About the organisation

Estonian Group Analytic Society (EGAS))

EGAS was founded at 2004 and is a nonprofit organization (NPO) uniting professionals of mental health and other close areas who use group analysis as a one of their practices to work with groups. It aims at promoting, recognizing and development of group analysis theory and practice.
Primary purposes of EGAS are:
– to provide opportunities for dialoque and cooperation with other organizations uniting mental health professionals in a Estonian and International context
– to facilitate the development and extension of training in group analysis in concordant to E.G.A.T.I.N standards
– to provide opportunities for supplement education, supervision, post-graduate education, training programmes and other activities for the mebmers of EGAS
– promoting and sharing the group analysis expertise in different fields of working with groups (e.g. cooperation with mental health, education, business and public sector organizations)

EGAS is an organisational member of:

European Group Analytic Training Institutions Network ( E.G.A.T.I.N ) since 2005 E.G.A.T.I.N webpage
European Federation for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (EFPP) since 2012 EFPP Webpage
… 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) 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.