being in Havana/Cuba, where all these marvellous old palazzi are uncared for and crumbling.
Each town, in any place, is not only one town, has always several faces. Perhaps Naples is a metaphor of
the polymorph. The expansion of the town is without limits (diseminata). Plato treated the subject of
the town en miniature. La ville-état de Machiavelli (1513) was named.
Some of the participants could not understand very well because of language problems or the loudness
of the voices. It seemed like a dialogue of confusion (so called stille Post or dialogo de besugos in
German or Spanish) which made some of us laugh. Each person continued speaking about what he
seemed able to catch of the conversation.
The anxiety living near to Vesuvius was not only outside; it was the anxiety in us.

LARGE GROUP FRIDAY EVENING 10TH OCTOBER
Nobody understood anything. The acoustics in the Genaro room were very bad. Words (parole) didn't
make sense and thus lost the emotional force/impetus. The experience of mourning, the melancholy
inside and in between these 60 or 70 people happened all together. The group was seen as the town,
the social distance between one another. The pictures on the wall let us see that this wonderful room
gave us a historical frame and could fill our emptiness. The Baroque power, missing the space of silence
and reflection, sanitá and souffrance (health and suffering). Our Italian large group conductor Guelfo
always needed to have the last word, la ultima parola.

GROUPS ON SATURDAY 11TH
One member, a woman in her thirties told us in the small group her experience of this morning with her
son, 9 years old, who wanted to play a virtual game with her: survival or construction. The mother
replied: construction, but she didn't know the rules. Was this also present in the group? What was
meant by survival? Another woman told us a dream she had this morning:
A four years old boy came to the room, remained in the door looking at his mother.

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This is also a group dream.there are a lot of rooms here to explore and also in our inside. Bion's basics
assumptions (1990) like uncertainty, fight/flight, fusion and to have a child, you can find everything in
this dream.
In the next large group, in the big room Genaro there were no chairs prepared. To take pictures or
film/video was not tolerated by some members, so the film team went out.
20 minutes of introduction followed by our large group leader Guelfo. San Genaro, like the name of this
room is the saint who bleeds three times a year in a church. The aggression was very present. A boxing
space, as Mary Spreng aptly indicated.
The dream of the four years old boy was told once more in this large group changing the process. Who
was the leader of the group? because Guelfo was not being accepted. Who was the father of the boy?
The young participants didn't speak in the second circle, where they sat. Did the large group leader give
up his role? We couldn't appreciate very much his presence. M. Spreng wanted to give space to the
young people in the inner circle, and certainly, we heard something from them related to anger,
frustration, generations, and anxiety.
During the next small group with Jaak le Roy as group leader in the ugly part of the palace in the so
called room Calvario we experienced our own painting of what we were feeling at that point.
Nearly all of them represented water. Water as a symbol of freedom. Plonger dans l'eau. Tout vivre est
survivre. On survit malgré tout.
The structure didn't contain the feelings, and we had to digest a lot of feelings. In the big room San
Genaro the artistic feelings were more important than ourselves (nous même), the acoustics were so
bad (very much noise outside because of fiesta), but for communication without words we didn't know
each other well enough, we were as strangers to each other.
The next small group took place in the Vomero room with Giovanna Cantarella as group conductor. The
feeling was quite different. During the `white night' of Vomero (it was this night) you pay for two coffees,
then you take one and the other goes as a `gift', this second coffee is for another person who has
difficulties and to show solidarity. But, as somebody explained to us, the Mental Health Day services
were not represented in this `white night'. Was it a problem of power? In this small group Resnik was
present, one of the older professionals who came from Paris as our main speaker. We appreciated his
presence; he alternated languages according to whom he was speaking, Italian, Spanish, English and
French. Silvia Amati and he had tense moments in the group.

