Theoretical Considerations

Foulkes (1964), the creator of group analysis, defines group matrix as the network of all communications in a group. It represents the conscious and unconscious expressions between the group members, including the conductor. Foulkes introduced the term conductor which compares the group therapist to the musical conductor, who is not the composer who wrote the music, but the interpreter of the music. The group analyst, or conductor, is part of the group and yet can observe it from the outside. Group matrix is a theoretical construct of the operative dynamic interaction in the group process. It is also possible to approach the group matrix as a creative building process of the web of communications. Like a colorful tapestry, each member participates with his or her special needle and thread color (Rippa, 1998). Emphasizing the creative quality of the matrix, Cortesao (1968) points out that in Latin, "matrix" means a mother, a womb, a place of origin and growth. The group matrix is intimately related to the attitude and contribution of the group analyst.

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