Introduction and Aims

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This is a new web site and electronic journal. The title may appear excessively abstract, but the context and preoccupations of the enterprises are quite specific. For several years a group of people based in London and Sofia have been working together in an attempt to bring psychoanalytic and related psychodynamic approaches to bear on group, institutional, cultural and political processes. Most work in the helping professions, organizational consultancy and group relations, while some work with ethnic minorities, crisis intervention, sexual abuse and other applied spheres. What brings them together is the conviction that primitive, unconscious, irrational processes play a much larger part in human relations than is usually supposed and that unless full account can be taken of these processes and unless ways can be found to understand and contain them, improved relations are unlikely to ensue at any levels of human interaction from the individual to international relations. In particular, the group has made extensive use of the approaches to human relations developed by Wilfred Bion and others at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, summarised in his Experiences In Groups (London: Tavistock, 1961) and the tradition of group relations and organizational consultancy which has followed on from that work in the Tavistock and elsewhere, in particular, in group relations conferences at Leicester and elsewhere, e.g., America, Israel, Germany, Australia, India. Other approaches, both psychoanalytic and systemic, are also drawn upon, in particular, on the normal role of psychotic anxieties in groups and institutions. Group relations events were held in Sofia in 1992 and 1996, and there was a founding conference of the project in 1995.

The people involved are in the process of setting up an Institute of Human Relations in Sofia with affiliates throughout Europe and, in due course, the world. We have decided to set up this web site and ejournal to make our work better known and to invite others to take part in our deliberations. So far, about a hundred people are taking an active part. They include psychotherapists, psychiatrists, social scientists, organizational consultants, teachers, social workers, activists in race relations and minority rights, counsellors, academics in psychoanalytic studies and management studies. The group is open to anyone sharing its aims, which, loosely defined, include stress on the role of unconscious forces in human affairs and belief in learning from experience rather than didactically. The journal will be edited by

Dr Toma Tomov, Professor of Psychiatry, Medical University of Sofia, Bulgaria, Dr Robert M. Young, Professor of Psychotherapy and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Sheffield, England.

Please see personnel for a complete listing of managing editors and editorial board members.

We will place on this web site papers written by people involved in the project, along with descriptions of our plans and activities and reports on our projects. We also invite contributions from anyone who wishes to submit items. The procedure is that, after initial assessment, these are likely to be placed on the web site for discussion and comment.At some point, the author will be invited to take account of the responses and make revisions. The submission will then, if it is appropriate to do so and if he or she wishes, be subjected to academic peer review for inclusion in the permanent archives of the ejournal and for printing in the hard copy periodical which will be published in due course. Connection to writings which are already on the web at other sites can also be made via hypertext links.

Reading lists and bibliographies, reviews of books and reports and constructive comments of all sorts are also welcome.

The Human Nature Review
Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young - Last updated: 28 May, 2005 02:29 PM

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