Rodrigo Barahona (2000) Resistance in the Evolution of a Group of PreOedipal Patients

The purpose of this study is to shed some light on the often complicated dynamics involved in resistance and counterresistance patterns that develop when working with institutionalized preoedipal patients in a group. Although much is written about Group Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, it is my observation that there is not enough material dealing with the psychoanalytic understanding of the functions of resistance in a group of this type, and how resistance influence, directly or indirectly, its early evolution.

The preoedipal patient, as will be seen in this study, has a unique way of resisting that threatens to make group treatment impossible. The setting of a psychiatric unit in a residential home for patients of this type also has its own way of determining whether or not a group like this can exist and evolve into something that benefits its members. This is mostly seen in external resistance, when group members take advantage of the abundance of interfering external events to serve their own resistive purposes.

Treatment Destructive Resistance is by far the most influential in early group life, and this shows itself in many forms, usually in operation with ego, id and external resistances. The group leader’s counterresistance is also a major contributing factor in how the group evolves – and whether or not it stays in existence. In this study, modern psychoanalytic concepts are utilized to better comprehend the most dramatic and repetitive of those resistance patterns, and the group leader’s interventions and reactions.