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Groups and Gangs

Tuesday, 04 February 2014

One Day Conference at the Tavistock Centre, London

From deprived housing estates to the world of corporate business, the gang mentality operates at all levels of society, when a group perceives itself as pitted against the rest of the world.

How we can we understand and modify the destructive power that is evident in gangs into
something more benign? This conference coincides with the publication, by Karnac, of Forensic Group Psychotherapy: The Portman Approach. This book is a distillation of the clinical experience at the Portman Clinic, which specialises in the treatment of those with problems of criminality and/or compulsive sexual behaviour.

Therapeutic groups, such as those at the Portman Clinic, provide insight as to the psychodynamic forces that underly the destructive power of such groupings, and techniques to intervene and foster more creative elements.

Participants are invited to hear presentations on the creative and destructive forces in groups, and to join workshops where their own interests, experiences and techniques of group work can be discussed.

This conference is suitable for any professional who works with groups - social workers, youth workers, teachers, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, psychiatric and other nursing staff.

The aims of the day are:


  • To develop a conceptual understanding of what destructive forces transform a group into a gang
  • To develop effective means of intervention in order to mobilise the more positive and healthy aspects of group functioning

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