SCT Conference 2022 - the Workshops

Conference Overview

We’ll be spanning many time zones in this virtual context so we refer to parts of the training day (or night depending where you are!) as “sessions.” For example, training groups are Session 1, Basics in SCT & workshops are Session 2, and large group is Session 3. There are some exceptions to this and we’ll make that clear on the registration form.

Each day spans 6 hours starting at 6:00am PT, 9:00am ET, 13.00 UTC, 14.00 UK, 15.00 EU


Institute

5-day Conference

SAT - SUN

MON - THU

FRI

Session 1
2 hours
9:00 – 11:00 am ET
14:00 – 16:00 UK
15:00 – 17:00 EU
13:00 – 15:00 UTC

Session 1
2 hours
9:00 – 11:00 am ET
14:00 – 16:00 UK
15:00 – 17:00 EU
13:00 – 15:00 UTC

Session 1
2 hours
9:00 – 11:00 am ET
14:00 – 16:00 UK
15:00 – 17:00 EU
13:00 – 15:00 UTC

Break
45 minutes

Break
45 minutes

Break
45 minutes

Session 2
1.5 hours
11:45 – 1:15 pm ET
16:45 – 18:15 UK
17:45 – 19:15 EU
15:45 – 17:15 UTC

Session 2
1.5 hours
11:45 – 1:15 pm ET
16:45 – 18:15 UK
17:45 – 19:15 EU
15:45 – 17:15 UTC

Session 2
2 hours
11:45 – 1:45 pm ET
16:45 – 18:45 UK
17:45 – 19:45 EU
15:45 – 17:45 UTC

Break
45 minutes

Break
45 minutes

 

Session 3
1 hour
2:00 – 3:00 pm ET
19:00 – 20:00 UK
20:00 – 21:00 EU
18:00 – 19:00 UTC

Session 3
1 hour
2:00 – 3:00 pm ET
19:00 – 20:00 UK
20:00 – 21:00 EU
18:00 – 19:00 UTC

 

Pre-Conference Weekend Institute: Saturday and Sunday, Sessions 1, 2, 3
Choose one for the weekend (if you are attending the Institute or 7-day package)

  • Provides an excellent introduction to systems-centered training and an intensive training experience
  • Offers attendees at all levels of training an opportunity to learn about themselves, systems, and groups in the unique environment built through SCT techniques

Five-Day Conference
Choose one for each session (if you are attending the 5-day conference or 7-day package)

Session 1, Monday – Friday

  • Experiential training groups at the Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced levels
  • Please note the prerequisite and/or application requirements for the Intermediate & Advanced level trainings

Session 2, Monday – Thursday

  • Workshops focused on applying Systems-Centered Theory and methods in various contexts
  • Basics in SCT groups focused on Foundation-level theory or skills
  • Experiential training groups at the Intermediate and Advanced levels
  • Please note the prerequisite and/or application requirements for the Intermediate & Advanced level trainings

Sessions 1 & 2, Monday – Friday

  • Intermediate Skills Training, Container Training, Licensing Group and Advanced Training for Trainers
  • These groups meet Friday for Session 1 only
  • Please note the prerequisite and/or application requirements for the Intermediate & Advanced level trainings

Session 2, Friday

  • Emerging theory workshop: Working with Systemic Racism and Its Impact
  • Introduces leading edge theory and integrates it with experiential practice. This workshop wraps up the Conference for attendees and is also open to anyone as a stand-alone session
  • This workshop is 2 hours

Session 3, Monday – Thursday

  • Large Group Practicum that explores the conference experience using functional subgrouping

Pre-Conference Weekend Institute
Sessions 1, 2, 3 - Saturday and Sunday


100-I | Systems-Centered Foundation Training for Groups and Individuals

Trainer(s): Nina Klebanoff , Ed.M., LCSW, CGP ; Mike Maher, MA, PGCE

In this two-day experiential practicum, members learn to use SCT functional subgrouping and reduce defenses in a specific sequence to develop the system's capacity for solving problems and applying common sense to everyday conflicts.

Category: Institute
Track: General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels|Foundation Level
CE credits: 9.0
Format: Experiential, theory group
Day(s): Saturday & Sunday ,

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe the symptoms of anxiety and the skills to undo anxiety
  • Identify tension in the body, describe the function of tension and how to let go of tension
  • Discriminate between feelings coming from thoughts vs. feelings coming from the here-and-now direct experience
  • Use SCT methods to come into the present, work in the present, and modify defenses in the present context
  • Subgroup functionally by joining on similarities, rather than separating from and rejecting differences
  • Join and work with others in a functional subgroup, as opposed to working alone

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: A theory of living human systems and its systems-centered practice. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 36(1), 19-36.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171-195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P. (2018). Developing groups that change our minds and transform our brains: Systems-centered's functional subgrouping, its impact on our neurobiology, and its role in each phase of group development. Psychoanalytic Inquiry: Today's Bridge Between Psychoanalysis and the Group World [Special Issue], 38(4), 270-284. doi: 10.1080/07351690.2018.1444851

Presenters

Nina Klebanoff, Ed.M., LCSW, CGP. Nina Klebanoff, Ed.M., LCSW, CGP, has been in private practice for over forty years, working with individuals, groups, couples' groups and organizations. Nina leads an ongoing SCT training group, provides consultation and has presented at numerous conferences.

Mike Maher, MA, PGCE. Mike Maher, MA, PGCE, is a psychotherapist, trainer and organizational consultant. He is a Licensed SCT Practitioner and Director of SCTRI and leads three ongoing SCT training groups. He was Deputy Director in a Therapeutic Community and subsequently he has developed a specialism in working with staff who work with client groups - adolescents and adults - characterized by their challenging natures. He has written papers and book chapters in working with staff groups, organizational issues in mental health reform, managing self-harm behaviors and other subjects, and has presented at many national and international conferences.


201-I | SAVI Fundamentals - Observing Behavior, Seeing Systems: At Work, In Therapy, At Home (FULLY BOOKED)

Trainer(s): Hella Ritz , MA ; Annika Hall, Dr

SAVI (System for Analyzing Verbal Interactions) maps communication behaviors that contribute noise and those that build clarity in any human system: organizations, work groups, families, clients and everyday life. Learn to use communication patterns to “see” the system: how it is built by contributions from all the members -- and how to shift your own behavior to build more productive and satisfying interactions. Recognize repetitive, unproductive communication loops and explore alternative system patterns that free energy for problem-solving and work. This is a core SCT training.

Category: Institute
Track: SAVI
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 9.0
Format: Role play, didactic, discussion
Day(s): Saturday & Sunday ,

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Define "noise" in verbal communication systems
  • Produce Avoidance (noisy) behavior and Approach (congruent) behaviors
  • Produce behaviors representing the Personal, Factual and Orienting columns of the SAVI Grid
  • Name three SAVI behavior sequences (Alerts) that signal emerging noise in the communication system
  • Demonstrate strategies to reduce communication noise in at least three common redundant sequences
  • Describe how communication is a system output, discriminating "noisy" and problem-solving patterns

Presentation Content

SAVI (System for Analyzing Verbal Interactions) maps communication behaviors that contribute noise and those that build clarity in any human system: organizations, work groups, families, clients and everyday life. Learn to use communication behavior to “see” the system: how it is built by contributions from all the members -- and how it influences what members contribute! Recognize repetitive, unproductive communication loops and explore alternative system patterns that free energy for problem-solving and work. This is a core SCT training.

Behavioral observation systems are well-established in the research and clinical fields. This particular model, System for Analyzing Verbal Interaction, has been used for research in 4 dissertations, reported as a group process tool in 4 peer-reviewed publications, and is currently used for data collection in 3 as yet unpublished ongoing studies. It has a sound theoretical base in both field theory (Kurt Lewin) and information theory (Shannon), and builds on the work of Bales and others who developed observation systems to study classroom interactions.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M., & Gantt, S.P. (2000). Autobiography of a theory: Developing a theory of living human systems and its systems-centered practice. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley.

Bedwell, W.L., Wildman, J.L., DiazGranados, D., Salazar, M., Kramer, W.S., & Salas, E. (2012). Collaboration at work: An integrative multilevel conceptualization. Human Resource Management Review, 22(2), 128-145. doi: 10.1016/j.hrmr.2011.11.007

Benjamin, B., Yeager, A., & Simon, A. (2012). Conversation transformation. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Brooks, A.B., & John, L.K. (2018). The surprising power of questions. Harvard Business Review, May-June 2018, pp. 60-67. https://hbr.org/2018/05/the-surprising-power-of-questions

Simon A., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2000). SAVI - The system for analyzing verbal interaction. In A.P. Beck & C.M. Lewis (Eds.), The process of group psychotherapy: Systems for analyzing change (pp. 357-380). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Presenters

Hella Ritz, MA. Hella Ritz, MA, is a Certified SAVI trainer and a licensed SCT practitioner. She holds a Masters degree in Business Communication. Hella has 10 years of experience in management roles and 25 years as a management consultant, trainer and coach. Hella uses SAVI in developing management teams to foster productive and collaborative meetings and to solve conflicts. She also conducts SAVI as an Introductory open workshop. Hella is a member of the Dutch SCT Board.

Annika Hall, Dr. Annika Hall, Dr., has a background in business administration research with a focus on family-owned businesses. She has worked for more than 20 years as an advisor specialising in ownership transition processes where the ability to have constructive problem-solving meetings has been central to long-term success and lasting change. She is an ardent student of group dynamics and communication and she is in the final training phase to become a certified SAVI trainer. Besides her work as a consultant, Annika has written articles and books in her special area of expertise, teaches graduate students (leadership, strategy and organisation theory) and holds workshops for business owners and business organisations.


301-IC | Intermediate Skills Training

Trainer(s): Susan Beren , Ph.D. ; Madeline O'Carroll, MSc, RMN, SFHEA

7-day group, meets on Institute weekend and continues Mon - Thu Sessions 1 &2, Fri Session 1

Intermediate skills training shifts focus from work with oneself to work with others. In this intensive 7-day training, participants are introduced to SCT protocols with an emphasis on the theoretical context for the intervention and the technical skills that make up each protocol. Participants then record their practice of each protocol and lead a small task group reviewing recorded sections in order to identify specific driving and restraining forces of their work.

By application to assess your readiness for this training (see link below). Send application to both Susan Beren and Madeline O'Carroll

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, February 25, 2022

Note: One of the leaders of your training group (or, if in unusual circumstances, you are not part of a training group, a system mentor) should be consulted as to your readiness for this training. This is the first of the core Intermediate SCT trainings.

Category: Institute
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Theory and Basics|Education|General Interest
Level: Intermediate Level
CE credits: 25.0
Format: Didactic, small group skills practice, recorded role plays & force field reviews
Day(s): Saturday & Sunday ,

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Demonstrate ability to introduce functional subgrouping to a group
  • Demonstrate ability to use SCT protocols for undoing distractions, anxiety, tension, depression, outrages, and role locks
  • Apply a basic understanding of the theoretical context for the use of SCT protocols
  • Create a force field to analyze what helps or hinders the application of protocols
  • Demonstrate ability to provide feedback based on facts, not opinions
  • Demonstrate ability to lead a small task group

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that function as hypotheses to test both the validity of the theory and the reliability of its practice.

This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup 1), S60-S70 doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Presenters

Susan Beren, Ph.D.. Susan Beren, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked in multiple city hospitals and been in private practice in New York City for the last 23 years, doing therapy with individuals, couples and groups and providing supervision and consultation. Susan has taught, done research on and co-authored several papers on the multiple causes and treatment of eating disorders and obesity. She is a licensed Systems-Centered practitioner. She co-leads a Foundation-level SCT training group on Zoom.

Madeline O'Carroll, MSc, RMN, SFHEA. Madeline O'Carroll, MSc, RMN, is a Licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner with thirty years of experience in mental health as an educator, clinician and mentor. Madeline is a qualified teacher with expertise in the design and delivery of educational programmes. Her group work experience includes therapy groups for people with psychosis, groups to support mental health students process the impact of their work, and SCT training groups. Madeline is a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing in London and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


401-I | An Advanced Exploration of the Application of Theory and Methods in Working with System Norms in Different Contexts

Trainer(s): Frances Carter , MSS, LSW

In this context Advanced participants will collaborate to explore their understanding of theory and its application in the support of the survival, development and transformation at all levels of a system hierarchy. We will explore more deeply the SCT norms and how they relate to our understanding of the SCT operational definitions for system hierarchy as well as isomorphic structure, function and energy. Participants will identify the driving and restraining forces that maintain system equilibrium in the service of survival, and which restraining forces to reduce to support development and transformation.

