The Use of Substitutes—Continuity and the Group-as-a-Whole

Jan Nielsen, Randi Luggin, Bente Thygesen, Søren Aagaard


This article is based on experiences in two group analytic therapy groups during periods where substitutes were used in the absence of the regular therapists. The article’s aim is—by means of examples—to illustrate and discuss how this was experienced by group members, substitutes and therapists.

Considering the group-as-a-whole as the primary therapeutic medium, the article will illustrate how the groups used their substitutes and their regular therapists, how they experienced their roles and functions as well as their symbolic significance. The group-as-a-whole is also considered as the carrier of continuity, i.e. the self-sustaining power of the group and the limits of this is illustrated and discussed in connection with planned versus unplanned substitute periods, showing the importance of preparation when the therapist has to be away and a substitute is used.

TidsskriftGroup Analysis
Sider (fra-til)361-375
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 2009