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Siegfried Heinrich Foulkes (1898-1976), born Siegfried Heinrich Fuchs in Karlsruhe, Germany, was the founder of Group Analysis, a specific form of group therapy, and the Group Analytic Society, London, which has an international membership in many countries.


Foulkes studied medicine in Heidelberg and Frankfurt where he graduated in 1923, and for a period of two years he worked and studied with the neurologist Kurt Goldstein. He trained as a psychoanalyst from 1928–30 in Vienna, where his analyst was Helene Deutsch. At the beginning of his professional career Foulkes practised for many years only as a Viennese-trained psychoanalyst. He then returned to Frankfurt, which shared a building with the Institute of Sociology, where he was the director of the Clinic of the newly formed Institute of Psychoanalysis, before going to England in 1933 as a refugee; he then settled there with his wife Erna and his three children and continued to work as a psychoanalyst and became a training analyst. However, in order to do this he had to obtain a British medical qualification and obtain membership of the British Psycho-Analytical Society. In this he was helped by Ernest Jones.

He moved to Exeter in 1939 where he became a psychotherapist in a large psychiatric practice and conducted his first group-analytic psychotherapy group. He was then called up to the army and was posted to the Military Neurosis Centre at Northfield in 1942 where he took part in developing a range of innovative treatments, many of them group based, and he pioneered both group analytic and therapeutic community methods.

After the War he resumed his psychoanalytic practice and he quickly started to conduct group analytic groups in his private practice. He was recognised as a training analyst by the Freudian B Group at the London Institute and obtained an appointment at St Bartholomew's Hospital where he worked until his retirement in 1963. He continued his dual practice in individual psychoanalysis and group analysis until his retirement. However, he continued to work in private practice after his retirement.

Foulkes also had interests in neurology, psychiatry, sociology, and psychology. Foulkes' early work with groups of WW2 soldiers at Northfield Hospitalmarker (UK) contributed to his founding of the Group Analytic Society (GAS) in 1952, based in London and with international membership. He was later instrumental in starting the Institute of Group Analysis (IGA) in 1971 for training practitioners. Both the GAS and the IGA have spawned numerous related professional associations and training bodies in the UK and several other countries. There are now trainings in Scandinavia, Germany, Italy, Greece, Portugal and Russia as well as a number of training centres in the UK.

Foulkes regarded groups as basic to human existence, all individuals being born into social groups (families, cultures, societies) that shape the lifespan continuously in conscious and less conscious ways.

Group Analysis, as a form of psychotherapy, values communication and relationship, dialogue and exchange. It privileges the analysis of current relationships and dynamics within the group as the focus of psychotherapeutic work.

S. H. Foulkes died suddenly from a coronary thrombosis in 1976, aged 77, whilst conducting a seminar.

Selected publications

  • Foulkes, S. H. and Parkin, Alan (1957). Out-Patient Psychotherapy : a Contribution Towards a New Approach. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 3: 44 - 48.
  • Foulkes, S. H. (1968). On interpretation in group analysis. International J. Group Psychotherapy, 18, 432-434.
  • Foulkes, S. H. and Ledbetter, V. (1969) A Note On Transference in Groups. Group Analysis, 135-146.
  • Foulkes, S. H. (1971) Access To Unconscious Processes in the Group Analytic Group. Group Analysis, 4; vol. 4: pp. 4 - 14.
  • Foulkes, S. H. (1972). Oedipus conflict and regression. International J. Group Psychotherapy, 22, 3-15.
  • Foulkes, S. H. (1975). Qualification as a Psychoanalyst as an Asset as Well as a Hindrance for the Future Group Analyst. Group Analysis, 10, vol. 8: pp. 180 - 182.
  • Foulkes, S. H. (1975). A Short Outline of the Therapeutic Processes in Group-Analytic Psychotherapy. Group Analysis, 2; vol. 8: pp. 60 - 63.
  • Foulkes, S. H. (1975). Some personal observations. International J. Group Psychotherapy, 25, 169-172.
  • S. H. Foulkes. (1983). Introduction to Group-Analytic Psychotherapy: Studies in the Social Integration of Individuals and Groups. Maresfield Reprints.
  • Foulkes, S. H. (1990). Selected Papers of S.H. Foulkes: Psychoanalysis and Group Analysis. Edited by Elizabeth Foulkes. Karnac Books.


  1. PEP Web - Dr S. H. Foulkes (1898–1976)
  2. Group Analytic Society, London

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