Baltic Training Project in Group Analysis
… is how Estonia got to know about Group Analysis. So to start the story from the beginning, lets tell the story.
Group Analysis has started to spread from England after WW II to Germany and further to Scandinavian countries. The main goal of the Baltic Training Project in Group Analysis (BTPGA) was to bring the professional culture of Group Analysis in Baltic countries and to achieve the level of professionals able to implement their skills and knowledge in practice, educate other professionals, to introduce and train other close professionals (nurses, educators, representatives from legal system) and to create network for scientific, practical and tutorial exchange in Baltic countries.
The first Introductory Course in Group Analysis for the mental health professionals from three Baltic countries was held in Vilnius at 1995-1996 as the result of joint efforts of Institute of Group Analysis (Oslo) and Lithuanian Group Psychotherapy Association. The program got moral support from Lithuanian Health Ministry, Vilnius University, Lithuanian Medical and Psychiatric Associations and in the subcommittee for Baltic countries of Nordic Psychiatric Joint Committee and financial support was received from the Norwegian Council of Mental Health.
Three members of Institute of Group Analysis (Norway) – Steinar Lorentzen, Tore S¸rlie and Kjersty Lyngstad – conducted the introductory course of training for 31 psychiatrists (MD) and psychologists (MA) from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. As 29 participants completed the first year and the program got highly positive evaluation there was high need for continuation of the project.
The Nordic Council financially supported next two years of the project on the Advanced level of training in 1997-1999. The project extended with participation of Vivi Maar from Institute of Group Analysis and Family Therapy of Copenhagen, Denmark and became the five countries project with 5 trainers and 36 participants. Lithuanian Psychotherapy Society took the leading role as co-ordinating and hosting organisation. During third year of the BTPGA two Lithuanian trainers – Erna Petkute and Eugenijus Laurinaitis were approved by Institute of Group Analysis (Oslo) as affiliated teachers in the project and started their activities in the course. In this way the network was established both on the level of trainees, and on the level of teachers.
Further about BTPGA structure, project evaluation and outcome from: Lorentzen S., et al. (1998). Block training in Group Psychotherapy in the Baltic States in Group Analysis. Group Analysis, Vol. 31, No. 3.
Estonian Group Analytic Society (EGAS)
Estonian Group Analytic Society (EGAS) was founded as a Society for Group Analytic trainees at 2004.
The training program for these trainees was composed as a block training program consisting of three major categories as Intoductory Course (1 year: 5 training blocks); Basic Course (2 years: 10 training blocks); Qualification Course (2 years: 10 training blocks). These courses were organized and conducted for mental health professionals in Estonia by Eugenius Laurinaitis with his colleagues from Lithuanian Group Analytic Society and as a result of these courses was founded EGAS.