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Block 2 | Forming A Group

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




Block 2

Forming A Group

October 19 – 21, 2018
New York, New York

Registration Deadline:  September 20th, 2018

Process Leaders: Joseph Acosta, Alice Brown, Gail Brown, Sally Henry, Lucy Holmes

Workshop Leaders: Aaron Black, Michael Brook, David Dumais, Susan Frankel, Ronnie Levine, Greg MacColl, Jan Morris, George Shapiro,  Rhoda Shapiro, Mary Sussillo, Elliot Zeisel


The foundation of a successful group depends not only on the diagnostic and interpersonal acumen of the group leader, but also the ability of the group therapist to build therapeutic connections between members. This workshop will utilize a didactic and experiential format to discuss and demonstrate Modern Analytic Group techniques that assist group therapists in establishing, and then creating a dynamic group that is an agent for therapeutic change. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to explore and discuss key topics such as the use of the treatment contract for structuring a boundaries, safe, group; recognizing and addressing group resistances that can threaten the group process; tools for creating connection between members; and methods for fostering immediacy in the here and now. Case examples and group supervision will be provided to augment the didactic and process experiences provided.


This workshop is designed to help you:

  1. Explain the modern analytic approach to preparing patients to enter group therapy;

  2. Describe how bridging with a new group creates group cohesion;

  3. Utilize different types of bridging;

  4. Summarize the role of identification in the process of group change;

  5. Describe common resistances to immediacy and how they manifest in group process.;

  6. Explain the role of immediacy in resolving resistances to connection in group; 

  7. Demonstrate techniques to promote immediacy in modern group;

  8. Explain how stable and changing seating arrangements in group can express group


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.




Psychodynamic Process Group

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


Psychodynamic Process Group
Lunch (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, 2018
January Training Program — December 20, 2019
May Training Program — April 4, 2019


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
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.