GASi: the past, the idea, the benefits, the present...


The Aim of GASi

The aim and ambition of the Society is to promote group analysis and its multiple applications in the fields of mental health and other areas of culture and society.

The benefits of GASi membership

The Society works through a number of committees and provides:

  • Participation and contact with a group of prominent members working in the field of group therapy
  • Group Analysis, The International Journal of Group Analytic Psychotherapy. See Publications.
  • Group Analytic Contexts – the online Newsletter for members of the Society. See Publications.
  • Membership of the Forum, an online discussion group with a worldwide list of participants.
  • An International Directory of Members. A List of Members’ Publications Worldwide.
  • Substantial reductions of fees on events and workshops. See Events page.
  • Free Library Facilities. See IGA/GAS Library page. Scientific Meetings. See Events and Past Events pages.
  • The Triennial Symposium.
  • The Autumn/Winter Workshop.
  • The Annual Foulkes Lecture given by internationally distinguished colleagues in the field of group analysis and the associated Study Day following the Foulkes Lecture

GASi’s foundations

The Group Analytic Society International was founded by Dr. E.J. Anthony, Dr. P.B. de Maré, Dr. N. Elias, Dr. S.H. Foulkes, Mrs. E.T. Foulkes, Mrs. M.L. Abercrombie in London in 1952 as a learned society to study and promote the development of Group Analysis in both its clinical and applied aspects. The first regular weekly seminars were given by Foulkes in 1952. Members of the Society come from different countries and from many fields and disciplines, including psychology, psychiatry, sociology, medicine, nursing, social work, counselling, education, industry, forensic and prison services, management and organisational consultancy, architecture, anthropology and the clergy.

The idea

At the heart of Group Analysis is the idea that human beings are fundamentally social beings, whose lives are inextricably linked with other people in manifold ways. The source of personal puzzles that are difficult or impossible to resolve, or behaviors or motives that are difficult to understand, which individuals may encounter in their personal lives and at work, are to be found not only in the dynamics of the groupings that they inhabit in the present, but also in the groups in which all of us are rooted, across time and throughout our development. These groupings include the family, friendship groups, schools and so on. On the basis of this S.H Foulkes, the founder of group analysis, reasoned that as one’s difficulties arise in groups, then these difficulties are best explored, understood and changed specifically in a group context. Foulkes, in the 1950s, proposed that there is no such thing as an individual that exists apart from and outside the social (Foulkes, 1948; Foulkes & Anthony, 1957).

The Present

GAS became GASi in 2011. The Society, which has charitable status (Charity Registration Number: 281387) is a learned society and non-profit organization, holds regular scientific meetings and organizes various workshops. A triennial European symposium is held at various European locations – the next being in Berlin in August 2017. An annual S. H. Foulkes lecture for a wider public has been held in London since 1977 – the 40th was celebrated in 2016 – and the lectures are published in the journal of the Society. Past issues of Group Analytic Contexts, the digital (since January 2016) Newsletter of the Society, are available in full from the Publications section of this site.