The extended unconscious group field and metabolization of pandemic experience: dreaming together to keep cohesion alive

Submitted: June 19, 2022
Accepted: November 28, 2022
Published: December 29, 2022
Abstract Views: 652
PDF: 326
HTML: 16
Publisher's note
All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.

Authors

Working with dreams in groups allows an understanding of phenomena that characterise the unconscious as a total unity. The dreamer becomes the vehicle of emotions, fantasies, and anxieties that dominate the group at a given moment, allowing them to be understood and processed. The analysis of shared dreams can further our understanding of emotional concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its psychological repercussions. Six sessions of social dreaming were conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic period. Our aim was not to investigate differences between and within groups: the analysis was performed by identifying the core themes encompassing the contents of dreaming sessions, as products constructed by and within groups that are informative of society’s collective unconscious more broadly. The narratives were transcribed and thematic analysis was performed with the support of Atlas.ti software. Three main themes were identified: i) nightmares’ descriptions and the links with the COVID-19 pandemic; ii) loss of control within the unexpected outbreak: the pandemic as a learned helplessness context and environmental mastery as an emergent psychological issue; and iii) recalls of the child-past as continuity-makers within the continuity-breaking pandemic present. Through the qualitative analysis of dream narratives, we identified the links between individuals and the shared field. It is arguable that, by sharing dreams, the members of the group develop meanings useful to process the painful experience that unites them, as the three main themes show.

