Group Therapy, Individual Therapy and Supervision Group in “Corona-Days”

Group Therapy, Individual Therapy and Supervision Group in “Corona-Days”

The psychodrama sessions require a physical, close encounter. In the days of the Corona patients express more anxiety, more regressive behaviors and a strong need for holding (Ogdan, 2004).  I believe that my optimism regarding the ability to cope with anxieties, and my persistence on action in spite the virtual conditions, were the most important variables that enabled the therapeutic process to develop. In the interview, I gave an example of a patient’s dream, representing the need for embrace, compassion, warmth and maternal care.  These inner needs are common to all of us in Corona days. The symbols in this dream as well as in other dreams, represent the inner world as well as the collective subconscious  (Jung, 1993; Netzer, 2013).

In the essay “The Dream as The Group Soul Theater” (Rybko, 2004), I emphasized the idea that every voice in the group is also a group voice. At present, the continuity of the sessions is interrupted because of the fear from the corona virous. However, the need for belonging and mutual support, lead to renew face-to-face encounters, instead of the Zoom, although still under limitations. After a while we returned to meet face to face and had to change location to a bigger place, allowing physical distance. Thus, we had to adjust to a new place, to the social distance, and above all, to accept wearing masks.

The secure base had to be reconstructed. Even physical distance of two meters, enabled psychodramatic work that made it easier for the participants. Paradoxically, social remoteness increased support among the participants upon return to face to face meetings. In the first face-to-face encounters, we were entrenched in contact, we had to hug pillows, or send virtual hugs. Alike, Orit Mas-Goldman (2020) emphasizes on the therapist’s ability to bear alienation and to find the emotional closeness within this similar situation.

It is also interesting to note that in my clinic, new patients “declared a break” and actually dropped out. It is assumed that the therapeutic alliance and the unsecure attachment patterns (Bowlby, 1973) also contributed to the premature dropout. Moving to Zoom made it so much more complicated to create safe space for them. In addition, the Covid19-related economic anxiety also contributed to the decision to quit treatment. More about premature dropouts, you can find in the paper:  “Dropouts in the Analytic Group” (Rybko, 2011).

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About the Author

Judith RybkoJudith Rybko, (PhD) I am a Psychodramatist, Group Analyst and Jungian psychotherapist. I recently retired from the Academy after many years of teaching and guiding students in their thesis. I was the head of the psychodrama graduate program at Seminar HaKibutzim College, Tel Aviv. Today, I work at a private clinic with groups and individuals, as a psychotherapist and as a supervisor. The book "First act, then Know: Experiencing and Studying Psychodrama and Group Work" (Rybko, 2018, in Hebrew) describes a group process as a case study. The book includes fourteen chapters , each chapter focuses on a theoretical concept, including Holding and Containing; Resistance; Dreams; Mirroring; Stages of group development etc. It is an integrative, (theoretical as well as -practical) book for those interested in group work and psychodrama, novice and experienced alike. and its practical application.

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