Prerequisite: Completion of Authority Issue Group (AIG)

Category: Institute
Track: Theory and Basics|General Interest
Level: Intermediate Level|Advanced Level
CE credits: 9.0
Format: Discussion, role play
Day(s): Saturday & Sunday ,

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Use the concept of the person-as-a-whole to map the energy available for membership in different contexts
  • Identify the similarities and differences between norms in the person system-as-a-whole and the norms of membership in different contexts
  • Use the concept of hierarchy to decide when to make an intervention to the member system
  • Describe the relationship of structural, functional and vectoring interventions and give an example of when each is appropriate
  • Use functional subgrouping to contain differences and maintain stability
  • Use the communication map of SAVI to identify role-systems in context of person, member, subgroup and group-as-a-whole

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis. The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in work with groups and individuals.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62 (2) 171-195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M., & Gantt, S.P. (2014). Systems-centered training with couples: Building marriages that work. Systemic Thinking & Psychotherapy, 5.

Davis, R. (2013). Creating the conditions for all voices to be heard: Strategies for working with differences. e-O&P Journal of the Association for Management Education and Development, 20(1), 23-29.

Gantt, S.P. (2011). Systems-centered approach to groups. In J. Kleinberg (Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of group psychotherapy, (pp. 113-138). Oxford, UK: Wiley.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

O’Neill, R.M., & Mogle, J. (2015). Systems-centered functional subgrouping and large group outcome. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 39(4), 303-317. doi: 10.13186/group.39.4.0303

Presenters

Frances Carter, MSS, LSW. Frances Carter, MSS, LSW is a Licensed Social Worker, living and working in the Philadelphia area. She maintains a consulting practice working with individuals, couples, groups and organizations. Fran is a founding member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, and a Board Member and System Mentor. She continues to be interested in the development of training, curriculum and research and has contributed her time to these work groups within SCTRI. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and a senior trainer, leading workshops, ongoing training and consultation groups and intensive training blocks throughout the US and Europe. She is also a principle in SAVI Communications and the SAVI Network where she works with others to develop training in the SAVI approach to "seeing systems" through the communication patterns. She brings to all her work the energy and creativity of her early background as an artist.


402-I | Coaching Individuals and Teams: A Systems-Centered Perspective

Trainer(s): Rowena Davis , MSc ; Annie MacIver, MA, CQSW

Coaching from a Systems-Centered perspective: what does it look and feel like and what difference does it make? We will use a Theory of Living Human Systems and its Systems-Centered practice to explore what we know and discover new learning. Using participants’ live examples, we will practice and role play coaching. This Institute is open to members at Intermediate and Advanced levels in SCT training who have completed Intermediate Skills Training.

Category: Institute
Track: Clinical|Organizational
Level: Intermediate Level|Advanced Level
CE credits: 9.0
Format: Didactic, experiential, group practicum
Day(s): Saturday & Sunday ,

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • State one goal of coaching from a systems-centered perspective
  • Translate the theory statement from a Theory of Living Human Systems to a coaching context
  • Apply the SCT notions of role, goal and context in a coaching setting
  • Use the person-as-a-system map to take up my inter-person role as a coach
  • Practice reducing ambiguity, redundancy and contradictions in a coaching system
  • Use the force field as a tool to identify behaviors that support or get in the way of goal achievement in a coaching context

Presentation Content

Systemic coaching is widely acknowledged as an effective approach to aligning individuals and the teams in which they work to the organization they work for. Systemic Coaching has its roots in principles of Organisational Development, where the individual self is viewed in relationship to others, and in relation to the larger organizational or institutional ecosystem. Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Kurt Lewin, Edgar Schein, Peter Senge, Peter Hawkins and Otto Scharmer have contributed to the systemic view in their approaches. SCT’s unique contribution is having a theory, methods and techniques and in focusing on discriminating and integrating differences at all system levels.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford. Re printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Davis, R. (2014). Working across organisational boundaries: Shifting from complaining and blaming to problem-solving. e-O&P Journal of the Association for Management Education and Development, 21(3), 22-37.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (Eds.) (2005). SCT in action: Applying the systems-centered approach in organizations. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse. Reprint (2006). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Sundlin, A-L, & Sundlin, P. (2014). Taking up your role: How to shift between life and work without losing yourself. Cambridge, MA: Catalyst Communications Press.

Presenters

Rowena Davis, MSc. Rowena Davis, MSc, is an organizational consultant working with public, private and not-for-profit organizations in the UK and internationally. Her work combines coaching individuals and teams; strategic marketing and planning; mapping systems; and running SCT and SAVI trainings in the US and Europe. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner, a certified SAVI trainer, a member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute Board and a Director of SCT UK. She holds an MSc in Change Agent Skills & Strategies (Distinction) from the University of Surrey, a Dottore in Sociologia from the University of Trento, Italy, and a BSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics.

Annie MacIver, MA, CQSW. Annie MacIver MA, CQSW, is an organisational consultant, trainer and coach working in the public and private sectors. She has applied SCT to build effective teams and partnerships as a senior leader in large public sector organisations. She is a licensed Systems-Centered practitioner, a Director of SCTUK and a member of the SCTRI Board. She has an MA in Consultation and the Organisation and is a qualified Social Worker.


403-I | Observing a Systems-Centered Foundation Group: Training for Trainers and Advanced Intermediate Leaders

Trainer(s): A. Meigs Ross , M.Div., LCSW ; Norma Safransky, MD

This task-focused training is an opportunity to observe a two-day foundation group through the first phases of system development, tracking group dynamics and phase while linking leader interventions to theory and methods.

Prerequisite: Mentor Training

By application. To apply, contact Meigs Ross

Category: Institute
Track: Intermediate Level|Advanced Level
Level: Clinical|Organizational
CE credits:
Format: Observation, force field, discussion
Day(s): ,

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe leader interventions in creating a working SCT group
  • Discuss the leader's use of methods and techniques of SCT in relation to the group's movement through the early phases of development
  • Create a force field of leader behaviors as driving or restraining forces toward the development of all system levels (member, subgroup, group-as-a-whole)
  • Discuss leader interventions and consequent behavioral data in relation to a Theory of Living Human Systems
  • List 3 examples of member, subgroup and group-as-a-whole behaviors as reflections of phase of group development
  • List 3 examples of changes in behaviors as members learn to move from person to member, to member of a subgroup and to the group-as-a-whole

Presentation Content

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating, and reducing somatic defenses.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: A theory of living human systems and its systems-centered practice. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 36(1), 19-36.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171-195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Presenters

A. Meigs Ross, M.Div., LCSW. The Rev. A. Meigs Ross, M.Div., LCSW, is a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice in New York City and a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner. She is also an adjunct professor and an ACPE Clinical Pastoral Educator at Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary in NYC.

Norma Safransky, MD. Norma Safransky, MD, is a licensed SCT practitioner in private practice in Chapel Hill, NC. Her work includes individual and group psychotherapy. She is a member of the Systems Centered Training and Research Institute Board and the SCTRI Steering Group. She holds a Doctor of Medicine degree and completed a residency in psychiatry at the University of North Carolina. She holds a BS degree in zoology from Duke University.


501-IC | Licensing Group

Trainer(s): Susan P. Gantt , Ph.D., CGP, ABPP, DFAGPA, FAPA ; Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych

7-day group, meets on Institute weekend and continues Mon - Thu Sessions 1 &2, Fri Session 1
The weekend schedule for the Licensing Group & Observers is different from the schedule for other groups. The schedule will be sent by email.

This training event is for the recently completed AIG-VIII to continue to develop the group's and members' capacity in the task of submitting for an SCT practitioner license. The focus of the training is moving from process to task and learning when process work is driving in relation to the goals of the task. The first part is training group practicum and review work. The second part is working on the task of developing licensing criteria and structure with consultation from the leaders. The program will focus on applying a Theory of Living Human Systems in exploring the issues of giving and taking authority.

This is a closed group.

Note: Participation in intermediate level training requires actively receiving consultation from an SCT Licensed Practitioner.

Category: Institute
Track: Clinical|Organizational
Level: Advanced Level
CE credits: 25.5
Format: Experiential, group practicum
Day(s): Saturday & Sunday ,

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Demonstrate ability to shift from person to member in a developing group in each of its phases of system development
  • Utilize leadership and membership roles working in the context of a peer task-focused group
  • Apply SCT methods to weaken the restraining forces in shifting from person to member
  • Describe the concept of hatred of authority
  • Explain the role relationships with external authority and one’s internal authority
  • Practice working in membership with leadership towards the goal of increasing awareness of the driving and restraining forces related to leadership effectiveness, both internal in relationship to the personality style, task/maintenance dimensions, and the effect of leadership behaviors on the group's membership, subgroups and the group-as-a-whole

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that function as hypotheses to test both the validity of the theory and the reliability of its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1994). The phases of development and the systems-centered group. In M. Pines, & V. Schermer (Eds.), Ring of fire: Primitive object relations and affect in group psychotherapy (pp. 36-85). London, UK: Routledge, Chapman & Hall.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171–195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M. (2018). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9.

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Armington, R. (2012). Exploring the convergence of systems-centered therapy’s functional subgrouping and the principles of interpersonal neurobiology. Journal of Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies, 1, 51-55.

Brabender, V., & Fallon, A. (2008). Group development in practice: Guidance for clinicians and researchers on stages and dynamics of change. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Gantt, S.P. (2011). Functional subgrouping and the systems-centered approach to group therapy. In J. Kleinberg (Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of group psychotherapy (pp. 113-138). Oxford, UK: Wiley.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Moreno, J.K. (2007). Scapegoating in group psychotherapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 57(1), 93-104.

Presenters

Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., CGP, ABPP, DFAGPA, FAPA. Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, DFAGPA, FAPA, is a psychologist in private practice and coordinated group psychotherapy training in psychiatry at Emory University for 29 years. She chairs the Systems-Centered Training (SCT) and Research Institute; teaches SCT in the USA, Europe and China; and leads training groups in Atlanta, San Francisco, and The Netherlands. She has co-authored four books with Yvonne Agazarian, co-edited The Interpersonal Neurobiology of Group Psychotherapy and Group Process with Bonnie Badenoch, and received the 2011 Alonso Award for Excellence in Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy. Her newest book is Systems-Centered Training: An Illustrated Guide for Applying a Theory of Living Human Systems (Agazarian, Gantt, & Carter, 2021).

Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych. Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych, is a licensed Systems-Centered practitioner, a Director of SCTUK, a member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute Board of Directors and of the Board of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy and of the Institute of Group Analysis. He spent many years as a medical psychotherapist in the NHS as a therapist and training psychiatrists in therapeutic skills. As a Systems-Centered practitioner and trainer he undertakes training, consultation, personal development, mentoring and therapy in the UK and internationally.


502-IC | Advanced Training for Trainers and Leaders: Tracking Group Development

Trainer(s): Dorothy Gibbons , MSS, LCSW, CGP ; Juliet Koprowska, MSW

7-day group, meets on Institute weekend and continues Mon - Thu Sessions 1 &2, Fri Session 1
The weekend schedule for the Licensing Group & Observers is different from the schedule for other groups. The schedule will be sent by email.

This training observes the Licensing Group to track group dynamics, phase of system development, communication patterns that support the work goal, leadership interventions linking interventions to theory and group functioning. Goal: To learn through observation to collect data about the impact of leader interventions towards developing an SCT task group and, through experience, to collect data about system isomorphy.

Prerequisite: Completion of the Authority Issue Group.

This is a closed group.

Category: Institute
Track: Clinical|Organizational
Level: Advanced Level
CE credits: 25.5
Format: Observation, didactic, experiential, group practicum
Day(s): Saturday & Sunday ,

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Analyze the consultants' SCT interventions towards the goal of creating an SCT task group
  • Identify a predictable hierarchy of defense modification in the service of developing an SCT work phase group
  • Describe observations and apply experience to a Theory of Living Human Systems and systems-centered practice
  • Compare isomorphy between group being observed and observing group
  • Assess effectiveness of functional subgrouping in the service of a task group's goals
  • Describe at least 3 differences between the interventions of a task group consultant and the leader of an experiential group

Presentation Content

Learning methods: Systems-centered practice and training was developed by Yvonne Agazarian over a number of decades. This training is offered from foundation level to licensing and more recently the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute (SCTRI) has pioneered advanced training for trainers and leaders, a training group for advanced practitioners who who wish to enhance their skills as trainers. This training is a twice yearly training observing the training and development of the Authority Issue Group (AIG) & Licensing Group. SCTRI was presented with the 2010 Award for Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. The training consists of observation of the AIG training group & Licensing Group led by Susan Gantt and Ray Haddock. Discussion and exploration, using the observations to provide data for tracking group dynamics, phase of system development, communication patterns that support the phase, leadership interventions to member, subgroup and group-as-a-whole, while linking interventions to theory and group functioning. Skills practice: using the group to practice and build on skills of giving and taking authority in training roles.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Armington, R. (2012). Exploring the convergence of systems-centered therapy’s functional subgrouping and the principles of interpersonal neurobiology. Journal of Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies, 1, 51-55.