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12th
Less people attended the last day's experience. Loud noise from outside interfered once more with our
communication. The music-therapist proposed to sing instead of speaking. Edith Lecourt, member
of EATGA with her book Le groupe et le sonore (1993) was mentioned, she often came to Naples as
supervisor or organizer of music-therapy experiences. The broken bottles flooded the hall yesterday
in the break. The eruption of the Vesuvius ...something was going on which we couldn't name...
Christoph Rosenberger didn't want to die here...
Munip, one Turkish psychologist from Berlin whom we know from other EATGA experiences in Sicily and
Berlin was on the list but didn't participate. Why? Associations of Islam came up.
The small group reflected the situation of the large group before. The madness of the world is reflected
in the families and vice versal. A more stable frame would have made something more distant for us.
The people of Naples think that they have no choice, they don't have more space. La honte suisse et
allemande was around. There existed power conflicts between the generations, transcultural ones and
also transprofessional problems.
Another dream from the same woman, music therapist and colleague:
She sees her daughter in the bed with a knife. She holds another knife hidden in her hand. But she is
worried, if the daughter can see her knife.
Associations like Medea, Electra and Iphigenia in Greek myths (written by Euripides) arose.
The definition of Utopia is the utopia of the emigration. Emigration is often a change without
change, but often a repetition of the trauma. The myth of the baby, the little boy without power was
turning overtime to have a murdering impulse (knife).
There are a lot of leaders in the large group now.
Further associations of the dreamer: the daughter was represented in the dream by a colleague who
had a break-down in a drug-addiction institution where she works. Psychotic drug experiences can lead to
paranoia and/or murderous aggression. Perhaps this experience is so tiring.
This association of the dream provoked the `coming out' or declaration from Georgia the woman in
the small group who told us the story of her son with the game `survival or construction`: Her father
was the large group conductor which had not been revealed to the rest of the participants till this very
moment. The aim of Iphigenia was to destroy Troy and not to construct something. Coupé la gorge
est sacrifié de Iiphigenie. La image fausse de bebé. Suddenly very important things were spoken out.
The hidden `incest' came out at this moment in the group, and made sense of the process of the earlier

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group experience. The boy did pronounce the problem: survival or construction. But the mother
cannot construct remaining in her own mesh of incest without rules. But in the end there is liberation of
her burden speaking out the secret. The murdering rage of the younger generation (knife) was
expressed by comments such as `it's not worthwhile to communicate with these old people...'
The Calvary Mount is very harmful; the death of Jesus Christ follows after this walk. The experience
we made in the large group was similar to the Calvary Walk?
In the large group the conductor, Guelfo, experienced anxiety, the group as reference point of a body
with different sexes: here we are, what can we do, can we build up an utopia, is it the dream in which we
can project?
Arturo said, it was a tiring experience. I find, it was a bit of everything.

SIDE EFFECTS
The group experience was surrounded by a couple of breaks between the group experience. During lunch
times wonderful Italian food was served in one of the big rooms full of marvellous Neapolitain paintings
and sculptures. We had the occasion to discuss the currencies. Everything was very well organised. We
could walk through the streets full of people, use the funicular where we had a marvellous view on the
top from Vomero over the town and enjoy the hospitality of our organiser Antionio d'Angio in his
gorgeous home and garden in this exceptional town. The words of the poem: See Naples and die!
Neapel sehen und sterben... (Goethe, Italienische Reise,Teil II, 1817)

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
Aspects of the group setting were changed. These changes provoked confusion. We felt partly treated
like little children (sermon of 20 minutes) or like adults without conductor. Problems with the
acoustics and the languages were constant obstacles.
Change generally facilitates psychosis. Should EATGA take the risk? In consequence what happened is that
the large group was the only stable place of the group experience. This was a very unique experience;
the large group gave more stability than usual. The caring organisation could give us sufficient
containment, so in spite of all, we didn't struggle.
We often had to change the room as if you had to be prepared to go to another room for crying or
to emigrate.

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The change provoked the feelings of an emigrant without orientation in us, looking for points of
reference in people or things, often very emotional feelings.
Who in us was the little boy standing on mother's bed or asking to play `survival or construction' or
was he asking for support by his mother smelling the incest? The next dream converted the boy into
a daughter and both, mother and daughter, defended themselves with knives, one secretly and the
other openly with expressions of rage, vengence (venganza) and paranoia.
Nevertheless it was a very rich experience, and I wouldn't like to have it missed. I hope later on, we can
understand more.

REFERENCES
Bion, Wilfred E., Erfahrungen in Gruppen, Frankfurt/M. 1990. Euripides: Iiphigenia auf Taurus, griechische
Mythologie. Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, Italienische Reise, Teil II, 1817. Lecourt, Edith, Analyse de
groupe et Musicotherapie. Le groupe et le sonore, Paris 1993.
Machiavelli; Niccolò: Il principe 1513 (La ville état).
Matte-Blanco, Ignacio, Un unconscious as Infinite Sets. London Karnac, 1975.

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