self in group work
article on psychoanalysis in social work ("Coursework,"
June/01) vividly reminded me of the one seminar I took from Bruno
Bettelheim (Theory of Group Work) when I was a master's student
in anthropology in 1956. I can still hear his distinctive voice
telling us that we had too much knowledge and too little skill,
so his goal was to affect our "attitude." This involved
confronting us with a series of readings and cases involving ethical
dilemmas, and questioning us about how a "decent person"
would act in such situations. His goal was to make us aware of
the degree to which we unconsciously defended our selves (the
"I," not the "ego") against threatening aspects
Bettelheim has been widely criticized, I feel that this seminar
and a course of his I audited (when I should have been preparing
for my exams in anthropology) were the most significant learning
experiences of my Chicago studies.
K. Bock, AM'56
Albuquerque, New Mexico