Gantt, S.P. (2011). Systems-centered approach to groups. In J. Kleinberg (Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of group psychotherapy (pp. 113-138). Oxford, UK: Wiley.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2010). Developing the group mind through functional subgrouping: Linking systems-centered training (SCT) and interpersonal neurobiology. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 60(4), 515-544. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2010.60.4.515

Gantt, S.P., & Badenoch, B. (Eds.) (2013). The interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group process. London, UK: Karnac Books.

O’Neill, R.M., Constantino, M.J., & Mogle, J. (2012). Does Agazarian’s systems-centered functional subgrouping improve mood, learning and goal achievement?: A study in large groups. Group Analysis, 45, 375-390. doi: 10.1177/0533316412448287

O'Neill, R.M., Smyth, J.M., & MacKenzie, M.J. (2011). Systems-centered functional subgrouping links the member to the group dynamics and goals: How-to and a pilot study. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 35(2), 105-121.

Presenters

Dorothy Gibbons, MSS, LCSW, CGP. Dorothy Gibbons, MSS, LCSW, CGP, is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner. She is in private practice in Philadelphia, PA. She works with individuals, groups, and couples. She also works as an organizational consultant to a social service agency in Philadelphia. Ms. Gibbons is the former Director of the Adolescent Sex Offender Unit at the Joseph J. Peters Institute in Philadelphia and has extensive experience working with both victims and offenders of sexual abuse. She is on the Board of Directors of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute. She is also a graduate of the Gestalt Therapy Training.

Juliet Koprowska, MSW. Juliet Koprowska, MSW, Diploma in Counselling, is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitoner. She is Honorary Fellow at the University of York where for many years she taught qualifying and registered social workers. She leads and co-leads SCT and systems-oriented training in the UK, Italy and the US. She researches communication in social work practice and is author of "Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Social Work" (5th edition). London: Sage Learning Matters, a book widely used on social work programmes in the UK. She is co-editor and author with Juhila, K., Dall, T. & Hall, C. (2021), of "Interprofessional Collaboration and Service User Participation: Analysing meetings in social welfare." Bristol: Policy Press. She organises the annual SCT event held in York, England (currently online).

Five-Day Conference

The Five-Day Conference begins Monday with a Welcome from Mike Maher, Director of SCTRI

Session 1, Monday – Friday

Choose one


101a-C | Systems-Centered Foundation Training Group

Trainer(s): Rick Campa , Ph.D., CGP ; Lotte Paans, MS

In this experiential training, members create a systems-centered group through functional subgrouping, the core method of SCT. As members work together modifying personal and group constraints to growth, the group develops skills for solving problems in the uncertainty of everyday life.

This group is available as part of the full 5-day conference or 7-day package as well as a stand-alone training. If you wish to attend only the 5-day Foundation Training, please register for "101-CF, Session 1 only."

Category: Session 1
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Theory and Basics|General Interest
Level: Foundation Level
CE credits: 10.0
Format: Group practicum, experiential
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Apply the skill of functional subgrouping to explore experience with others
  • Apply the skill of centering
  • Discriminate explaining from exploring experience in the present moment
  • Practice identifying and undoing anxiety-provoking thoughts about the future and move attention to here-and-now reality
  • Describe how to test the reality of mindreads of others
  • Practice finding curiosity in the here-and-now in the face of uncertainty

Presentation Content

System-Centered methods and techniques used to run groups produce high levels of engagement, less avoidance, less conflict, better inter-member relationships, more overall learning and goal achievement, and are more collaborative, productive and creative than groups using various other communication structures. Research specifically examining functional subgrouping has shown that group members find it to be a positive experience and as it relates to increased morale, learning, and goal achievement. See O’Neill et al (2013) research below for related references.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2), 171-195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P., & Badenoch, B. (2013). The interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group process. London, UK: Karnac Books.

O’Neill, R.M., Murphy, V., Mogle, J., MacKenzie, M.J., MacGregor, K.L., Pearson, M., & Parekh, M. (2013). Are systems-centered teams more collaborative, productive and creative? Journal of Team Performance Management, 19(3/4), 201-221. doi: 10.1108/TPM-04-2012-0015

Presenters

Rick Campa, Ph.D., CGP. Rick Campa, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Austin, Texas. He was awarded his doctorate in clinical psychology from Boston University in 1991 after completing an internship at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, and a post-intern fellowship at Harvard Medical School. Rick moved to Texas in 1991 to serve as Director of the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit at the San Antonio State Hospital where acutely agitated, psychotic, and dangerous patients were assessed and stabilized. He eventually moved to Austin to join a practice with a group of psychologists where he was introduced to the work of Dr. Yvonne Agazarian. Rick began formal SCT training in 1998 and has been an active member in SCTRI since that time. Rick is currently a licensed SCT Practitioner and provides therapy, training, and consultation in SCT theory, methods, and techniques locally and nationally.

Lotte Paans, MS. Lotte Paans, MS, is a licensed SCT Practitioner. She runs a private practice for therapy and coaching in the Netherlands. She counsels individuals, couples and teams, provides training and supervision for (team)coaches and consultants and manages change in organizations using SCT. She leads ongoing Systems-Centered Training groups in the Netherlands, is a trainer at international SCT conferences and is the Chair and co-founder of the Dutch SCT Board.


101b-C | Systems-Centered Foundation Training Group

Trainer(s): Peter Kunneman , . ; A. Meigs Ross, M.Div., LCSW

In this experiential training, members create a systems-centered group through functional subgrouping, the core method of SCT. As members work together modifying personal and group constraints to growth, the group develops skills for solving problems in the uncertainty of everyday life.

This group is available as part of the full 5-day conference or 7-day package as well as a stand-alone training. If you wish to attend only the 5-day Foundation Training, please register for "101-CF, Session 1 only."

Category: Session 1
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Theory and Basics|General Interest
Level: Foundation Level
CE credits: 10.0
Format: Group practicum, experiential
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Apply the skill of functional subgrouping to explore experience with others
  • Apply the skill of centering
  • Discriminate explaining from exploring experience in the present moment
  • Practice identifying and undoing anxiety-provoking thoughts about the future and move attention to here-and-now reality
  • Describe how to test the reality of mindreads of others
  • Practice finding curiosity in the here-and-now in the face of uncertainty

Presentation Content

System-Centered methods and techniques used to run groups produce high levels of engagement, less avoidance, less conflict, better inter-member relationships, more overall learning and goal achievement, and are more collaborative, productive and creative than groups using various other communication structures. Research specifically examining functional subgrouping has shown that group members find it to be a positive experience and as it relates to increased morale, learning, and goal achievement. See O’Neill et al (2013) research below for related references.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2), 171-195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P., & Badenoch, B. (2013). The interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group process. London, UK: Karnac Books.

O’Neill, R.M., Murphy, V., Mogle, J., MacKenzie, M.J., MacGregor, K.L., Pearson, M., & Parekh, M. (2013). Are systems-centered teams more collaborative, productive and creative? Journal of Team Performance Management, 19(3/4), 201-221. doi: 10.1108/TPM-04-2012-0015

Presenters

Peter Kunneman, .. Peter Kunneman has 30 years’ experience in managing teams to deliver value to clients. Clients work with him in partnership and can rely on result focus, solid stakeholder management and strong team performance. Peter uses Systems-Centered methods and tools, which make teams perform better and work together more creatively. People in his teams develop a deeper understanding of the roles that they need to fulfill in order to reach the goals that are required in the context. Peter brings integrity, commitment and humor to his work. He is a licensed SCT Practitioner.

A. Meigs Ross, M.Div., LCSW. The Rev. A. Meigs Ross, M.Div., LCSW, is a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice in New York City and a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner. She is also an adjunct professor and an ACPE Clinical Pastoral Educator at Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary in NYC.


302-C | Intermediate Training: Working with Role Systems

Trainer(s): Rowena Davis , MSc ; Norma Safransky, MD

Participants will use SCT methods to build the group as a context for exploring the relationships among group-as-a-whole, member and inner-person systems. We will discover how communication outputs signal the source of the sending role-system and explore how the sending system relates to the group context. Members who have attended Intermediate Skills Training qualify. Any others use the application to assess your readiness.

Prerequisite: Completion of Intermediate Skills Training (IST) or by application to assess your readiness. If you have not yet attended the IST, send application with details of your SCT training to date to Rowena Davis and Norma Safransky

APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 11, 2022

Category: Session 1
Track: Clinical|Organizational
Level: Intermediate Level
CE credits: 10.0
Format: Experiential
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe one behavioral output of inner-person role-systems
  • Describe one behavioral output of inter-person role-systems
  • Describe one behavioral output of a whole system role
  • Identify one example of a survival role-system triggered in the flight or fight subphase
  • Describe the connection between curiosity and opening survival role boundaries
  • Give one example of moving from a survival role-system to an inter-person role

Presentation Content

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 25 years, presented in more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating, and reducing somatic defenses.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M., & Gantt, S.P. (2000). Autobiography of a theory: Developing a theory of living human systems and its systems-centered practice. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley.

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P. (2011). Systems-centered approach to groups. In J. Kleinberg (Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of group psychotherapy (pp. 113-138). Oxford, UK: Wiley.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P. (2015). Systems-centered group therapy. In E.S. Neukrug (Ed.), Encyclopedia of theory in counseling and psychotherapy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2011). The group mind, systems-centred functional subgrouping, and interpersonal neurobiology. In E. Hopper & H. Weinberg (Eds.), The social unconscious in persons, groups, and societies: Volume 1: Mainly theory (pp. 99-123). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Siegel, D. (2010). Mindsight: The new science of personal transformation. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Presenters

Rowena Davis, MSc. Rowena Davis, MSc, is an organizational consultant working with public, private and not-for-profit organizations in the UK and internationally. Her work combines coaching individuals and teams; strategic marketing and planning; mapping systems; and running SCT and SAVI trainings in the US and Europe. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner, a certified SAVI trainer, a member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute Board and a Director of SCT UK. She holds an MSc in Change Agent Skills & Strategies (Distinction) from the University of Surrey, a Dottore in Sociologia from the University of Trento, Italy, and a BSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics.

Norma Safransky, MD. Norma Safransky, MD, is a licensed SCT practitioner in private practice in Chapel Hill, NC. Her work includes individual and group psychotherapy. She is a member of the Systems Centered Training and Research Institute Board and the SCTRI Steering Group. She holds a Doctor of Medicine degree and completed a residency in psychiatry at the University of North Carolina. She holds a BS degree in zoology from Duke University.


503-C | Advanced Training Group

Trainer(s): Frances Carter , MSS, LSW

Advanced members apply a Theory of Living Human Systems (TLHS) and SCT methods to build and develop a systems-centered group context within which they can explore intimacy phase roles that impact the capacity for member role in the group and the conference-as-a-whole.

Prerequisite: Completion of Authority Issue Group, active membership in SCTRI. If not currently in a training context, please contact Fran Carter for permission.

Category: Session 1
Track: Clinical|Organizational
Level: Advanced Level
CE credits: 10.0
Format: Experiential, review
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Apply the concept of a member role to practice shifting from one's personal experience to one's experience in a larger context
  • Use the method of functional subgrouping to test the hypothesis that discrimination and integration of difference contributes to survival, development and transformation
  • Discuss the similarities and differences in experience at different system levels: person, member, subgroup and group-as-a-whole
  • Identify and reduce the restraining forces appropriate to the phase of development
  • Articulate fresh ways of taking up membership by exploring and reducing stereotyped habits of membership
  • Discover and discuss the function of the "advanced" group in the system-as-a-whole

Presentation Content

Systems-centered training has been widely accepted in group psychotherapy and organizational development contexts. Its methods link to conditions that correlate with successful outcomes in group work - functional subgrouping increases group cohesion and lowers scapegoating.

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis. The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 25 years, presented in more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in work with groups and individuals.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M., & Gantt, S.P. (2000). Autobiography of a theory: Developing a theory of living human systems and its systems-centered practice. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley.

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P. (2011). Systems-centered approach to groups. In J. Kleinberg (Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of group psychotherapy (pp. 113-138). Oxford, UK: Wiley.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (Eds.) (2005). SCT in action: Applying the systems-centered approach in organizations. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse. Reprint (2006). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2013). Developing the group mind through functional subgrouping: Linking systems-centered training (SCT) and interpersonal neurobiology. In S.P Gantt & B. Badenoch (Eds.) The interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group process. London, UK: Karnac Books.