Dimensions

Altmetric

PlumX Metrics

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Citations

Acenowr, C. P., & Coles, M. E. (2021). OCD during COVID-19: understanding clinical and non-clinical anxiety in the community. Psychiatry Research, 300, 113910. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2021.113910 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2021.113910
Anzieu, D. (1999). Le groupe et l’inconscient. L’imaginaire groupal. Paris: Dunod
Asmundson, G. J. G., & Taylor, S. (2020). Coronaphobia: Fear and the 2019-nCoV outbreak. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 70, 102196– 102196. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2020.102196. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2020.102196
Berger, R. (2015). Now I see it, now I don’t: Researcher’s position and reflexivity in qualitative research. Qualitative research, 15(2), 219-234. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468794112468475 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1468794112468475
Bion, W. R. (1965). Transformations. London: Maresfield Reprints
Borghi, L., Cassardo, C., Mingarelli, E., & Vegni, E. (2021). The relevance of social dreaming for action research: exploring jail workers’ unconscious thinking of the changes in the prison organization. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process, and Outcome, 24(2), 165-175. https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2021.542 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2021.542
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77–101. https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa DOI: https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2012). Thematic analysis. In H. Cooper, P. M. Camic, D. L. Long, A. T. Panter, D. Rindskopf, & K. J. Sher (Eds.), APA handbook of research methods in psychology, Vol 2: Research designs: Quantitative, qualitative, neuropsychological, and biological. (pp. 57–71). Washington: American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/13620-004 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/13620-004
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2013). Successful qualitative research: A practical guide for beginners. sage.
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2019). Reflecting on reflexive thematic analysis. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 11(4), 589–597. https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2019.1628806 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2019.1628806
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2021a). Can I use TA? Should I use TA? Should I not use TA? Comparing reflexive thematic analysis and other pattern‐based qualitative analytic approaches. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 21(1), 37–47. https://doi.org/10.1002/capr.12360 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/capr.12360
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2021b). Conceptual and design thinking for thematic analysis. Qualitative Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1037/qup0000196 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/qup0000196
Bluck, S. & Alea, N. (2008). Remembering being me: the self-continuity function of autobiographical memory in younger and older adults. In F. Sani, (Ed.). Self-continuity: Individual and collective perspectives (pp. 55-70). New York: Psychology Press.
Bluck, S., & Liao, H. W. (2013). I was therefore I am: Creating self-continuity through remembering our personal past. The International Journal of Reminiscence and Life Review, 1(1), 7-12.
Canetti, D., Hirschberger, G., Rapaport, C., Elad‐Strenger, J., Ein‐Dor, T., Rosenzveig, S., Pyszczynski, T., & Hobfoll, S. E. (2018). Collective trauma from the lab to the real world: The effects of the holocaust on contemporary Israeli political cognitions. Political Psychology, 39(1), 3-21. https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12384 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12384
Charbonnier, E., Trémolière, B., Baussard, L., Goncalves, A., Lespiau, F., Philippe, A. G., & Le Vigouroux, S. (2022). Effects of an online self-help intervention on university students’ mental health during COVID-19: A non-randomized controlled pilot study. Computers in Human Behavior Reports, 5, 100175. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chbr.2022.100175 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chbr.2022.100175
Correale, A., & Neri, C. (1999). Psicoanalisi e gruppo. In Berti Ceroni G., Correale A., (a cura di). Psicoanalisi e psichiatria. Milano: Raffaello Cortina.
De Jong, E. M., Ziegler, N., & Schippers, M. C. (2020). From shattered goals to meaning in life: life crafting in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Frontiers in psychology, 2648. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.577708 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3656964
Domhoff, G. W. (1996). The continuity between dreams and waking life in individuals and groups. In G. W. Domhoff (Ed.), Finding meaning in dreams. emotions, personality, and psychotherapy (pp. 153–190). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-0298-6_8 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-0298-6_8
Friedman, R., Neri, C. & Pines, M. (2002). Dreams in Group Psychotherapy theory and technique. London: Jessica Kingley Publishers.
Foulkes, S. H. (1948) Introduction to Group-Analytic Psychotherapy. London: Heinemann.
Fitzpatrick S. (2003). Theatre of dreams: Social Dreaming as ritual/yoga/literature machine. In: Lawrence W.G. (a cura di), Experiences in Social Dreaming. London, Karnac Books.
Gaburri, E. (1999). Costellazioni oniriche e campo gruppale. Funzione Gamma, 2.
Giovanardi, G., Fiorini Bincoletto, A., Baiocco, R., Ferrari, M., Gentile, D., Siri, M., Tanzilli, A., & Lingiardi, V. (2022). Lockdown dreams: Dream content and emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic in an italian sample. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 39(2), 111–126. https://doi.org/10.1037/pap0000385 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/pap0000385
Kaës, R. (2016). Link and transference within three interfering psychic spaces. Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 6(2), 181-193. DOI: https://doi.org/10.33212/cfp.v6n2.2016.181
Kaës, R. (2012). Le Malêtre. Paris: Dunod. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3917/dunod.kaes.2012.01
Kaës, R. (2010). Il lavoro dell'inconscio in tre spazi della realtà psichica. Un modello della complessità. Rivista di Psicoanalisi, 56(3), 671-685.
Kaës, R. (2002). La polyphonie du rêve. L’expérience oniriquecommune et partagée.
Kaës, R. (2001). L'analogie du groupe et du rêve: implications et développements. Psychologie clinique et projective, (1), 3-16. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3917/pcp.007.0003
Kaës, R. (1999). “Fotolinguaggio, medium e mediazione”. In Vacheret, C. (2008a). (a cura di), Foto, gruppo e cura psichica: Il Fotolinguaggio come metodo psicodinamico di mediazione nei gruppi. Liguori Editore, Napoli
Killgore, W. D. S., Cloonan, S. A., Taylor, E. C., & Dailey, N. S. (2020). Loneliness: A signature mental health concern in the era of COVID- 19. Psychiatry Research, 290, 113117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. psychres.2020.113117. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113117
Kokou-Kpolou, C. K., Megalakaki, O., Laimou, D., & Kousouri, M. (2020). Insomnia during COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown: Prevalence, severity, and associated risk factors in French popula- tion. Psychiatry Research, 290, 113128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. psychres.2020.113128. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113128
