25th Biennial Training Institute at Asilomar May 31-June 2, 2019

Join us at the Coast!
25th Biennial Training Institute
at Asilomar, May 31 – June 2

*** UPDATED 5/28 ***
See full event schedule below

We warmly invite you to join us at Asilomar Conference Center for this year’s training institute. Along with an intensive learning experience, you will have time to walk on the beach, socialize and network with colleagues.
This unique learning opportunity allows clinicians to participate in immersive institutes led by master group therapists. The program includes 16 wonderful 2 1/2 day institute offerings that are suitable for all levels of experience. Besides our local group therapists who are offering the long-term standards that have brought many of us to Asilomar for years, we have some new, creative groups, as well as two presenters coming from out of state (Boston and New York). We look forward to seeing you there!

With appreciation from the conference co-directors:
Ildiko Ran, LMFT, CGP: IldikoRan@gmail.com, (650) 353-8885
Latoyia Griffin, LCSW, CGP: GriffinFamilyTherapy@gmail.com, (702) 485-0430

Register by April 15 for Early Bird discount!
Click here to register!

Conference Fees by April 15:
Regular $275  |  NCGPS Members $225  |  Students/Trainees Regular $200
Students/Trainees Members $175

After April 15: 
Regular $325  |  NCGPS Members $275  |  Students/Trainees Regular $250
Students/Trainees Members $225

Agencies with 4 or more registering together receive member rate.

Consider joining NCGPS or renewing your membership to
receive the member discount!

Featured Institutes

Scroll down to read the full description for a title of interest. All the groups are experiential and have a process oriented focus. Please be ready to participate personally in the emerging experience.

1. Beginning Psychodynamic Process Group
2. Intermediate Psychodynamic Process Group
3. Psychodynamic Process Group 10+ year experience
4. Psychodynamic Process group for mixed level of experience
5. Introduction to Functional Subgrouping
6. Focusing and Parallel Process: How You Make Art is How You Do Group
7. Gestalt Group Therapy: A Relational Approach to Healing, Integration and Change
8. Hiding in the Shadows, Group as an Emergent Space
9. Wise Intimacy: How Close is Too Near? How Far is Too Distant? How Soon is Too Fast?
10. Integration and Application of Interpersonal, Modern Analytic Approaches to Group Process
11. Rupture and Repair In Relational Group Psychotherapy
12. Group Process NOW
13. Healing through Psychodrama – Integrating Experiential Methods into Your Groups
14. Men Connecting Authentically
15. The Promise of Being Big / The Excitement in Remaining Small
16. Dream Analysis in Analytic Group Psychotherapy with Therapists in training

Detailed Group Descriptions:

1. Beginning Psychodynamic Process Group for those with 0-4 yrs experience
Ann Steiner, PhD, CGP

Participants will learn, through a combination of first-hand experience as group members and didactic presentations, the different types of group work, how to evaluate their preferred leadership style, how to design, set up, screen, prepare and maintain healthy psychotherapy groups. The different types of group work, common leadership challenges and the benefits of group will be presented.

2. Psychodynamic Process Group for those with 5-9 yrs of experience
Barbara Finn, PhD, Fellow of AGPA, CGP, Kerry Kravitz, MD, PhD

Members of this small group will have the opportunity to be openly curious about themselves, to experience how they are perceived by others and to discover if what they intend to communicate is actually communicated as intended. Participants will learn how to use honest interpersonal exchange and feedback to strengthen their understanding of group dynamics. There will be time allocated to process and to explore what interventions were made and why, what was effective and what was not, etc., which will enrich interest and expertise in running groups in one’s own practices.

3. Psychodynamic Process Group for those with 10+ years experience
Geri Alpert, PhD, CGP, Fellow of AGPA, Elaine Cooper, PhD, LCSW, CGP, Dist. Fellow of AGPA

Participants in this 12 hour process group will gain an increased understanding of psychodynamic group therapy by participating in a self study group in which they become members of the group and simultaneously engage in an active examination of their group experience. They will interact spontaneously to take part in the creation of the group process, and at the same time reflect on this experience and its application to the treatment groups they lead. There will be didactic consideration of such issues as the stages of group development, leadership style, the creation of group norms and group cohesion, the multiplicity of group transferences, and the effectiveness of various leader interventions in the development of a therapeutic group culture.