O’Neill, R.M., & Constantino, M.J. (2008). Systems-centered training groups’ process and outcome: A comparison with AGPA institute groups. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 58(1), 77-102. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2008.58.1.77

Presenters

Frances Carter, MSS, LSW. Frances Carter, MSS, LSW, is a Licensed Social Worker, living and working in the Philadelphia area. She maintains a clinical and consulting practice working with individuals, couples, groups and organizations. Fran is a founding member of Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, a current Board Member and System Mentor. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and a senior trainer, leading workshops, ongoing training and consultation groups and intensive training blocks throughout the US and Europe. She is also a principle in SAVI Communications and the SAVI Network where she works with others to develop training in the SAVI approach to communication.

Session 2, Monday – Thursday

Choose one


404-C | Force Field Training: Integrating Force Field Development with Theory and Practice

Trainer(s): Rowena Davis , MSc ; Rick Campa, Ph.D., CGP

This group meets Mon-Thu

SCT uses force field analysis to track driving and restraining forces to system development and to identify the explicit and implicit goals at any system level. In this 4-day intermediate/advanced training, we will use data from experiential work to build force fields. We will focus on gathering data (vs. opinions) and weakening restraining forces to sustainable change.

Prerequisite: Completion of Intermediate Skills Training (IST).

Note: Participation in intermediate level training requires actively receiving consultation from an SCT Licensed Practitioner.

Category: Session 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational
Level: Intermediate Level|Advanced Level
CE credits: 6.0
Format: Didactic, experiential, group practicum
Day(s):

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe the theory behind SCT's use of Lewin's force field
  • Describe the difference between an opinion-based and a description-based force field
  • Use force fields to identify the implicit goals of a system
  • Use the force field to identify the phase of system development
  • Discriminate inter-person system output from inner-person output
  • Describe one’s own leading edge in creating and using a force field

Presentation Content

The systems-centered approach developed by Yvonne Agazarian is considered by APA a contribution to the knowledge of the boundaries between clinical and social psychology. Systems-centered training draws on a comprehensive systems theory, that is implemented by specific, theory-derived methods and techniques. The core method, functional subgrouping, is indicated by peer-reviewed research to improve group functioning.

Force fields were developed by Kurt Lewin in 1947. They are an important tool used in SCT to aid in collecting data about the driving and restraining forces in any human system.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2018). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9.

Agazarian, Y.M., & Gantt, S.P. (2003). Phases of group development: Systems-centered hypotheses and their implications for research and practice. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice, 7(3), 238-252. doi: 10.1037/1089-2699.7.3.238

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Davis, R. (2014). Working across organisational boundaries: Shifting from complaining and blaming to problem-solving. e-O&P Journal of the Association for Management Education and Development, 21(3), 22-37.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2007). Phases of system development in organizational work groups: The systems-centered approach for intervening in context. Organisational & Social Dynamics, 7(2), 253-291.

Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social science. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

Shirey, M. (2013). Lewin’s theory of planned change as a strategic resource. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 43(2), 69–72.

Siegel, D. (2010). Mindsight: The new science of personal transformation. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Presenters

Rowena Davis, MSc. Rowena Davis, MSc, is an organizational consultant working with public, private and not-for-profit organizations in the UK and internationally. Her work combines coaching individuals and teams; strategic marketing and planning; mapping systems; and running SCT and SAVI trainings in the US and Europe. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner, a certified SAVI trainer, a member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute Board and a Director of SCT UK. She holds an MSc in Change Agent Skills & Strategies (Distinction) from the University of Surrey, a Dottore in Sociologia from the University of Trento, Italy, and a BSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics.

Rick Campa, Ph.D., CGP. Rick Campa, Ph.D., CGP, is a clinical psychologist, certified group practitioner, and licensed SCT practitioner and trainer located in Austin, Texas. He studied clinical psychology at Boston University where he earned his doctorate in 1991. Rick moved to Austin in 1991 and opened a private practice. He began formal training in SCT in 1998. As a licensed SCT practitioner, Rick offers therapy, training, and consultation in SCT theory, methods, and techniques locally and nationally.

Session 2, Monday

Choose one


01 | Basics in SCT: Functional Subgrouping

Trainer(s): Dayne Narretta, LCSW, BCD, CGP, FAGPA and Deborah Woolf, MSS, LCSW, PHR

This group introduces participants to the basic elements of SCT theory, skills and practice.

Functional subgrouping is the core method used in SCT to implement the theory statement that all living systems survive, develop and transform by discriminating differences in the apparently similar and similarities in the apparently different. This group will introduce and practice the behaviors that support functional subgrouping.

Category: Session 2
Track: Theory and Basics|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, experiential practice
Day(s): Monday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe how functional subgrouping helps systems to integrate, rather than split off differences
  • Apply two behaviors that support functional subgrouping
  • Describe how functional subgrouping helps to activate one's observing system

Presentation Content

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 25 years, presented in more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Functional subgrouping has been shown to increase group cohesion and decrease scapegoating. Developing a functional subgroup requires a set of verbal behaviors/skills which, once learned, facilitate exploration and conflict resolution in any context. Joining with similarities includes identifying authentic resonance within oneself, matching or slightly increasing the intensity of affect, adding new bits to build the subgroup without bringing in too big a difference.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171-195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Gantt, S.P., & Adams, J.M. (2010). Systems-centered training for therapists: Beyond stereotyping to integrating diversities into the change process. Women & Therapy, 33(1), 101-120. doi: 10.1080/02703140903404812

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2010). Developing the group mind through functional subgrouping: Linking systems-centered training (SCT) and interpersonal neurobiology. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 60(4), 515-544. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2010.60.4.515

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Gantt, S.P., (2018). Developing groups that change our minds and transform our brains: Systems-centered’s functional subgrouping, its impact on our neurobiology, and its role in each phase of group development. Psychoanalytic Inquiry: Today’s Bridge Between Psychoanalysis and the Group World [Special Issue], 38(4), 270-284. doi: 10.1080/07351690.2018.1444851

O'Neill, R.M., Smyth, J.M. & MacKenzie, M.J. (2011). Systems-centered functional subgrouping links the member to the group dynamics and goals: How-to and a pilot study. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 35(2), 105-121.

Presenters

Dayne Narretta, LCSW, BCD, CGP, FAGPA. Dayne Narretta, LCSW, BCD, CGP, FAGPA, is in Private Practice in Baton Rouge, LA. She has been facilitating groups since 1992. She has done her group training through Systems-Centered Training Research Institute, American Group Psychotherapy Association and its affiliates. She does workshops and experiential groups for AGPA and its affiliates, universities, treatment centers and other organizations or groups that are curious about Systems Oriented Training and Functional Subgrouping. She was introduced to Systems-Centered group work in 2004 and continues her training in the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute. Dayne is currently a co-director for the Systems-Centered Training annual conference. She has served on the Board for American Group Psychotherapy Association, as an AGPA conference co-chair and on the Affiliate Society Assembly. In addition, she has served in numerous roles in the Louisiana Group Psychotherapy Society, including president.

Deborah Woolf, MSS, LCSW, PHR. Deborah Woolf, LCSW, PHR, has been training in Systems-Centered Theory (SCT) since 1999 and been a member of Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute since 2001. She is a clinician working in an outpatient setting with individuals and groups. She has worked in Human Resources and in Organizational Development and applies SCT to that work as well. Psychoanalytic Theory as well as other theories have also influenced her. She has trained in the use of the System for Analyzing Verbal Interactions (SAVI) since 20o1 and has presented workshops and trainings on Diversity, Mentoring and SCT.


02 | Basics in SCT: Introduction to a Theory of Living Human Systems and Its Basis for Systems-Centered Practice

Trainer(s): Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych

This session introduces participants to the basic elements of SCT theory, skills and practice.

Introduction to the fundamentals of a Theory of Living Human Systems, including basic neurobiology, developmental biology and links to systems-centered methods.

Category: Session 2
Track: Theory and Basics|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, discussion
Day(s): Monday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe the fundamental concepts of a Theory of Living Human Systems (TLHS)
  • Define how SCT methods relate to a Theory of Living Human Systems
  • Summarize basic neurobiological and developmental concepts that link to the theory

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

There is also an increasing body of research and writing that is integrating, neurobiology and human development to the theory and practice of working with groups.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171–195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9.

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P., & Badenoch, B. (Eds.) (2013). The interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group processes. London, UK: Karnac Books.

Presenters

Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych. Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych, qualified in medicine in 1982, trained in Psychiatry then in Psychotherapy in Leeds (UK). Qualified as a member of the Institute of Group Analysis in 1993 and now a Licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner. Wide experience of leading SCT training groups and workshops in UK, Europe and the USA. Practices part time as a Consultant Medical Psychotherapist in the UK and works in independent practice as a Systems-Centered Practitioner in training and consultancy. Provision of therapy with complex patient problems in the NHS for over 25 years. Member of the board of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute and the International Association of Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes. Lead editor of Theory and Applications section of SCT Newsletter. Lead for SCTRI board theory group.


03 | An Exploration: 101 Strategies for Introducing a Difference

Trainer(s): Frances Carter, MSS, LSW and Claudia Byram, Ph.D., CGP

Crossing the boundary into an existing setting -- work, family, social -- with new information is an event which often brings enough turbulence that the information is rejected before it is explored. According to the Theory, how we communicate our difference makes a difference. In this workshop we will test that idea by experimenting with communication. What reduces turbulence, what increases it? What happens then?

Category: Session 2
Track: General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, role play, discussion
Day(s): Monday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe the role of noise in boundary permeability to potential difference
  • Identify one driving force that makes it more likely that new information will be discriminated and integrated
  • Identify one restraining force to getting new information across the boundary of an existing context

Presentation Content

The challenge of bringing differences into existing contexts is well recognized in organizational change literature and is addressed in systems-centered theory and methods. Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. Adapting these ideas to actual situations is where theory meets reality, and this workshop relates to that bridge.

This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171-195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M. (2016). Contrasting interpersonal and systems-centered approaches using two observation systems to analyze the communication patterns in two videotapes of the interpersonal approach to group psychotherapy. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 40(1), 71-88.

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Davis, R. (2013). Creating the conditions for all voices to be heard: Strategies for working with differences. e-O&P Journal of the Association for Management Education and Development, 20(1), 23-29.

Presenters

Frances Carter, MSS, LSW. Frances Carter, MSS, LSW, is a Licensed Social Worker, living and working in the Philadelphia area. She maintains a clinical and consulting practice working with individuals, couples, groups and organizations. Fran is a founding member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, and a Board Member and System Mentor. She continues to be interested in the development of training, curriculum and research and has contributed her time to these work groups within SCTRI. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and a senior trainer, leading workshops, ongoing training and consultation groups and intensive training blocks throughout the US and Europe. She is also a principle in SAVI Communications and the SAVI Network where she works with others to develop training in the SAVI approach to communication. She brings to all her work the energy and creativity of her early background as an artist.

Claudia Byram, Ph.D., CGP. Claudia Byram, Ph.D., CGP, has worked since 1980 as a clinician and trainer. She began work with Yvonne Agazarian in the early 80s, and has developed as a clinician and trainer as Systems-Centered therapy developed. Currently, she is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner with a clinical practice in Philadelphia. She leads Systems-Centered training events as well as communications training and consultation in the SAVI (System for Analyzing Verbal Interaction) model.


04 | Working with the Authority Issue in Organizations

Trainer(s): Peter Kunneman, .

In this workshop we will explore how the authority issue and the underlying crisis of hatred manifests itself in organizations and how to deal with that from an SCT perspective. We will explore the knowledge in the group of manifestations of the authority issue in organizational contexts and exchange the different ways we get caught in it ourselves in different roles. Finally we will chart an approach to dealing with the authority issue in organizational contexts.

Category: Session 2
Track: Organizational|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, experiential
Day(s): Monday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe five ways how the authority issue manifests itself in organizational contexts
  • Describe how I get caught in the authority issue myself working in organizations
  • Assess different ways to respond to the authority issue in an organizational context

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis. The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating and reducing somatic defenses.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (Eds.) (2005). SCT in action: Applying the systems-centered approach in organizations. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse. Reprint (2006). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Sundlin, A.L., & Sundlin, P. (2014). Taking up your role: How to shift between life and work without losing yourself. Cambridge, MA: Catalyst Communications Press.

Wheelan, S. (2016). Creating effective teams: A guide for members and leaders (5th ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.)

Presenters

Peter Kunneman, .. Peter Kunneman has 30 years’ experience in managing teams to deliver value to clients. Clients work with him in partnership and can rely on result focus, solid stakeholder management and strong team performance. Peter uses Systems-Centered methods and tools, which make teams perform better and work together more creatively. People in his teams develop a deeper understanding of the roles that they need to fulfill in order to reach the goals that are required in the context. Peter brings integrity, commitment and humor to his work. He is a licensed SCT Practitioner.


