Secrets in the Analytic Group

Yael Doron, Liat Warhaftig-Aran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Secrets are common, universal, and not pathological. But, holding secrets may damage the work of an analytic group. We believe that secrets may be considered much like dreams; they can reveal important unconscious material, which constitutes both a challenge and an opportunity for the conductor and the group-as-a-whole. Secret telling, like dream telling, may facilitate a sense of closeness and belonging, and could be understood as a request for containment. Moreover, secrets represent a path toward discussing unconscious material about an individual, and at the same time they may express a group’s secret. In addition, some secrets can arouse intense affect in the group, a quality we call “dark unconscious materials.” Once explored in the group through free-floating discussion, a new meaning is reconstructed, leading to a sense of acceptance and transformation from shame and guilt to a new feeling of courage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-146
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Group Psychotherapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The American Group Psychotherapy Association, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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