Hirschberger, G. (2018). Collective trauma and the social construction of meaning. Frontiers in psychology, 1441. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01441 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01441
Jung, C. G. (1928). Contributions to analytical psychology. New York: Harcourt Brace
Khan, A. S., Baloch, B. A., Shahzad, F., & Tahir, M. S. (2020). Feelings of Loneliness, Learned Helplessness and Depression during COVID-19 forced lockdown in Pakistan. Journal of Professional & Applied Psychology, 1(2), 62-69. https://doi.org/10.52053/jpap.v1i2.16 DOI: https://doi.org/10.52053/jpap.v1i2.16
Lawrence W.G. (2005). Introduction to Social Dreaming. London: Karnac Books.
Lawrence, W. G. (2003). Experiences in social dreaming. London: Karnac Books Ldt.
Lawrence, W. G. (1998). Social dreaming@work. London: Karnac Books Ldt.
Lo Verso, G., & De Blasi, M. (2011). Gruppoanalisi soggettuale. Milano: Raffaello Cortina
MacKay, C., & DeCicco, T. L. (2020). Pandemic dreaming: The effect of COVID-19 on dream imagery, a pilot study. Dreaming, 30(3), 222–234. https://doi.org/10.1037/drm0000148 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/drm0000148
Mahmud, A. & Castro-Kemp, S. (2022) “Lost All Hope in Government”: Learned Helplessness of Professionals Working in Specialised Education Settings in England During COVID-19. Front. Educ. 7:803044. doi: 10.3389/feduc.2022.803044 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2022.803044
Marinelli S., & Neri C. (2011). Il Gruppo esperienziale. Milano: Libreria Cortina
Marmarosh, C. L., Forsyth, D. R., Strauss, B., & Burlingame, G. M. (2020). The psychology of the COVID-19 pandemic: A group-level perspective. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 24(3), 122. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/gdn0000142 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/gdn0000142
Marogna, C., Montanari, E., Contiero, S., & Lleshi, K. (2021). Dreaming during COVID-19: the effects of a world trauma. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process, and Outcome, 24(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2021.541 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2021.541
Matte Blanco I. (1988). Thinking, Feeling and Being. Clinical Reflections on the Fundamental Antinomy of Human Beings. London, Routledge.
Neri, C. (2002). Libere associazioni, catene associative e pensiero di gruppo. Rivista di Psicoanalisi, 48(2), 387-402.
Neri, C. (2017). Gruppo. Milano: Cortina.
Özcan, C. (2008). Oliver Stone's World Trade Center as a representation of the collective trauma of 9/11. Hacettepe Üniversitesi Edebiyat Fakültesi Dergisi, 25(2).
Palgi, Y., Shrira, A., Ring, L., Bodner, E., Avidor, S., Bergman, Y., & Cohen - Fridel, S., Keisari, S., & Hoffman, Y. (2020). The loneliness pandemic: Loneliness and other concomitants of depression, anxiety and their comorbidity during the COVID-19 outbreak. Journal of Affective Disorders, 275, 109–111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad. 2020.06.036. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.06.036
Penna, C. (2013). O Sonhar Social e o Contar o Sonho: novas vias régias de acesso ao inconsciente?. Cadernos de psicanálise (Rio de Janeiro), 35(29), 11-26.
Pesonen, A. K., Lipsanen, J., Halonen, R., Elovainio, M., Sandman, N., Mäkelä, J. M., ... & Kuula, L. (2020). Pandemic dreams: network analysis of dream content during the COVID-19 lockdown. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 2569. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.573961 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.573961
Rek, S. V., Freeman, D., Reinhard, M. A., Bühner, M., Grosen, S., Falkai, P., ... & Padberg, F. (2022). Differential psychological response to the COVID-19 pandemic in psychiatric inpatients compared to a non-clinical population from Germany. European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience, 272(1), 67-79. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00406-021-01291-7 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00406-021-01291-7
Ryff, C. D. (1995). Psychological well-being in adult life. Current directions in psychological science, 4(4), 99-104. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8721.ep10772395 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8721.ep10772395
Ryff, C. D. (2014). Psychological well-being revisited: Advances in the science and practice of eudaimonia. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics, 83(1), 10-28. https://doi.org/10.1159/000353263 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1159/000353263
Salari, N., Hosseinian-Far, A., Jalali, R., Vaisi-Raygani, A., Rasoulpoor, S., Mohammadi, M., Rasoulpoor, S., & Khaledi-Paveh, B. (2020). Prevalence of stress, anxiety, depression among the general popula- tion during the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review and me- ta-analysis. Globalization and Health, 16(1), 57. https://doi.org/10. 1186/s12992-020-00589-w. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12992-020-00589-w
Sedikides, C., Wildschut, T., Cheung, W. Y., Routledge, C., Hepper, E. G., Arndt, J., ... & Vingerhoets, A. J. (2016). Nostalgia fosters self-continuity: Uncovering the mechanism (social connectedness) and consequence (eudaimonic well-being). Emotion, 16(4), 524. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/emo0000136. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/emo0000136
Sikali, K. (2020). The dangers of social distancing: How COVID‐19 can reshape our social experience. Journal of community psychology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcop.22430 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.22430
Stanley, B. L., Zanin, A. C., Avalos, B. L., Tracy, S. J., & Town, S. (2021). Collective emotion during collective trauma: A metaphor analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualitative Health Research, 31(10), 1890-1903. https://doi.org/10.1177/10497323211011589 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/10497323211011589
Vacheret, C. et al. (2002). Pratiquer les médiations en groupes thérapeutiques. Paris: Dunod.
Voitsidis, P., Gliatas, I., Bairachtari, V., Papadopoulou, K., Papageorgiou, G., Parlapani, E., Syngelakis, M., Holeva, V., & Diakogiannis, I. (2020). Insomnia during the COVID-19 pandemic in a Greek population. Psychiatry Research, 289, 113076. https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113076. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113076
Wang, C., Pan, R., Wan, X., Tan, Y., Xu, L., Ho, C. S., & Ho, R. C. (2020). Immediate psycholog- ical responses and associated factors during the initial stage of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic among the general popula- tion in China. International Journal of Environ- mental Research and Public Health, 17, 1729. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051729 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051729
Winnicott, D. W. (1953). Transitional objects and transitional phenomena—a study of the first not-me possession. International journal of psycho-analysis, 34, 89-97.
Yalom, I. D., & Leszcz, M. (2005). The theory and practice of group psychotherapy (5th ed.). Basic Books.

How to Cite

Marogna, C., Masaro, C., Calvo, V., Ghedin, S., & Caccamo, F. (2022). The extended unconscious group field and metabolization of pandemic experience: dreaming together to keep cohesion alive. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 25(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2022.646