05 | Sharing Authority with Deviants: The Therapeutic Community Experience

Trainer(s): Mike Maher, MA, PGCE, UKCP

We will examine the UK Therapeutic Community tradition, where residents lived, learned and worked together, taking responsibility for their own and each other’s development and for the repair of group norms. We will watch excerpts from a film about one community where the presenter worked and explore: How did these communities work? What ideas did they share with SCT and in what ways did they differ? What could we learn from their rise and fall?

Category: Session 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic to start, opening to discussion, sharing participants’ own experience, building on ideas and similarities
Day(s): Monday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Articulate the basic components of the UK tradition of Therapeutic Communities for Adults and Adolescents
  • Assess areas of intersection between the Therapeutic Community tradition and SCT theory and practice
  • Identify ideas and next steps to take back to my own work context (e.g., program development)

Presentation Content

Systems-centered practice in groups has been developed from the application of a Theory of Living Human Systems to weaken the restraining forces to system development. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P. (2018). Developing groups that change our minds and transform our brains: Systems-centered's functional subgrouping, its impact on our neurobiology, and its role in each phase of group development. Psychoanalytic Inquiry: Today's Bridge Between Psychoanalysis and the Group World [Special Issue], 38(4), 270-284. doi: 10.1080/07351690.2018.1444851

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Ward, A., Kasinski, K., Pooley, J., & Worthington, A. (Eds.) (2003). Therapeutic communities for children and young people. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley.

Presenters

Mike Maher, MA, PGCE, UKCP. Mike Maher, MA, PGCE, UKCP, is a psychotherapist, trainer and organisational consultant. He is a Licensed SCT Practitioner and Director of SCTRI and leads three ongoing SCT training groups. He was Deputy Director in a Therapeutic Community and subsequently he has developed a specialism in working with staff who work with client groups - adolescents and adults - characterised by their challenging natures. He has written papers and book chapters in working with staff groups, organisational issues in mental health reform, managing self-harm behaviours and other subjects, and has presented at many national and international conferences.

Session 2, Tuesday

Choose one


06 | Basics in SCT: Explain/Explore: The Fork-in-the-Road

Trainer(s): Jeff Eiberson , Ph.D.

This group introduces participants to the basic elements of SCT theory, skills and practice.

Developing awareness of the fork-in-the-road between explaining and exploring is a discrimination that opens us to the possibility of change. Explaining keeps us focused on what we already know, and exploring moves us into the unknown where something new can emerge. Using the fork-in-the-road we will explore experience at the edge of the unknown as well as the information contained within our tendency to explain.

Category: Session 2
Track: Theory and Basics
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, experiential, discussion
Day(s): Tuesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe the fork-in-the-road as a method to vector energy
  • Apply explaining versus exploring as a fork-in-the-road
  • Practice using the fork-in-the road method

Presentation Content

Through didactic and experiential learning, this workshop will provide initial training to participants in understanding and using the systems-centered method of vectoring (specifically the fork-in-the-road intervention). The systems-centered approach has been in the field of group psychotherapy for over 25 years. More than 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals and multiple books in the fields of psychotherapy and organizational development have been published. The systems-centered approach has been studied and linked to successful strategies for increasing the effectiveness of leadership interventions in individual and group psychotherapy and in organizational contexts.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2010). Systems-centered theory and practice: The contribution of Yvonne Agazarian (Edited by SCTRI). Livermore, CA: WingSpan Press. Reprint (2011). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: A theory of living human systems and its systems-centered practice. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 36(1), 19-36.

Gantt, S.P. (2015). Systems-centered group therapy. In E.S. Neukrug (Ed.), Encyclopedia of theory in counseling and psychotherapy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Gantt, S.P. (2018). Developing groups that change our minds and transform our brains: Systems-centered's functional subgrouping, its impact on our neurobiology, and its role in each phase of group development. Psychoanalytic Inquiry: Today's Bridge Between Psychoanalysis and the Group World [Special Issue], 38(4), 270-284. doi: 10.1080/07351690.2018.1444851

Presenters

Jeff Eiberson, Ph.D.. Jeff Eiberson, Ph.D,. is a licensed psychologist and licensed Systems-Centered practitioner. He has worked in several roles within SCT since 1994 and is in private practice in Philadelphia.


07 | Basics in SCT: Seeing Systems

Trainer(s): Frances Carter , MSS, LSW

This group introduces participants to the basic elements of SCT theory, skills and practice.

Learning to see systems and not just people is the heart of applying systems thinking. Participants will explore how to apply the constructs of the theory of living human systems in looking at living human systems as small as a person and as big as the world.

Category: Session 2
Track: Theory and Basics
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Presentation, discussion
Day(s): Tuesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • State the connection between theory (TLHS) and practice (SCT)
  • Practice thinking systems and not just people
  • Describe and diagram the essential system variables identified in a theory of living human systems

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that function as hypotheses to test both the validity of the theory and the reliability of its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1994). The phases of development and the systems-centered group. In M. Pines, & V. Schermer (Eds.), Ring of fire: Primitive object relations and affect in group psychotherapy (pp. 36-85). London, UK: Routledge, Chapman & Hall.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107. doi: 10.1177/104649649903000105

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171–195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M. (2018). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9.

Armington, R. (2012). Exploring the convergence of systems-centered therapy’s functional subgrouping and the principles of interpersonal neurobiology. Journal of Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies, 1, 51-55.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Presenters

Frances Carter, MSS, LSW. Frances Carter, MSS, LSW, is a Licensed Social Worker, living and working in the Philadelphia area. She maintains a clinical and consulting practice working with individuals, couples, groups and organizations. Fran is a founding member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, and a Board Member and System Mentor. She continues to be interested in the development of training, curriculum and research and has contributed her time to these work groups within SCTRI. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and a senior trainer, leading workshops, ongoing training and consultation groups and intensive training blocks throughout the US and Europe. She is also a principle in SAVI Communications and the SAVI Network where she works with others to develop training in the SAVI approach to communication. She brings to all her work the energy and creativity of her early background as an artist.


08 | Exploring Bias through a Systems-Centered Lens

Trainer(s): Verena Murphy , Ph.D., LISW ; Debbie Woolf, MSS, LCSW, PHR

Bias is defined by Wikipedia as "disproportionate weight in favor of or against an idea or thing, in a way that is closed-minded, prejudicial, or unfair. Biases can be innate or learned. People may develop biases for or against individuals, groups, or beliefs." Being the recipient of bias can be traumatizing. Through functional subgrouping we can safely explore the topic from a systems-centered perspective.

Category: Session 2
Track: General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, experiential
Day(s): Tuesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Discuss the function of bias in living human systems
  • Apply the systems-centered method of functional subgrouping to explore responses to differences
  • List one driving and one restraining force of carrying a bias towards the goal of survival

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating, and reducing somatic defenses. A Theory of Living Human Systems states that living human systems survive, develop and transform from simple to complex by discriminating and integrating differences. Using stereotyping and biased and prejudicial thinking are some of the ways that humans discriminate differences. Frequently, differences are attacked, scapegoated, or avoided by us as humans. The awareness of one’s impulse to scapegoat, attack or avoid differences, e.g., by thinking “us vs. them,” gives us data which can lead to insight and alternative choices when we respond to differences. Ultimately the ability to integrate the differences leads to development, learning and transformation.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Amadio, D,M. (2014). The neuroscience of prejudice and stereotyping. Nature/Neuroscience, 15, 670-682. doi:10.1038nrn3800

Banaji, M.R., & Greenwald. (2016). Blindspot: Hidden biases of good people. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Eberhardt, J.L. (2019). Biased. New York, NY: Viking.

Fiske, S.T. (2015). Intergroup biases: A focus on stereotype content. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 3, 45-50. doi:10.1016/j.cobeha.2015.01.010

Sinclair, S., Dunn, E., & Lowery, B.S. (2005). The relationship between parental racial attitudes and children’s implicit prejudice. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 41, 283-289.

Ponsi, G., Panasiti, M.S., Rizza, G., & Aglioti, S.M. (2017). Thermal facial reactivity patterns predict social categorization bias triggered by unconscious and conscious emotional stimuli. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rspb.2017.0908

Presenters

Verena Murphy, Ph.D., LISW. Verena Murphy, Ph.D., LISW, began training in 1993 with Yvonne Agazarian in Philadelphia, and has used SCT theory and practice in her personal development, as a partner, mother and grandmother, as a clinical Social Worker in inpatient and outpatient settings, as assistant professor in Management and Information Systems, and as trainer in Europe. She resides in Oregon, where she has a private, systems-oriented online practice.

Debbie Woolf, MSS, LCSW, PHR. Deborah Woolf, MS, MSS, LCSW, PHR, has been training in Systems-Centered Theory (SCT) since 1999 and been a member of Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute since 2001. She is a clinician working in an outpatient setting with individuals and groups. She has worked in Human Resources and in Organizational Development and applies SCT to that work as well. Psychoanalytic theory as well as other theories have also influenced her. She has trained in the use of the System for Analyzing Verbal Interactions (SAVI) since 2001 and has presented workshops and trainings on Diversity, Mentoring and SCT.


09 | Systems-Centered Writing: A Creative Writing Group Experiential Experiment

Trainer(s): Joseph Hovey , LCSW, CGP

In this interactive workshop, participants will discover the value of creative writing groups, and take part in a live experience of the same. Building on the presenter’s experience in a long-running creative clinical writing group, participants will write and share, following their energy and interest onto the page. We’ll use functional subgrouping as a structure both to share our writing, and to explore our experience.

Category: Session 2
Track: Clinical|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Experiential, group practicum
Day(s): Tuesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Name one driving and one restraining force toward the goal of writing creatively in a group context
  • Describe how creative writing can help individuals and groups develop in professional and personal contexts
  • Compare the impact of survival roles with that of curious observer roles on my creativity and my creative output

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating, and reducing somatic defenses.

Reflective and creative writing has been shown to have value throughout history. For example, as researched by Pennebaker (1997) in a therapeutic process: In helping put words to our human experiences, and in clinical contexts, to support in healing and growth. By integrating the tools and insight of SCT into the context of creative and/or clinical writing, we might develop richer and deeper awareness of ourselves, our relationships, our groups, and broader systems.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S., & Adams, J. (2010). Systems-centered training for therapists: Beyond stereotyping to integrating diversities into the change process. Women & Therapy, 33(1), 101–120. doi: 10.1080/02703140903404812

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Pennebaker, J.W. (1997). Writing about emotional experiences as a therapeutic process. Psychological Science, 8(3), 162–166.

Gantt, S.P. (2015). Systems-centered group therapy. In E.S. Neukrug (Ed.), Encyclopedia of theory in counseling and psychotherapy (pp. 991-996). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Presenters

Joseph Hovey, LCSW, CGP. Joseph Hovey, LCSW, CGP, is a psychotherapist and supervisor in Brooklyn, NY. He provides individual and relationship therapy through his private practice, runs a gay men’s therapy group, and serves on the faculty of the EGPS Group Therapy Training Program. He has been training in SAVI since 2017 and SCT since 2015, including a year with Yvonne Agazarian. He serves as the treasurer on the board of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society. He has presented at multiple workshops and events, and has been part of an ongoing creative clinical writing group with other therapists for seven years.

Session 2, Wednesday

Choose one


10 | Basics in SCT: Undoing Anxiety

Trainer(s): Mike Maher , MA. PGCE

This group introduces participants to the basic elements of SCT theory, skills and practice.

SCT identifies three sources of anxiety. These will be introduced and normalized at the same time as recognizing that anxiety is often a barrier between the individual and authentic experience. The group will enable people to consider the discrimination between anxiety and sitting at the edge of the unknown.

Category: Session 2
Track: Theory and Basics
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, experiential
Day(s): Wednesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • List the three sources of anxiety identified in SCT
  • Describe the discrimination between mindreads and negative predictions
  • Describe the discrimination between anxiety that defends against experience and anxiety at the edge of the unknown

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 25 years, presented in more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating, and reducing somatic defenses.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Wheelan, S.A. (2016). Creating effective teams: A guide for members and leaders. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Presenters

Mike Maher, MA. PGCE. Mike Maher, MA, PGCE, is a psychotherapist, trainer and organizational consultant. He is a Licensed SCT Practitioner and Director of SCTRI and leads three ongoing SCT training groups. He was Deputy Director in a Therapeutic Community and subsequently he has developed a specialism in working with staff who work with client groups - adolescents and adults - characterized by their challenging natures. He has written papers and book chapters in working with staff groups, organizational issues in mental health reform, managing self-harm behaviors and other subjects, and has presented at many national and international conferences.


