DOI: 10.14704/nq.2019.17.1.1918

An Update and Generalization of Group Unconscious Orientation in OMIE1 Group Training for Therapists

Begona Trojaola Zapirain, Federico Carminati, Maria Aranzazu Fernandez Rivas, Miguel Angel Gonzalez Torres, Ernesto Gonzalez de Mendivil, Claire Fouassier, François Martin, Jacques Demongeot, Giuliana Galli Carminati


Introduction: This paper presents an update of a previous study we conducted to explore the presence and behavior of a common orientation among the participants to a group training for therapists via their answers to an “absurd questionnaire”. Having measured a second class of trainees during their training, we are able to compare the results with those obtained by the first measurement.

Methods: As in the previous study, during the training we have submitted to the trainees 11 questionnaires composed of 50 pairs of images asking them to choose one image from each pair. We have then analyzed their initial picture choices and how they evolved over time. We also present the analysis of the combined data of both experiments.

Results: In both experiments we found statistical evidence that both the initial choices of the pictures and their evolution during the training are not simply governed by randomness. The initial picture choice in each pair is highly skewed toward one of the two pictures, and there is a statistically significant change in the picture choice in the first part of the training in both experiments.

Conclusions: The results could be interpreted as a manifestation of group dynamics postulated by Bion with his “basic assumptions”. We see patterns that suggest an initial “honey moon” (dependence from the leader) followed by a “fight-flight” attitude (frustrated dependence from the leader) and finally a “mourning” of the group and of the training experience. In spite of some statistically significant differences between the two experiment, the behavior is largely compatible. Bion himself used to say that “as you never bath yourself twice in the same river, you never enter twice the same group”, being every human assembly unique and singular.


Group dynamics, Entropy, Basic assumptions, Group work, Group orientation

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