4. Psychodynamic Process group for mixed level of experience (beginners to experienced clinicians)
Art Raisman, PhD, CGP

Participants in this weekend course will have the opportunity to further their understanding of psychodynamic group therapy from their own group experience. Through the medium of a non-directive group, they will be able to learn how they affect, and are in turn affected by, other members’ participation, and how an understanding of these interactional patterns can be applied to their own treatment groups. This linkage will be facilitated through the didactic consideration of such matters as the challenges to group development and their relation to the group norms that are established, the co-creation of interpersonal experience, unconscious aspects of group interaction, and the effectiveness of various leader interventions in the development of a therapeutic group culture.

5. Introduction to Functional Subgrouping
Peter Bernhardt, MFT and Susan Karpenko, LCSW

Functional Subgrouping is the core method of Systems Centered Therapy, developed by Yvonne Agazarian. After an introduction to Systems Centered theory, we will form an exploratory group using functional subgrouping and then reflect on our development from a systems perspective. Participants will learn to effectively identify and facilitate functional subgroupings within systems centered groups. Members will be asked to reflect on the application of functional subgrouping in groups that they lead or potentially could lead.

6. Focusing and Parallel Process: How You Make Art is How You Do Group
Ari-Asha Castalia, MFT, ATR

Emphasizing creative process and products for intra- and interpersonal connecting, we’ll use Gendlin’s Focusing (a mind-body approach), Rappaport’s Focusing Oriented Art Therapy®, and guidelines from Roger’s Person Centered Expressive Arts. Since How we do anything is how we do everything, we’ll attend to parallels between creative and group processes. Participants will learn how to introduce and employ expressive arts in group therapy settings.  Through experiential & didactic modeling participants will gain a greater awareness of how to use art and art-based therapy with groups that they lead.

7. Gestalt Group Therapy: A Relational Approach to Healing, Integration and Change
Peter H Cole, LCSW, CGP and Daisy Reese, LCSW, CGP

In this experiential institute we will explore a relational approach that uses the group process to promote self activation, intimate connection, and the integration of opposites or polarities that exist within each of us. Teaching of key concepts in Gestalt Group therapy will flow from our experiences together.

8. Hiding in the Shadows, Group as an Emergent Space
Sara Emerson, LICSW, CGP, Fellow of AGPA

This course is designed to provide learning through experience to help participants experience participation in a group process experience, it will include didactic discussions and reflection of the process over the course of the program. The focus is on helping participants recognize their protective/defense patterns in relationship to others. Participants will learn how these concepts can be applied towards their own groups. Articles and books will be referenced as relevant to the discussion.

9. Wise Intimacy: How Close is Too Near? How Far is Too Distant? How Soon is Too Fast?
Jim Fishman, LCSW, CGP and Cheryl Krauter, MFT

In Wise Intimacy, we will explore the intersection of Attachment Theory and the sequential unfolding of group stages of development. Didactically and experientially, we will delineate how a clinician’s own attachment style (e.g., Avoidant/Anxious/Secure) intersects with the group members’ own attachment styles and how these variables impact clinical judgment and interventions. The sequential phases of a group’s developmental progress will be explored, with special attention paid to timing, members’ disclosures and optimal group therapist interventions at each stage. Ariadne Beck and the Chicago Research Team’s group stage research and Earned Secure Attachment theory will be featured. Therapist’s use of countertransference and projective identification as doorways that indicate whether a group is moving too fast, or is being held back, by the clinician’s own attachment needs and styles will be examined.

10. Integration and Application of Interpersonal, Modern Analytic Approaches to Group Process
Lois Friedlander, MFT, CGP and Rose Phelps, MFT, CGP

Process group for incorporating interpersonal & modern analytic approaches. Emphasized will be: stages and tasks of group development, role of the leader, creation of norms, member roles, transferences/countertransference, managing group resistances, use of leader transparency, techniques of joining and bridging, effect of leader interventions. Focus on education to developing group process & theoretical framework
11. Rupture and Repair In Relational Group Psychotherapy
Martha Gilmore, PhD, CGP, Fellow of AGPA, Haim Weinberg, PhD, CGP, Fellow of AGPA

Rupture and repair are important processes in relational approaches. Applying the approach to groups emphasizes enactment instead of interpretation. Through the experiential group process, we will use relational approaches to address participants’ here-and-now experience. We will focus on enactments and experiences of rupture and repair. Participants will gain skills to identify and address rupture/repair dynamics within the groups that they lead. They will also gain a better understanding of relational group therapy and how to employ here-and-now interventions with their own groups.

12. Group Process NOW
Judye Hess, PhD, CGP

Workshop participants will learn a variety of techniques from Gestalt therapy, Psychodrama and Encounter, which will help them build skills of direct communication. Remaining in here-and-now, revealing statements behind questions, and being honest with self and others are among the guidelines which promote intense and immediate group experience, which they can take to their psychotherapy groups.