11 | Basics in SCT: Distraction Exercise

Trainer(s): Åsa Bergquist Håål , MA

This group introduces participants to the basic elements of SCT theory, skills and practice.

This group offers the opportunity to learn more about the theory behind the SCT distraction exercise. Participants will have the opportunity to practice and explore their experiences with the distraction exercise as well.

Category: Session 2
Track: Theory and Basics
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, experiential
Day(s): Wednesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe the theoretical underpinnings of the distraction exercise
  • Practice the protocol of the distraction exercise
  • Describe how the distraction exercise contributes to building a system

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107. doi: 10.1177/104649649903000105

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2011). The group mind, systems-centred functional subgrouping, and interpersonal neurobiology. In E. Hopper & H. Weinberg (Eds.), The social unconscious in persons, groups, and societies: Volume 1: Mainly theory (pp. 99-123). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Presenters

Åsa Bergquist Håål, MA. Åsa Bergquist Håål, MA, has since 2002 worked with organizations development, designing and facilitating business transformation programs, leading workshops and training groups. She has developed a parenting program and a train the trainer program in the context of drug prevention. She is a member of the SCT Licensing Group VII and is co-leading a SCT training group.


12 | Adapting to Threat: Restricting Permeability to New Information Through Boundary Closing and Boundary Dissolution

Trainer(s): Merete Holm Brantbjerg , MPF ; Rick Campa, Ph.D., CGP

In this workshop we will explore two ways boundaries become impermeable to new information. When confronted with threat, boundaries can close. Boundaries can also dissolve – leading to an inability to organize. Closing or dissolving boundaries restricts new information from getting in or going out. We will explore how verbal language and bodily regulations can support us in regaining permeability to boundaries that have become impermeable.

Category: Session 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Theory and Basics|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Experiential, didactic
Day(s): Wednesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Differentiate between the experience of boundaries closing and boundaries dissolving
  • Describe a technique to come from dissolved boundaries into functional boundaries
  • Describe a technique to come from closed boundaries into functional boundaries

Presentation Content

Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory includes both hyper- and hypo-arousal in the understanding of human reactions to threat. His research shows that when the calming influence of the parasympathetic response and the arousal/alerting influence of the sympathetic response is in balance, the social engagement system is activated and humans naturally move towards connection to establish safety and develop. This state of autonomic nervous system balance is established whenever we center bodily including a sense of safety within our personal boundaries. In contrast, when we lose our center and our parasympathetic and sympathetic systems fall out of balance, our connection to the inter-personal world is diminished and we retreat to our inner-person survival systems to contain our energy and remain safe. Our capacity to orient is impacted and with that safe boundaries. States of hyper-arousal – also called flight and fight, and hypo-arousal – also called withdrawal or collapse, close or dissolve the boundary to the social engagement system. In SCT terms, states of hyper-arousal and hypo-arousal move us into the inner-person survival system where the boundary to our inner-person curious observer, the exploratory drive, and the capacity to relate to others and novelty (inter-person system) is diminished and can close or dissolve.

Paying attention to the physical body and going for a centered presence is a way to regulate arousal states and reestablish containment and safe boundaries when our autonomic nervous systems fall out of balance. Expanding our ability to center by including psychomotor skills for grounding and modifying tension and low energy supports reestablishing orientation and functional boundaries – and increases permeability and information flow among the inner-person survivor, curious observer, and inter-person systems.

Modification of the low energy/hypo-response in muscles supports the process of reestablishing functional boundaries when boundaries have dissolved - whereas modification of tension in muscles is supportive when boundaries have closed.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Brantbjerg, M.H. (2017). About relational trauma-therapy. Retrieved from www.moaiku.com.

Brantbjerg, M.H. (2019). Widening the map of hypo-states: A methodology to modify muscular hypo-response and support regulation of autonomic nervous system arousal. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, An International Journal for Theory, Research and Practice, 15(1), 53-67. doi: 10.1080/17432979.2019.1699604

Gantt, S.P., & Badenoch, B. (Eds.) (2013). The interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group process. London, UK: Karnac Books.

Levine, P. (2010). In an unspoken voice: How the body releases trauma and restores goodness. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Porges, S. (2011). The polyvagal theory. New York, NY: Norton.

Presenters

Merete Holm Brantbjerg, MPF. Merete Holm Brantbjerg, MPF, is a psychomotor-trainer working in the field of somatic and relational trauma therapy. Merete is naming her approach “Relational Trauma Therapy” - combining psychomotor skill training and systems-oriented work with the goal of establishing systems in which mutual regulation of what has been held in dissociation can happen. She is offering trainings and workshops in Scandinavia, Europe and online internationally.

Rick Campa, Ph.D., CGP. Rick Campa, Ph.D., CGP, is a clinical psychologist located in Austin, Texas, and a licensed SCT® practitioner and trainer. He studied clinical psychology at Boston University where he earned his doctorate in 1991. Rick moved to Austin, Texas, in 1991 and opened a private practice. He began formal training in SCT in 1998. He is currently a licensed SCT practitioner and offers therapy, training, and consultation in SCT theory, methods, and techniques locally and nationally.


13 | Taking Functional Subgrouping and Exploring Experience Into the World: Using Time-Limited Trauma-Recovery Groups as an Example

Trainer(s): Dick Ganley , Ph.D., CGP ; Tiffany Urquhart, Ph.D.

Learning From Experience (LFE) demonstrates how to integrate approaches [e.g. Systems-Centered (SCT), Prolonged Exposure (PE), Cognitive Processing (CPT)] to build groups that increase emotional tolerance, build environments for processing experience, and promote real-life change. Emphasis is on making the learning process understandable and meaningful, while teaching leaders to maintain structure with attunement. Patient and therapist manuals, and gathering data to become evidence-based, will be discussed.

Category: Session 2
Track: Clinical|Research|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Primarily didactic, with lots of room for questions and answers
Day(s): Wednesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Use early group introductions and leader demonstrations to ease the introduction of exploring experience and functional subgrouping into newly developing groups
  • Use “next step challenges,” with group support, to encourage members to make changes in their day-to-day lives
  • Integrate cognitive restructuring techniques into helping group members explore their experience

Presentation Content

PTSD is widespread, with a lifetime prevalence of 6.8—7.3% among U.S. adults, and 7–23% for returning war veterans (Fulton et al, 2015; Institute of Medicine (IOM), 2014). It develops in response to a variety of stressors, most frequently rape, combat, childhood abuse/neglect, sexual molestation, physical assault, and sudden unexpected deaths (Norris & Slone, 2014). PTSD is associated with increased physical, mental health, and substance abuse problems, high healthcare costs, and job productivity loss (Resick, Monson, Gutner, & Maslej, 2014).

Since its inclusion in DSM-III in 1980, much effort has gone into understanding and treating PTSD. Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense treatment guidelines (VA/DOD, 2017) indicate the greatest success has been achieved with “manualized trauma-focused psychotherapies that have a primary component of exposure and/or cognitive restructuring,” (p. 46), with the strongest evidence for prolonged exposure (PE), cognitive processing therapy (CPT), and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). These therapies are often referred to at the evidence-based therapies (EBTs) for PTSD. The VA/DOD guidelines also call for further research “to explore the efficacy of novel, emerging treatments,” (p. 47). Treatment guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies released in 2018 (see Forbes, Bisson, Monson, & Berliner, 2020) also provide a “strong” recommendation for these three approaches, while adding cognitive therapy for PTSD (CT-PTSD) and “general undifferentiated individual CBT with a trauma focus” to the list. With regard to treatment success they report similar results, “the core elements appear to be (1) addressing trauma-related cognitions; (2) engaging with, and activation of, the trauma memory; and (3) addressing experiential avoidance,” (Olff et al, 2020, p. 176). Forbes et al. (2020) also note that “The challenge for the field is to be open to new ideas and innovations, while still adhering to scientific principles and a commitment to evidence-based treatment (EBT),” p. 7.

Despite progress in treatment outcomes, up to 50% of patients in evidence-based studies, “still meet diagnostic criteria for PTSD at the end of treatment and at follow-up,” (Resick et al, 2014, p. 429); even among those who don’t, elevated residual symptoms often remain (IOM, 2014); dropout rates continue to be high, averaging around 35% (Goetter et al, 2015; VA/DOD 2017), and the condition is most often seen as chronic in primary care settings (Bray et al, 2016). Findings such as these have led to a call for developing more comprehensive treatments for PTSD (Resick et al, 2014, 2017b; IOM, 2014; VA/DOD, 2017).

Learning From Experience (LFE)
LFE is primarily derived from the theory of living human systems, and the systems-centered® therapy (SCT®) based on it, (Agazarian, 1997; Gantt, 2021), and has elements to suggest it has potential for being effective, perhaps even improving, the treatment of PTSD. It has components of both engaging/activating the trauma memory and addressing experiential avoidance (exposure) through teaching group members the technique of exploring their experience. In addition, between sessions, members help select, and then implement, next step challenges, which is a form of in vivo exposure similar to what is found in PE (Foa, Hembree, Rothbaum, & Rauch, 2019). Trauma-related cognitions (cognitive restructuring) are addressed by identifying and undoing cognitive defenses, which, as noted above, are currently believed to be the most effective components of treatment (VA/DOD, 2017; Resick, Monson, & Chard, 2017).

In addition, by integrating techniques from SCT, PE, and CPT; LFE focuses greater attention on, 1) building skills to tolerate strong emotions by using mindfulness centering techniques, 2) identifying and undoing obstacles/psychological defenses that block access to primary experience (including somatic and discharge defenses), 3) teaching patients to identify dysfunctional patterns/roles that inhibit change, and 4) enhancing empathy and interpersonal connectedness by processing individual experiences in a group format that utilizes functional subgrouping. The emphasis on building coping skills to help the individual tolerate and learn from strong emotions, and developing a group structure that further facilitates such processing, before the deeper emotional experiences connected to traumas are brought to the surface, are some of the reasons LFE is expected to result in positive outcomes for treating PTSD. The concept of building skills in an orderly manner is similar to that found in dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT, Linehan, 2015) and skill training in affective and interpersonal therapy, narrative therapy (SNT, Cloitre et al, 2020). The functional subgrouping component creates a context that is high on similarities and resonance, which is believed to further enhance the processing of emotionally charged material (Agazarian, 1997; O’Neill, 1997).

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y. M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Bray, R.M., Engel, C.C., Williams, J., Jaycox, L.H., Lane, M.E., Morgan, J.K., & Unützer, J. (2016). Posttraumatic stress disorder in U.S. Military primary care: Trajectories and predictors of one-year prognosis. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 29(4), 340–348. doi:10.1002/jts.22119

Cloitre, M., Choen, L.R., Ortigo, K.M., Jackson, C., & Koenen, K.C. (2020). Treating survivors of childhood abuse and interpersonal trauma, (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Foa, E.B., Hembree, E.A., Rothbaum, B.O., & Rauch, S. (2019). Prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD: Emotional processing of traumatic experiences: Therapist Guide, (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Presenters

Dick Ganley, Ph.D., CGP. Dick Ganley, Ph.D., CGP, Licensed psychologist since 1983, practice specializing in PTSD (currently in Veteran's Administration setting); Certified Group Psychotherapist since 1994. Licensed SCT Practitioner since 2000; Director of Research for SCTRI since 1997. More than 50 professional publications and presentation (see CV), many of these on PTSD. Director of Research for SCTRI, and numerous previous presentations at national, state, local, and SCT conferences.

Tiffany Urquhart, Ph.D.. Dr. Urquhart currently works in a residential treatment program, and an outpatient MH clinic, at the Veterans Administration (VA) in Waco TX, and in both settings serves Veterans with PTSD, as well as other conditions. She has also trained in four other VAs as part of her education to become a clinical psychologist. Dr. Urquhart is actively involved in the research being conducted with the Learning From Experience (LFE) approach, which, as described above, integrates elements of SCT (esp., functional subgrouping and exploring experience), with Prolonged Exposure (PE) and other interventions strategies. She is a young career professional who has given over 25 professional presentations, and has also served for a year as a teaching assistant.


14 | Using SCT to Explore Our Roles in Society's Social Structure

Trainer(s): Esraa Abd El Fattah , MA-Candidate

We live in a society structured and influenced by hidden systems of power that prioritize one group over another. These systems impact our ability to fully show up as ourselves in shared spaces and the quality of life for those whose identity falls outside the accepted boundaries. SCT provides a framework and a structure that can help us explore our roles within these social systems with openness and curiosity so as to imagine a new way of relating and being with one another. This group will use SCT tools and techniques to develop an awareness of these systems and our relationship with them.

