Josephine Klein, group work, youth work and exploring English cultures. Josephine Klein was one of the first British-based practitioners to explore group process and working with groups systematically. She also went on to complete a landmark study of family and community life and develop a distinctive approach to youth work training before becoming a psychotherapist. We explore her contribution.

contents: introduction · life · on groups and group work · samples from english cultures · youth work · psychoanalysis · conclusion · references · acknowledgements · how to cite this piece

Josephine Klein (1926- ) has made major contributions to the development of thinking in a number of fields. Her explorations of groups and group work were to be a major factor in the establishment of groupwork practice in Britain. Samples from English Cultures (Klein 1965) became a key reference point in debates around both the changing nature of English society – and more specifically the educational experiences and chances of different groups (see Lawton 1968). Josephine Klein was also to make an important contribution to the development of youth work – in part through through her involvement in the influential Archways Project, but most significantly via her leadership in the early 1970s of an innovative training programme based at Goldsmiths’ College, London. She then moved into private practice as a psychotherapist – and has published a series of books drawing from her research and experience (Klein 1987; 1995; and 2003).

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Biven, Barrie M. (1992) The Finality of Youth. Tramps, beats and runaways. Lima, Ohio: Fairway Press.

Klein, Josephine (1956) The Study of Groups. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Klein, Josephine (1961) Working with groups : the social psychology of discussion and decision. London: Hutchinson.

Klein, Josephine (1963, 1976) Human behaviour and personal relations : a series of 10 lectures. London: National Association of Youth Clubs.

Klein, Josephine (1965) Samples from English Cultures. Volume 1: Three preliminary studies – aspects of adult life in England. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Klein, Josephine (1965) Samples from English Cultures. Volume 2: Child-rearing practices. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Klein, Josephine (1987) Our Need for Others and its Roots in Infancy. London: Tavistock Publications.

Klein, Josephine (1995) Doubts and Certainties in the Practice of Psychotherapy. London: Karnac Books.

Klein, Josephine (2003) Jacob’s ladder: essays on experiences of the ineffable in the context of contemporary psychotherapy. London: Karnac Books.

Lawton, Dennis (1968) Social class, language and education. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.


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© Mark K Smith 2009

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