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Block 8 | Working with Unconscious Material: Dreams, Symbolic & Non-verbal Communications

  • Warwick Hotel 65 West 54th Street New York, NY, 10019 United States (map)




Block 8

Working with Unconscious Material: Dreams, Symbolic & Non-verbal Communications

October 20 – 22, 2017
New York, New York

Registration Deadline: September 20, 2017

Process Leaders: Gail Brown, Lucy Holmes, Janet Resnick, Elliot Zeisel

Workshop Leaders: Joseph Acosta, Alice Brown, Judy Charnet, Phyllis Cohen, David Dumais, Martha Gunzburg, Sally Henry, Ronnie Levine, Greg MacColl, Jan Morris, George Shapiro, Rhoda Shapiro, Mary Sussillo


Unconscious material prevents group members from functioning with one another in a mature way. It can be both a resistance and a rich source of information. This workshop will address how the group leader helps the group members reveal the significant information hidden behind a dream or other form of non- verbal communication. This workshop will review analytic theory of dream interpretation and its application to group: symbolic and non-verbal communication and will demonstrate interventions that are unique to modern group that bring these processes into the here and now in the group interactions.


This workshop is designed to help you:

  1. List three of Freud’s contributions to the analysis of dreams;

  2. Analyze the differences between classical and modern use of dream material in treatment;

  3. Observe and recognize symbolic communications;

  4. Utilize dream material to further the group process;

  5. Demonstrate how immediacy leads to progressive emotional communication;

  6. Apply modern group techniques to bring non-verbal communications into the group process.

Skill Level and Target Audience: All


The Center for Group Studies offers a Weekend Training Program as an alternative or addition to our on-going Training Program. It began in 1990 as an offsite pilot project in group training to students from all over the world outside of New York City. The weekend program was founded and designed under the co-leadership of Dr. Alice Brown and Dr. Lena Furgeri and has expanded to include local New York students.

This program provides training in modern group process: an integration of traditional methods and modern techniques developed by Dr. Louis Ormont, a licensed psychologist with over 40 years of experience leading groups. Our approach is psychodynamic and interactive with a particular emphasis on interventions for difficult and pre-oedipal personalities.


The three-year Training Program, culminating in a Certificate of Completion or Graduation, consists of the following four training components:

1. Training Weekends

We offer three training weekends each year and a total of nine weekends are required to meet the criteria for Certification. Each weekend consists of psychodynamic process groups (experiential and didactic learning), lectures and/or workshops, a supervision group, and a training group.

2. Course Work *

The curriculum consists of nine blocks of readings and combines a guided and monitored reading program with the experiential Training Weekend component. Each student is assigned a faculty advisor to work with in person, by correspondence, email, and/or by telephone. A faculty advisor is assigned to each student for a 3-block segment, approximately one year. Each student keeps an ongoing log of his/her reactions to the readings, tapes and other experiences, to which the student's faculty advisor responds.

3. Supervision

Four supervision segments are required, which take place during the second and third years, after the completion of readings blocks 1 through 3. Each segment consists of six one-hour sessions with an assigned supervisor.

4. Final Project (optional)

The final project includes a written paper on an approved topic, which is then presented before faculty and students.

* Nine blocks of readings (each block consists of sixteen readings and may be completed in eight weeks or more)

Block 1    -   The Essence of Modern Group Process
Block 2    -   Forming a Group
Block 3    -   Introduction to Group Resistances
Block 4    -   Transference/Countertransference Issues in Group
Block 5    -   Technical and Special Issues in Group Psychotherapy
Block 6    -   Working with Pre-oedipal Patients in Group
Block 7    -   Specialized Topics in Countertransference
Block 8    -   Working with Unconscious Material: Dreams Symbolic and Non-verbal
Block 9    -   Resolving Transference Resistances and Termination Issues


Unless notified otherwise, all events take place at the Warwick Hotel, 65 W. 54th St., New York, NY
The Center for Group Studies reserves the right to add, change or otherwise amend the schedule and/or faculty without notice.


*Women and Aggression: Transference, Countertransference and Resistance



Psychodynamic Process Group

3:00–3:45 PM
4:00–6:00 PM
6:15–8:00 PM


Psychodynamic Process Group
unch (on your own)
Psychodynamic Process Group

9:00–10:45 AM
10:45–11:00 AM
11:00–1:00 PM
1:00–2:15 PM
2:15–4:15 PM
4:15–6:00 PM


Psychodynamic Process Group
Training Group
Student-Faculty Brunch
Student-Faculty Meeting
Psychodynamic Process Group: Weekend Summary and Conclusions

8:00–10:00 AM
10:00–11:45 AM
11:45–12:40 PM
12:45–1:25 PM
1:35–3:35 PM

Note: The last 15 minutes of each Process Group, Supervision and workshop will be used to complete logs and evaluations and to have an opportunity to ask additional questions of the faculty leader.