Category: Session 2
Track: Organizational|Research|Theory and Basics|Education|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, experiential, group practicum
Day(s): Wednesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Define and describe at least one of the systems of oppression that exist in today's society
  • Describe and explain one's individual place (inter-person) within these systems of oppression
  • Analyze ways these systems of oppression impact one's lived experience
  • Evaluate how our respective roles uphold these systems of oppression

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals, and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 25 years, presented in more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating, and reducing somatic defenses. SCT methods can also be applied to undoing social power structures and dynamics, which are often hidden.

SCT methodology can help create a container to explore the oppressive nature of the hidden social power structures in a de-personalized matter, which, in turn, can enable members to explore new ways of relating to one another outside the boundaries of these social power structures. For those committed to creating a free and equitable world for all, SCT methods provide an invaluable set of tools that can help free up energy and enable one to fight for liberation for all.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: A theory of living human systems and its systems-centered practice. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 36(1), 19-36. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41719343

Bohm, D. (2014). On dialogue. London, UK: Routledge.

DiAngelo, R.J. (2018). White fragility: Why it's so hard for white people to talk about racism. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P. (2021). Systems-centered theory (SCT) into group therapy: Beyond surviving ruptures to repairing and thriving. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy. 71(1) doi: 10.1080/00207284.2020.1772073

Ladden, L.J., Gantt, S.P., Rude, S., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2007). Systems-centered therapy: A protocol for treating generalized anxiety disorder. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, (37)2, 61-70. doi: 10.1007/s10879-006-9037-6

Presenters

Esraa Abd El Fattah, MA-Candidate. Esraa (ihs-raah) Abd El Fattah, MA-Candidate in Anthropology and Social Change Department at California Institute of Integral Studies, is a queer Egyptian immigrant who has dedicated their life to dismantling systems of oppression and exploring new ways of living and relating with other living beings and the natural world. Their work is inspired and impacted by those fighting for liberation and exploring what it means to be free in a capitalist, sexist, and racist world. Esraa uses the lenses of Black feminism, anti-capitalism, and anarchism to guide their research which lies at the intersection of psychotherapy, group dynamics, and social change. They are most curious about the role of emotions in radical spaces and how emotions drive and restrain the fight for universal liberation. Esraa's role as an educator and trainer of tools that empower liberation has varied over the years and stems from their experience with grassroots organizing and corporate organizing.

Session 2, Thursday

Choose one


15 | Basics in SCT: Force Field Development & Application

Trainer(s): Mindy Lemoine , MS ; Kitty Garlid, M.Div., ACPE

This group introduces participants to the basic elements of SCT theory, skills and practice.

The force field, as developed by Kurt Lewin, is the SCT map for collecting information about the forces that drive systems towards their goals (driving forces) and the forces that get in the way (restraining forces). Building a force field related to a particular goal helps identify which restraining forces to reduce so the driving forces can be released. The group will use force fields to clarify goals, identify driving and restraining forces, identify solutions to problems, and make decisions in various contexts.

Category: Session 2
Track: Theory and Basics|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, group practice in developing a force field
Day(s): Thursday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Demonstrate a basic theoretical understanding of force fields through group discussion
  • Construct a force field by identifying a goal, and the driving and restraining forces to that goal
  • Use the force field in problem-solving to move toward a goal

Presentation Content

Force Fields were developed by Kurt Lewin in 1947, and have been used in many social applications since then. They are an important tool used in SCT to aid in collecting data about the driving and restraining forces in human systems. Force Fields have found applications in many other fields where they are used in a similar way. Several articles listed below describe and demonstrate the value and application of force fields to SCT and other fields.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Davis, R. (2014). Working across organisational boundaries: Shifting from complaining and blaming to problem-solving. e-O&P Journal of the Association for Management Education and Development, 21(3), 22-37.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258.

Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social science. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

Presenters

Mindy Lemoine , MS . Mindy Lemoine, MS, was a project manager at the US Environmental Protection Agency for 30 years, and retired May 2021. She now uses her SCT skills in volunteer positions in local government and environmental organizations, particularly focused on planting trees. She started SCT training in 1998, and has completed the Authority Issue Group.

Kitty Garlid, M.Div., ACPE. Kitty (Catherine) Garlid, M.Div., ACPE, served in the role of Director of Spiritual Care and Education, first at Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, CT and then at Maine Medical Center in Portland, ME over the course of 37 years, retiring in 2018. She continues to contract as a spiritual care educator, currently at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. A graduate of the University of Washington and Yale Divinity School, Kitty is certified by the Association for Professional Chaplains and ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care and Education. In SCTRI she is an editor for the Systems-Centered News. She is married with three grown children and lives in Brunswick, Maine.


16 | Basics in SCT: Phases of System Development

Trainer(s): Susan P. Gantt , Ph.D., CGP, ABPP, DFAGPA, FAPA

This group introduces participants to the basic elements of SCT theory, skills and practice.

SCT work is always in the context of the phases of system development. Each phase of development is operationally defined as a force field of driving and restraining forces. This enables identifying phase-specific interventions that weaken the restraining forces relevant to the phase. Aligning change strategies that link to the phase of development enables releasing the driving forces of the phase.

Category: Session 2
Track: Theory and Basics
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Presentation, discussion
Day(s): Thursday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Explain the phases of system development defined by SCT
  • Describe at least one developmental challenge inherent in each phase
  • Describe and apply the hierarchy of defense modification weakening restraining forces relevant to the phases of system development

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that function as hypotheses to test both the validity of the theory and the reliability of its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1994). The phases of development and the systems-centered group. In M. Pines, & V. Schermer (Eds.), Ring of fire: Primitive object relations and affect in group psychotherapy (pp. 36-85). London, UK: Routledge, Chapman & Hall.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171–195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M. (2018). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9.

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Armington, R. (2012). Exploring the convergence of systems-centered therapy’s functional subgrouping and the principles of interpersonal neurobiology. Journal of Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies, 1, 51-55.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Presenters

Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., CGP, ABPP, DFAGPA, FAPA. Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, DFAGPA, FAPA, is a psychologist in private practice and coordinated group psychotherapy training in psychiatry at Emory University for 29 years. She chairs the Systems-Centered Training (SCT) and Research Institute; teaches SCT in the USA, Europe and China; and leads training groups in Atlanta, San Francisco, and The Netherlands. She has co-authored four books with Yvonne Agazarian, co-edited The Interpersonal Neurobiology of Group Psychotherapy and Group Process with Bonnie Badenoch, and received the 2011 Alonso Award for Excellence in Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy. Her newest book is Systems-Centered Training: An Illustrated Guide for Applying a Theory of Living Human Systems (Agazarian, Gantt, & Carter, 2021).


17 | Using SCT to Find More Humor and Fun in Your Work and Life

Trainer(s): Richard O’Neill , Ph.D., FAClinP, CGP, ABPP

Rich O'Neill will discuss how he uses SCT methods to center himself, undo his own anxiety, assess the context, allow fun and potentially funny thoughts and feelings to pop up and then decide whether to pop them out of his mind via his mouth and into the world (work, or life, or both). Members will use SCT methods to undo inhibitions to fun and being funny as we create a space to enjoy.

Category: Session 2
Track: General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, group practicum, experiential
Day(s): Thursday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Apply the skill of functional subgrouping to develop a group space for exploration of humor
  • Apply the skill of centering myself to prepare for a creative exploration and expression of humor
  • Apply the skill of undoing anxiety to become curious and creative in the here-and-now in the face of uncertainty about the outcome of humorous expression

Presentation Content

O’Neill and colleagues have shown that groups run with SCT methods are more collaborative, productive and creative, and have higher engagement, less avoidance, less conflict, better inter-member relationships, more overall learning and goal achievement, than groups using various other communication structures. Research specifically examining functional subgrouping has shown that group members find it a positive experience and that it relates to better morale over time, more overall learning and more goal achievement. See O’Neill et al. (2013) research below for related references.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2), 171-195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

O’Neill, R.M., Murphy, V., Mogle, J., MacKenzie, M.J., MacGregor, K.L., Pearson, M., & Parekh, M. (2013). Are systems-centered teams more collaborative, productive and creative? Journal of Team Performance Management, 19(3/4), 201-221. doi: 10.1108/TPM-04-2012-0015

Presenters

Richard O’Neill, Ph.D., FAClinP, CGP, ABPP. Rich O'Neill, Ph.D., FAClinP, CGP, ABPP, He has presented in the media since 1985 including 10 years with his "Checkup from the Neckup" radio and YouTube spots, 5 years with his "Healthy Decisions" weekly TV segment, and 11 seasons with the PBS-affiliated TV show he launched, hosts and co-produces--"Cycle of Health" (wcny.org/cycleofhealth). He consults now with individuals, partners, and groups on achieving greater health, happiness, and success.


18 | Can Biologists’ Systems Theory Add to Our Understanding of Sustainability in Human Systems?

Trainer(s): Jonas Forsmark , MBA ; Börje Svanqvist, BA, Lic. Psychologist

We explore how a Theory of Living Human Systems, in conjunction with Panarchy (a theory about transformations in human and natural systems that we will briefly present), support an understanding of sustainability. Two concepts will be discussed: 1) Resilience – relation to stability on the one hand and adaptive change on the other; 2) How may the concept of time and space scales add to the understanding of sustainable change?

Prerequisite: Read the article “A theory that deals with both human and wider systems?” This will be provided to you before the workshop.

Category: Session 2
Track: Organizational|Theory and Basics|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, group practicum
Day(s): Thursday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Name two central factors that tend to strengthen a system’s resilience capacity and at least one application in my SCT practice
  • Discuss aspects of time and space scales with regards to SCT
  • Discriminate where in a Panarchy to expect slow and quick variables in a change process

Presentation Content

The content of this presentation is based on theoretical consideration from two fields of research: a Theory of Living Human Systems, developed by Y. Agazarian and Panarchy developed by L. Gunderson and C. Holling. Both theories are applied in broad practice and are published and cited widely within their own fields.

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples.This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

This presentation aims at using concepts from the Panarchy theory and relating them to a TLHS exploring what builds systems capacity to adapt to sustainable changes.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2010) Systems-centered theory and practice: The Contribution of Yvonne Agazarian (From Friends papers IV, 1992-1995), pp. 18-32. (Edited by SCTRI). Livermore, CA: WingSpan Press. Reprint (2011). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gunderson L.H., & Holling C.S. (Eds.). (2002). Panarchy. Understanding transformations in human and natural systems. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Gunderson, L.H., Allen, C.R., & Garmestani, A. ( Eds.). (2022). Applied panarchy. Applications and diffusion across disciplines. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Haddock, R. (2021a). Theory of living human systems: Energy and the connection to the universe. System-Centered News, 29(1), 5-9.

Haddock, R. (2021b) Turning the lens of a theory of living human systems to the earth as a whole. System-Centered News, 29(2), 5-9.

Hertz, T., Mancilla Garcia, M., & Schlüter, M. (2020). From nouns to verbs: How process ontologies enhance our understanding of social-ecological systems understood as complex adaptive systems. People and Nature, 2, 328-338. doi:10.1002/pan3.10079

More articles that focus human and natural system interactions can be found at: www.stockholmresilience.org

Presenters

Jonas Forsmark, MBA. Jonas Forsmark, MBA, University teacher in adult education. Jonas has a background as a teacher in adult education and outdoor education. Academically he has studied social psychology and pedagogy and is presently doing research on peer learning in the field of popular education.

Börje Svanqvist, BA, Lic. Psychologist. Börje Svanqvist, BA, Lic. Psychologist, is a senior organizational psychologist working with groups, staff, leaders, and organizations. He also treats groups and individuals in clinical context. Earlier he was teaching natural/cultural geography, political science and psychology at high school and college levels. Experience as a leader comes from his years as a school leader.


Sessions 1 & 2, Monday – Friday

Choose one


301-IC | Intermediate Skills Training

Trainer(s): Susan Beren , Ph.D. ; Madeline O'Carroll, MSc, RMN, SFHEA

7-day group, meets on Institute weekend and continues Mon - Thu Sessions 1 &2, Fri Session 1

Intermediate skills training shifts focus from work with oneself to work with others. In this intensive 7-day training, participants are introduced to SCT protocols with an emphasis on the theoretical context for the intervention and the technical skills that make up each protocol. Participants then record their practice of each protocol and lead a small task group reviewing recorded sections in order to identify specific driving and restraining forces of their work.

By application to assess your readiness for this training (see link below). Send application to both Susan Beren and Madeline O'Carroll

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, February 25, 2022

Note: One of the leaders of your training group (or, if in unusual circumstances, you are not part of a training group, a system mentor) should be consulted as to your readiness for this training. This is the first of the core Intermediate SCT trainings.

