Modern Analytic Group Therapy Salon Series

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Hobart Building

582 Market Street

Suite 1108

San Francisco, CA 94104

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We are pleased to announce that NCGPS is organizing a 3 part series of salons to discuss key concepts in modern analytic group therapy.

About this Event

Participants will have the chance to engage with these concepts through readings, discussion, and exploration of case material. These salons are open to all therapists who are interested in group therapy and/or modern analysis. Our aim is to promote group therapy, create community and enrich the field with modern analytic ideas. Facilitators are all students of the Center for Group Studies in New York City.

November 16, 2019 - Working with Anger & Aggression

January 18, 2020 - Resistances to Intimacy

March 21, 2020 - Following the Contact Function

RSVP $20 for each salon (CEUs Available for Additional $15)*

Saturdays, 12-3pm

Location: 582 Market St, Suite 1108 (at Montgomery Bart Station)

Required readings will be emailed to you upon registration.


SALON ONE: Working with Anger and Aggression in Modern Analytic Groups

Salon Host: Shanon Sitkin, LMFT, CGP

It is widely understood that “the aspect of their work for which psychologists find themselves least prepared is the anger they encounter, both in their patients and themselves (Goleman, 1993).” Since before Winnicott published his seminal paper, “Hate in the Countertransference”, psychology has been grappling with how to address hateful feelings in the clinical relationship. Modern analysts pay particular attention to aggression, anger and hatred, in part because much of psychopathology is a result of repressed and suppressed aggressive affect. Modern analysis hypothesizes that by helping clients to express aggression they draw libido away from the ego. Even mild defenses against anger can inhibit self-assertion, block positive and libidinal feelings, and restrict maturational development and gratifying contact with others. In this salon we will explore the modern analytic approach and its contribution to our understanding of aggression in our patients and in ourselves. Narcissistic defenses are developed early in life because of fears that the outward expression of anger or hate will result in the loss of a loving relationship with a needed object.

OBJECTIVES:This salon is designed to help participants meet the following learning objectives:

1. Explain how modern analysis understands aggression

2. List the characteristics of narcissistic defense and resolution

3. Discuss common transference resistances encountered by the group analyst

4. Discuss the value of encouraging negative transference

5. List three ways in which destructive aggression manifests in group process


Required Reading: Kirman, Jacob H. Ph.D (1993). Working with Anger in Groups International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 45 (3). January, 1993.

About the Host: Shanon is a marriage & family therapist and certified group therapist who practices in downtown San Francisco. He has been in practice for 8 years and has run groups for 5. In addition to private practice, Shanon has been adjunct faculty at Sofia University where he taught group dynamics. He is a current board member for NCGPS, as well as CE chair and Fall Event chair. He is in ongoing group therapy training with Ronnie Levine and Katie Griffin and is a student of the Center for Group Studies in New York City.

SATURDAY JANUARY 18, 2020 | 12-3PM

SALON TWO: Resistances to Intimacy in Modern Analytic Groups

Salon Host: Laura B. Kasper, PhD, CGP

Resistances in modern analytic group work represent the unconscious barriers we enact between ourselves and others that block us from our fundamental need and desire for intimate attachment and closeness. Our job as group therapists is to help clients resolve these resistances and develop mature ways of expressing intimacy (Ormont, 1988), allowing them to experience nourishment and mutual satisfaction in their relationships. In this Salon we will discuss how modern analytic group therapists welcome resistance, and how they use the therapeutic contract and group member’s reactions to one another to help clients become more conscious of what they uniquely do to avoid emotional closeness with others. We will explore some typical verbal, behavioral, and attitudinal resistances to intimacy that occur in group and some of the modern analytic tools to help group members confront these resistances. We will discuss common fears of intimacy that underlie many resistances, the needs that are often released after expressing these fears, and the working through of those needs in the group setting that leads to a more mature emotional capacity for relating.

OBJECTIVES: This salon is designed to help participants meet the following learning objectives.

