Themes and Theoretical Concepts
Much psychoanalytic research and theory indicates that the infant, in his early development, internalizes elements of the surrounding culture. These become part of the Self. They structure the psychic life of the individual and the family, and influence the relationship of the individual and of the group, toward people and groups from foreign cultures. This study is increasingly important in our societies, which are becoming more and more inter -and transcultural and experiencing rapid developments and cultural changes. The relation between the structure of identity and cultural experience is manifested in group processes. It can be observed and investigated by group analytic methods.

Our contemporary society is characterized by migration, current or historical social traumas, conflicts between groups of different cultures, rapid changes in customs and norms in a given society and with the development of relationships between people and groups of different religions, nationalities, social ideologies and geographical blocs. These phenomena have a conscious and unconscious impact on people, families, groups, and institutions.

Several sub-themes are studied by the different working groups:
  • cultural foundation of personality
    It is centered on the unconscious cultural elements in identity and identification and on the processes of individuation and structure of identity in relation to cultural experiences like language, religion, nationality, ethnicity and ideology.
    This research is related to the understanding of processes in therapeutic and social groups. It provides a new dimension to concepts such as the group matrix (Foulkes), transitional space (Winnicott), group psychic apparatus (Kaes), containing and the proto-mental (Bion), group illusion (Anzieu) and the primary belonging group (Rouchy).

  • cultural dimensions of family and group relationships
    Cultural dimensions are consciously and unconsciously determining the relationships inside therapeutic and social groups as well as the relationships and positions inside the families, generations, names.
    Patterns of authority, sibling- and peer relationships also influence the balance of constructive and destructive social-cultural processes . Exploring these dimensions and patterns helps to understand the problems in families and groups in times of rapid changes.

  • transcultural work and clinical experiences
    This sub-theme is concerning the development of adequate answers in the clinical, psycho-social, and education fields to the impact of changes, conflicts, and raptures in the cultural space. The latter are often the source of problems in families of mixed cultures, intergenerational conflicts in migrant families between the first and second generation, difficult integration of individuals and families in a foreign culture, situations of exile or violence of totalitarian regimes, social and cultural traumas in the life and history of the family or group, individual and social psycho-pathology in adolescents and adults, different cultures in the workplace and social context, the functioning of international or transcultural institutions and organizations.

  • transcultural work and institutions
    In institutionalized settings like international associations, organizations, industries people from different cultural backgrounds work together. These cultural differences have to be managed and integrated by individuals, by groups and by the institution itself. This will have consequences for the leadership and management procedures, authority patterns, institutional relationships. In these settings there is a need of understanding of the possibilities of intercultural cooperation in institutions and a need for adequate enabling solutions.

  • transcultural group analysis in relation to other scientific fields
    Transculmral group analysis as it is developed in the EATGA has common fields of research and practice with disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, linguistics, cultural studies.

Links and boundaries to these disciplines are developed