In November 2021, a group of 30 professional counsellors celebrated their graduation from a special international course delivered by the Institute of Group Analysis (IGA) over a period of 18 months. Convened by Anne Morgan, with the support of Justin Phipps and MJ Maher, all of whom are experienced Group Analysts, the course has developed the skills and capacity of the local counsellors to use group analysis in their mental health interventions.
The participants are all mental health professionals from 9 different organisations including ARCT-Ruhuka, Sociotherapy and SURF’s local partner organisation, AVEGA Agahozo. The training will help the participants to use groups to help people with mental health and emotional concerns across different parts of the country where these organisations are operating. Participants are now able to:
▪ Recognise the effect of group dynamics upon self and others
▪ Have increased self-awareness and self-reflexivity
▪ Understand group dynamics from a Group Analytic perspective
▪ Recognise how group dynamics relate to the context of the setting
▪ Recognise and use theoretical language and concepts specific to Group Analysis
▪ Understand the meaning of fundamental Group Analytic terms
▪ Understand psychoanalytic theory in relation to group development
▪ Understand how context impacts upon group dynamics in clinical and organisational settings
▪ Link Group Analytic theory with practice
Group Analysis is a powerful therapeutic medium that focuses on the relationship between the individual and the group, emphasising the essentially social nature of the human experience. As a method of treatment, group analysis offers an approach that recognizes how emotional, behavioural and psychological phenomena emerge in the context of our social groups. Carefully constituted analytic groups have a long record of helping people with personal problems and in promoting personal development.
The need for psychological support in Rwanda is great as a result of the genocide and yet there is a limited number of qualified and experienced psychologists. This training has enabled the counsellors to acquire skills that will improve their mental health support services to the people of Rwanda, and in particular survivors of the genocide.
This is one of a number of courses that the IGA has delivered in Rwanda since our partnership began in November 2014 after it was identified that psychologists and professionals working in mental health would benefit from training in therapeutic groups. To date, 50 participants have completed the IGA Foundation Course, of which 10 have subsequently completed the Intermediate Course.