The Skinless Work Group: Facing the Uncertainty of “Resting on a Void”

ISI: The Skinless Work Group: Facing the Uncertainty of “Resting on a Void”


2016 - International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies - Vol 13, N° 1, Pp 65 - 84


This paper examines the conflicts and resistances that contemporary organizations face in the effort of generating new and challenging work opportunities. Assuming the metaphoric and real character of the ‘body of the organization’, different dilemmas that work groups tackle in the generation of collaborative and productive spaces are described. Based on a socioanalytic consultancy carried out with a group of Reichian body psychotherapists, the study illustrates the complexities to delineate a common strategy and to overcome the threatening porosity and inconsistencies of the ‘institutional skin’. The lack of a body support is particularly paradoxical for a group of psychotherapists that base their therapeutic method on body techniques, and which crystallizes as an institution the place of rejection and exclusion that Reich and the concern for the body have historically occupied. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd


Body; skin; organizational boundaries; Reich

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