13. Healing through Psychodrama – Integrating Experiential Methods into Your Groups
Sylvia Israel, MFT, RDT/BCT, TEP and Elizabeth Plummer, PhD, TEP

Psychodrama is a collaborative group method that allows issues to be explored in action within a safe and containing space.  It creates a bridge between conscious and unconscious material, allowing body and mind to emerge onto the psychodrama stage and be reflected upon in service of individual and group healing. Participants will gain a better understanding of psychodrama and its applications in group settings. Through experience & modeling, participants will learn how to incorporate psychodrama interventions and use these skills in their own groups.

14. Men Connecting Authentically
Jamie Moran, LCSW, CGP

Participants in this twelve hour course will gain knowledge, personal insight and understanding of common male interpersonal dynamics with an emphasis on exploring anger, trust, competition, and intimacy. Group members will explore formative, influential years and role modeling by others in a framework of both positive and challenging dynamics. Common blocks to authentic connection will be suggested, including hetero-normative norms, fear of vulnerability, shame and humiliation. Exploration of the need for vulnerability in making an authentic connection will also be named, described and explored.

15. The Promise of Being Big / The Excitement in Remaining Small
David Rothauser, MA, MST

Leaders and members want to “be big” – fully ourselves. Facing expansion, feelings of deprivation, competition and shame can arise. Yet alongside this discomfort, hidden excitement draws us to these self-states. Remaining “small” – in the safety of familiarity – can be more attractive than risking adventure. We will explore this paradox together utilizing an eclectic and pragmatic approach that draws upon a handful of theoretical frameworks, including attachment, relational, modern, drive theory, and evidence-based psychodynamic coaching.

16. Dream Analysis in Analytic Group Psychotherapy
Bill Roller, M.A., Fellow of AGPA

This experimental workshop will demonstrate how to enhance group cohesion and empathic awareness using dream analysis and Redecision Therapy. Participants will learn about Redecision Therapy and its usefulness in leading groups. They will also learn how to analyze dreams and employ dream analysis within their own groups.

NCGPS strives to make our events accessible to all of the intended audience.  If you require any special accommodations to fully participate, please contact either of the conference Co-Directors.

Continuing Education and Accreditation
This program is intended for psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, nurses, and other mental health professionals who are either engaged in or training to do group psychotherapy. Upon completion of this program, participants can expect increased knowledge and skill in group psychotherapy, improved ability to integrate theory and practice, increased ability to formulate therapeutic strategies, and acquisition of new techniques for promoting change.

12 CE’s available for attendance, payable at time of registration. NCGPS is approved by the California Psychological Association to provide continuing education for Psychologists, which also satisfies the requirements of the BBS as a provider of continuing education for LCSW’s, LMFT’s, LPCC’s, and LEP’s. NCGPS satisfies the CE requirements for the Nursing Board. NCGPS maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Full attendance is required to receive credit.


Renew Your Membership…

Before you register, please check your membership status so that you can use the member rate for registration. To check, please log into your account on NCGPS.org. As a reminder, memberships are year-round, and due for everyone in January.
If you set up auto-renewal last year, you were notified about the renewal and do not need to do anything. If you haven’t renewed yet, renew before you register for the Institute so that you can take advantage of the reduced member rate. As a member of NCGPS you’ll continue to benefit from reduced member rates for events throughout the year!
As always, thank you for being a member, we love to have you on board! We look forward to seeing you at the Institute!

Log into your account to renew your membership

NCGPS Board of Directors
President: Erica Anderson, PhD

President Elect:
Ildiko Ran, LMFT, CGP

Immediate Past President:
Shira Marin, PhD, LMFT

Treasurer: Peter Cole, LCSW, CGP

Secretary: Carla Haimowitz, PhD

Board Members:
Geraldine Alpert, PhD, CGP
Paul Cox, MD, CGP
Thomas Masat, MA, AMFT
Latoyia Piper, LCSW, CGP
John Rochios, PhD, CGP
Shanon Sitkin, MA, LMFT, CGP

Scholarships: A number of scholarships are available for early career individuals who would be unable to attend without this assistance. For information about how to apply, please contact the scholarship chair.


©Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint articles must be obtained in writing from NCGPS. Opinions or claims expressed in articles do not necessarily reflect those of NCGPS.


Submit Articles for Publication

Send newsletter content (articles, reports, announcements and pictures) directly to Annie Danberg.
Images should be no less than 300 dpi and at least 4×6 inches. Articles should be 500-1000 words, plus your headshot (for the print version of the newsletter) and short professional biography. Please send only what you consider to be your final draft. Deadline for the Fall print issue is August 1, 2017.