In all form of addiction the external object sought is a substitute for lacking parts of self and functions that the internal structure of the subject is unable to perform. The fragile self seeks an object that fulfills the fundamental function of mirroring and confirmation of self-consciousness the sense of self. Precisely for this function the object becomes indispensable and it is necessary that it is always available. To ensure this, the person is willing to lose his differentiation and independence, as well as to renounce his specificity: differences and boundaries are smoothed because only in this way is it possible to experience closeness and intimacy, guaranteeing the continuous presence of the indispensable object- self and protect himself from a catastrophically neglected abandonment. Group psychotherapy has long been considered the treatment of choice for addictive disorders: through it is possible to experience new modes of relationship and start the process of emancipation, a nodal point in the treatment of this type of subjects. The homogeneous group is able to provide support to patients so fragile from the narcissistic point of view and makes it possible to compare with others that can be experienced as a resource and not perceived in terms of individual defeat and self-denial. The relationship with the other can thus be constituted as an exchange based on mutual recognition, thus breaking the typical isolation of addiction or, alternatively, the exclusive method of homologation. The clinical vignettes taken from the group psychotherapy work within Cremona jail are aimed to underline a continuous process, which unfolds along the whole group path, characterized by an oscillation between homologation and differentiation, and to show how this own process can start the possibility of emancipation.
Keywords: Group psychotherapy, addiction, homologation and differentiation, Field Theory.