1. Explain how modern analysis understands resistances

2. Describe the three stages Ormont (1988) proposed for resolving unconscious resistances in group work

3. Discuss how the therapeutic contract helps therapists work with resistances

4. Describe examples of verbal and attitudinal resistances often expressed in group

5. Identify the four major fears to intimacy that Ormont (1988) proposed underlie most resistances

Required Reading: Ormont, L. R. (1988). The Leader’s Role in Resolving Resistances to Immediacy in the Group Setting. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 38 (1). January, 1988. ==================================================

About the Host: Laura B. Kasper, PhD, CGP is an interpersonal relationship expert and has been leading groups for 18 years. Laura is currently Adjunct Clinical Assistant Faculty at Stanford University’s School of Medicine where she supervises psychiatry residents in group and individual therapy. Laura was previously Adjunct Clinical Faculty at UCSF’s School of Medicine where she ran interpersonal process groups for psychiatry residents. Laura has led group therapy workshops at the American Group Psychotherapy Association’s (AGPA) annual conference, the Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society’s (NCGPS) annual conference, and the Colorado Group Psychotherapy Society’s (CGPS) annual conference. Laura participates in ongoing training in Modern Analytic group techniques at the Center for Group Studies in NYC, as well as with Modern Analytic group therapy experts Elliot Zeisel, Ronnie Levine, and Jeff Hudson. Laura participated in the National Group Psychotherapy Institute at the Washington School of Psychiatry. From her formal training, Laura grounds her work in psychodynamic and relational practices; from her years as a meditator, she also brings a mindfulness orientation to her work. Laura’s private practice is in San Francisco.

SATURDAY MARCH 21, 2020 | 12-3PM

SALON THREE: Following the Contact Function in Modern Analytic Groups

Salon Host: Ali Kimmell, LCSW

DEFINITION: Contact Function

The Contact Function is a term in modern psychoanalysis that refers to the group therapist responding to the patient’s communications in kind. Therapist’s interventions are formulated to match and join with explicit and implicit requests for contact and use the patient’s pacing, distance, closeness, and type of emotional communication as a guide to what they need. In this Salon we will explore the modern analytic concept of Contact Function and discuss how it can be used to help assess and respond to group member’s developmental needs for interaction with the therapist. The different developmental stages and their corresponding needs for type of contact with the therapist as formulated by modern analysis taught by the Center for Group Studies will be presented. Participants will have a chance to engage critically with these ideas and examine how they might be helpful or unhelpful for understanding their clients and groups. We will also explore therapist resistance to embodying particular roles with our clients and groups and areas of common countertransference and transference resistance.

OBJECTIVES: This salon is designed to help participants meet the following learning objectives.

1. Establish a working definition and theoretical rationale of the Modern Analytic Concept of Contact Function

2. Differentiate preverbal and verbal developmental stages

3. Name common characteristics of the type of contact patients may need from the therapist and other group members in each developmental stage.

4. Apply the concept of Contact Function to differentially respond to the developmental needs of members of their group

5. Discuss common countertransference and transference resistances encountered by the group analyst

Required Reading: Margolis, D. (1983) the contact function of the ego. Its role in the therapy of the narcissistic patient. Psychoanalytic review. 70 (1), 69-81


About the Host: Ali Kimmell, LCSW has a private practice in Oakland where she sees individuals, couples, and runs three mixed gender process groups. She has trained in modern analytic group therapy at Center for Group Studies since 2014 and has served as faculty at The Group Therapy Training Program in Berkeley and at the Northern California and American Group Psychotherapy Association Annual Conferences. She graduated from and is now faculty at The Psychotherapy Institute’s postgraduate training program in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and received her masters at Smith College School for Social Work. Ali practices from a relational psychoanalytic lens and integrates social justice and somatic awareness into her work. You can see more about her work at www.AliKimmell.com

*All ticket sales are final and donations to NCGPS.

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Hobart Building

582 Market Street

Suite 1108

San Francisco, CA 94104

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Refund Policy

No Refunds

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