Registration Deadlines

October Training Program — September 20, 2017
January Training Program — December 20, 2017
May Training Program — April 4, 2018


KEY to Abbreviations:
ABPP           American Board of Professional Psychology
CASAC        Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor CGP Certified Group Psychotherapist (AGPA)
DCSW         Diplomate in Clinical Social Work
DFAGPA      Distinguished Fellow AGPA
FAGPA         Fellow AGPA
LCSW           Licensed Clinical Social Work
LMSW          Licensed Master Social Work
LP                Licensed Psychoanalyst
LPC              Licensed Professional Counselor
LMFT           Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
PsyA            Certified Psychoanalyst (NAAP)

Acosta, Joseph, MA, LPC, FAGPA, CGP
Belgray, David, Ph.D., PsyA, CGP, LP (NY)
Black, Aaron Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist (NY), CGP
Brook, Michael, Ph.D., LP (NY), LMFT (NY), CGP
Brown, Alice, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist (NY), CGP
Brown, Gail A., MA, LP (NY), CGP
Charnet, Judith, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist (NY), PsyA
Cohen, Phyllis, Ph.D., LP (NY), FAGPA, CGP
Dumais, David, LCSW, CGP
Fish, Jacqueline, MSW, LCSW, CASAC (NY), CGP
Frankel, Susan, MSW, LCSW, CGP
Furgeri, Lena, Ed.D., LCSW, FAGPA, CGP
Gunzburg, Martha, MSW LCSW, LP (NY), CGP
Hegener, Michael, MA, LCP, FAGPA, CGP
Henry, Sally, MSW, LCSW, CGP
Holmes, Lucy, Ph.D., MSW, LMSW, LP (NY), CGP
Kelly, Nancy, Ph.D., LCSW, CGP
Kirman, Jack, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist (NYS)
Kortlander, Myrna, MSW, LCSW, CGP
Levine, Ronnie, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist (NY), ABPP, FAGPA, CGP

Levy, Lou, MSW, LCSW, CGP
MacColl, Greg, LCSW, FAGPA, CGP
Morrell, Katherine, Licensed Psychoanalyst LP (NY & VT)
Morris, Janice, Ph.D., FAGPA, CGP
Ormont, Joan, Ph.D., LP (NY)
Resnick, Janet, Ph.D., LP (NY) LMFT (NY)
Selenfriend, Wilma, MSW
Shapiro, George E. Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist (NY)
Shapiro, Rhoda, MSW, LCSW
Stern, Harold, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist (PA), PsyA
Sussillo, Mary, LCSW, FAGPA, CGP
Wright, Ellen, Ph.D., Psychologist (PA), PsyA
Zeisel, Elliot, Ph.D., LCSW, LP (NY), DFAGPA, CGP

For All Weekend Training Students:   Descriptions and Definitions

Process Group

The Weekend Training Program, while it may be therapeutic for participants, is not designed to serve as therapy. The process group is designed as a “here and now” experience focusing on how a person functions in the immediate moment. We ask that all thoughts and feelings towards the other members be put into words. Origins of these thoughts and feelings are also explored. In this venue we are studying resistances to Oedipal level communication. We study how patterns of group form and reform themselves as the members observe both themselves and others within these group patterns. The group leader demonstrates modern group interventions which aim to resolve resistances and foster progressive emotional communication and, when appropriate, explains the underlying theory and the timing of the intervention.


The workshop focuses specifically on some aspect of the theme of the weekend using a combination of didactic presentation and experiential material. A reading is assigned for each workshop. The leader then, in whatever way he or she chooses, demonstrates the concepts from the reading through active group process. Specific questions about the theoretical material
and how it relates to group leadership are welcomed.


In a supportive and collaborative environment, the organizing focus of supervision is the presentation of case material by students. Participants study induced feelings and use parallel process to facilitate the uncovering of where the unidentified resistance lay. The group helps the presenter understand how to move the treatment forward. Associations to the current weekend learning theme as well as discussion of the underlying theory for a particular intervention might be included as it relates to a better understanding of the patient or the group.

Training Group

In the training group the focus is on the development of the professional ego. Interactive responses of the members in a training group are treated as induced feelings. Explorations are directed to identifying these feelings as objective countertransference reactions and then saying “the right things.” These include maturational responses, further explorations, associations and so forth. The training group is designed to help each member to help the other group
members to become a better group leader.