Democratic Therapeutic Communities (DTC) and Group Analysis (GA) were both born at Northfield, during the Second World War. Group analysis has followed a fairly straight and narrow path since, while therapeutic communities have gone in many different directions - often with group analysts as the source of their vision and power.

The 'Living Learning Experience' (LLE) is a 2½ day experiential workshop that started in its current form in the UK in 1995, and run continuously there - often several times per year - since. About half the staff who run them are group analysts, and all have extensive experience in therapeutic communities. This training workshop has also been translated into equivalent events with the same format, although very different experiences, in different cultures. This includes various parts of Italy, India, Australia, and Portugal; future ones are planned in Canada and the USA.

What's on offer?

To reunite the branches from the roots that were first grown in Northfield, the international staff team - from different countries and continents - wants to offer this experience in Belgrade, as a pre-symposium workshop. Up to 24 members could be accommodated in this 'transient therapeutic community', with four staff members - although, in true TC style, it might not always be possible to tell the members from the staff.

The event always includes on-site accommodation and all meals, and those participating in it will be expected to attend from 11:00 AM Saturday 19 August to 04:00 PM Monday 21 August. In addition to five experiential small groups, there will be community meetings to start and end each day and various other activities in which all the members and staff participate. The exact nature of these will be decided by the community itself: they are usually a creative and spontaneous mixture of domestic tasks, serious talking, and playful activities together.

As an open-ended attempt to capture how this experience compares to 'normal' group analytic practice, a sub-plenary proposal has been submitted to the symposium scientific committee for inclusion in the GASI symposium. This will give the LLE staff and participants the opportunity to discuss the experience, and for other interested GASI delegates to learn about it.

Who is offering?

The LLE is being run by a British Social Enterprise called 'Growing Better Lives CIC', in collaboration with the International Network of Living Learning Experience (INLLE), Hank Nunn Institute (HNI), and Group Analytic Society Belgrade. Staff team: Anando Chatterji, Rex Haigh, Shama Parkhe, Veronica Bailey

Who is it for?

LLEs are highly suitable for frontline and senior staff working in a variety of organizations such as mental health care settings, hospitals, and residential care institutions, children’s services such as shelter homes and schools; forensic mental health settings such as prisons and juvenile homes. They also facilitate the development of healthy working environments in corporate spaces and other group settings.

PRE-SYMPOSIUM WORKSHOP has been canceled

For more information, please contact the local organizing committee.