Category: Sessions 1 & 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Theory and Basics|Education|General Interest
Level: Intermediate Level
CE credits: 25.0
Format: Didactic, small group skills practice, recorded role plays & force field reviews
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Demonstrate ability to introduce functional subgrouping to a group
  • Demonstrate ability to use SCT protocols for undoing distractions, anxiety, tension, depression, outrages, and role locks
  • Apply a basic understanding of the theoretical context for the use of SCT protocols
  • Create a force field to analyze what helps or hinders the application of protocols
  • Demonstrate ability to provide feedback based on facts, not opinions
  • Demonstrate ability to lead a small task group

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that function as hypotheses to test both the validity of the theory and the reliability of its practice.

This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup 1), S60-S70 doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Presenters

Susan Beren, Ph.D.. Susan Beren, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked in multiple city hospitals and been in private practice in New York City for the last 23 years, doing therapy with individuals, couples and groups and providing supervision and consultation. Susan has taught, done research on and co-authored several papers on the multiple causes and treatment of eating disorders and obesity. She is a licensed Systems-Centered practitioner. She co-leads a Foundation-level SCT training group on Zoom.

Madeline O'Carroll, MSc, RMN, SFHEA. Madeline O'Carroll, MSc, RMN, is a Licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner with thirty years of experience in mental health as an educator, clinician and mentor. Madeline is a qualified teacher with expertise in the design and delivery of educational programmes. Her group work experience includes therapy groups for people with psychosis, groups to support mental health students process the impact of their work, and SCT training groups. Madeline is a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing in London and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


405-C | Container Training

Trainer(s): Heather Twomey , Ph.D. ; Sven-Erik Viskari, BA

Participants will work in the Foundation group, exploring containing and using their own experience to support the work of the group. This is an important building block toward SCT leadership in any system. This experiential training is open by application for intermediate/advanced members. This training starts with containers working in the Foundation group. After the break, we will review and process our work. The process work provides a context to integrate one’s own learnings and development.

By application (see link below). Send application to both Heather Twomey and Sven-Erik Viskari

APPLICATION DEADLINE: February 15, 2022

Category: Sessions 1 & 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational
Level: Intermediate Level|Advanced Level
CE credits: 16.0
Format: Didactic, group practicum
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Apply knowledge of phase of development as evidenced by container role contributions that serve to weaken phase-relevant restraining forces
  • Identify and then plan to reduce person-system outputs thus enabling greater container role functionality
  • Demonstrate the ability to contain and explore authority issues aroused in self and group as evidenced by consistently making inputs (verbal and non-verbal) that support the current leadership vector(s)
  • Demonstrate the ability to subgroup internally with all voices of the subgroup/group-as-a-whole as evidenced by functional joins
  • Utilized ability to lighten or deepen exploration appropriately in context
  • Demonstrate the ability to use the fork-in-the-road in the self such that the participant can functionally access the subgroup the group needs

Presentation Content

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating, and reducing somatic defenses. This training focuses on the Container role to support functional subgrouping, group development and the group leader.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Attunement, empathy, and the triune brain. Systems-Centered News, 24(1), 5-8.

Agazarian, Y.M., & Gantt, S.P. (2005). The systems perspective. In S. Wheelan (Ed.), Handbook of group research and practice (pp. 187-200). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (Eds.) (2005). SCT in action: Applying the systems-centered approach in organizations. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse. Reprint (2006). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Gantt, S.P., & Badenoch, B. (Eds.) (2013). The Interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group process. London, UK: Karnac Books.

Presenters

Heather Twomey, Ph.D.. Heather B. Twomey, PhD., is a Clinical Psychologist who has trained in Systems-Centered Therapy (SCT) steadily since 1996. She is currently licensed Practitioner who leads and co-leads in various SCT training contexts including conferences, workshops and training groups. Additionally, she practices as an SCT Licensed Practitioner in private practice where she conducts groups, individual, and couples therapy.

Sven-Erik Viskari, BA. Sven-Erik Viskari, BA, is a licensed psychologist and psychotherapist. As a senior Organizational Consultant, he mainly works with team building, group development and coaching of leaders and employees. As a clinician, he works with supervision in the Swedish public health care system. He is also a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and has been a member of the Board of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute 2006-2017.


501-IC | Licensing Group

Trainer(s): Susan P. Gantt , Ph.D., CGP, ABPP, DFAGPA, FAPA ; Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych

7-day group, meets on Institute weekend and continues Mon - Thu Sessions 1 &2, Fri Session 1
This training event is for the recently completed AIG-VIII to continue to develop the group's and members' capacity in the task of submitting for an SCT practitioner license. The focus of the training is moving from process to task and learning when process work is driving in relation to the goals of the task. The first part is training group practicum and review work. The second part is working on the task of developing licensing criteria and structure with consultation from the leaders. The program will focus on applying a Theory of Living Human Systems in exploring the issues of giving and taking authority.

This is a closed group.

Note: Participation in intermediate level training requires actively receiving consultation from an SCT Licensed Practitioner.

Category: Sessions 1 & 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational
Level: Advanced Level
CE credits: 25.5
Format: Experiential, group practicum, consultation
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Demonstrate ability to shift from person to member in a developing group in each of its phases of system development
  • Utilize leadership and membership roles working in the context of a peer task-focused group
  • Apply SCT methods to weaken the restraining forces in shifting from person to member
  • Describe the concept of the hatred of authority
  • Explain the role relationships with external authority and one’s internal authority
  • Practice working in membership with leadership towards the goal of increasing awareness of the driving and restraining forces related to leadership effectiveness, both internal in relationship to the personality style, task/maintenance dimensions, and the effect of leadership behaviors on the group's membership, subgroups and the group-as-a-whole

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that function as hypotheses to test both the validity of the theory and the reliability of its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1994). The phases of development and the systems-centered group. In M. Pines, & V. Schermer (Eds.), Ring of fire: Primitive object relations and affect in group psychotherapy (pp. 36-85). London, UK: Routledge, Chapman & Hall.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171–195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M. (2018). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9.

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Armington, R. (2012). Exploring the convergence of systems-centered therapy’s functional subgrouping and the principles of interpersonal neurobiology. Journal of Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies, 1, 51-55.

Brabender, V., & Fallon, A. (2008). Group development in practice: Guidance for clinicians and researchers on stages and dynamics of change. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Gantt, S.P. (2011). Functional subgrouping and the systems-centered approach to group therapy. In J. Kleinberg (Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of group psychotherapy (pp. 113-138). Oxford, UK: Wiley.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Moreno, J.K. (2007). Scapegoating in group psychotherapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 57(1), 93-104.

Presenters

Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., CGP, ABPP, DFAGPA, FAPA. Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, DFAGPA, FAPA, is a psychologist in private practice and coordinated group psychotherapy training in psychiatry at Emory University for 29 years. She chairs the Systems-Centered Training (SCT) and Research Institute; teaches SCT in the USA, Europe and China; and leads training groups in Atlanta, San Francisco, and The Netherlands. She has co-authored four books with Yvonne Agazarian, co-edited The Interpersonal Neurobiology of Group Psychotherapy and Group Process with Bonnie Badenoch, and received the 2011 Alonso Award for Excellence in Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy. Her newest book is Systems-Centered Training: An Illustrated Guide for Applying a Theory of Living Human Systems (Agazarian, Gantt, & Carter, 2021).

Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych. Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych, is a licensed Systems-Centered practitioner, a Director of SCTUK, a member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute Board of Directors and of the Board of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy and of the Institute of Group Analysis. He spent many years as a medical psychotherapist in the NHS as a therapist and training psychiatrists in therapeutic skills. As a Systems-Centered practitioner and trainer he undertakes training, consultation, personal development, mentoring and therapy in the UK and internationally.


502-IC | Advanced Training for Trainers and Leaders: Tracking Group Development

Trainer(s): Dorothy Gibbons , MSS, LCSW, CGP ; Juliet Koprowska, MSW

7-day group, meets on Institute weekend and continues Mon - Thu Sessions 1 &2, Fri Session 1
The weekend schedule for the Licensing Group & Observers is different from the schedule for other groups. The schedule will be sent by email.

This training observes the Licensing Group to track group dynamics, phase of system development, communication patterns that support the work goal, leadership interventions linking interventions to theory and group functioning. Goal: To learn through observation to collect data about the impact of leader interventions towards developing an SCT task group and, through experience, to collect data about system isomorphy.

Prerequisite: Completion of the Authority Issue Group.

This is a closed group.

Category: Sessions 1 & 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational
Level: Advanced Level
CE credits: 25.5
Format: Observation, didactic, experiential, group practicum
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Analyze the consultants' SCT interventions towards the goal of creating an SCT task group
  • Identify a predictable hierarchy of defense modification in the service of developing an SCT work phase group
  • Describe observations and apply experience to a Theory of Living Human Systems and systems-centered practice
  • Compare isomorphy between group being observed and observing group
  • Assess effectiveness of functional subgrouping in the service of a task group's goals
  • Describe at least 3 differences between the interventions of a task group consultant and the leader of an experiential group

Presentation Content

Learning methods: Systems-centered practice and training was developed by Yvonne Agazarian over a number of decades. This training is offered from foundation level to licensing and more recently the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute (SCTRI) has pioneered advanced training for trainers and leaders, a training group for advanced practitioners who who wish to enhance their skills as trainers. This training is a twice yearly training observing the training and development of the Authority Issue Group (AIG) & Licensing Group. SCTRI was presented with the 2010 Award for Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. The training consists of observation of the AIG training group & Licensing Group led by Susan Gantt and Ray Haddock. Discussion and exploration, using the observations to provide data for tracking group dynamics, phase of system development, communication patterns that support the phase, leadership interventions to member, subgroup and group-as-a-whole, while linking interventions to theory and group functioning. Skills practice: using the group to practice and build on skills of giving and taking authority in training roles.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Armington, R. (2012). Exploring the convergence of systems-centered therapy’s functional subgrouping and the principles of interpersonal neurobiology. Journal of Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies, 1, 51-55.

Gantt, S.P. (2011). Systems-centered approach to groups. In J. Kleinberg (Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of group psychotherapy (pp. 113-138). Oxford, UK: Wiley.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2010). Developing the group mind through functional subgrouping: Linking systems-centered training (SCT) and interpersonal neurobiology. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 60(4), 515-544. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2010.60.4.515

Gantt, S.P., & Badenoch, B. (Eds.) (2013). The interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group process. London, UK: Karnac Books.

O’Neill, R.M., Constantino, M.J., & Mogle, J. (2012). Does Agazarian’s systems-centered functional subgrouping improve mood, learning and goal achievement?: A study in large groups. Group Analysis, 45, 375-390. doi: 10.1177/0533316412448287

O'Neill, R.M., Smyth, J.M., & MacKenzie, M.J. (2011). Systems-centered functional subgrouping links the member to the group dynamics and goals: How-to and a pilot study. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 35(2), 105-121.

Presenters

Dorothy Gibbons, MSS, LCSW, CGP. Dorothy Gibbons, MSS, LCSW, CGP is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner. She is in private practice in Philadelphia, PA. She works with individuals, groups, and couples. She also works as an organizational consultant to a social service agency in Philadelphia. Ms. Gibbons is the former Director of the Adolescent Sex Offender Unit at the Joseph J. Peters Institute in Philadelphia and has extensive experience working with both victims and offenders of sexual abuse. She is on the Board of Directors of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute. She is also a graduate of the Gestalt Therapy Training.

Juliet Koprowska, MSW. Juliet Koprowska, MSW, Diploma in Counselling, has extensive experience of systems-centered training at an advanced level. She is Honorary Fellow at the University of York where for many years she taught qualifying and registered social workers. She leads and co-leads SCT and systems-oriented training in the UK, Italy and the US. She researches communication in social work practice and is author of "Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Social Work" (5th edition). London: Sage Learning Matters, a book widely used on social work programmes in the UK. She is co-editor and author with Juhila, K., Dall, T. & Hall, C. (2021), of "Interprofessional Collaboration and Service User Participation: Analysing meetings in social welfare." Bristol: Policy Press. She organises the annual SCT event held in York, England (currently online).

Session 2, Friday


19 | Working with Systemic Racism and Its Impact

Trainer(s): Willard Ashley , M.Div., D.Min., Rev., SCP, NCPsyA, CGP ; Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, DFAGPA, FAPA ; Joan Adams, MSW, LCSW-R ; Frances Carter, MSS, LSW

How a Black psychoanalyst works with racial trauma
Willard Ashley, M.Div., D.Min., Rev., SCP, NCPsyA, CGP

Weakening survivor roles and transforming system norms in SCT groups
Susan Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, DFAGPA, FAPA

Presentation Discussants: Joan Adams, MSW; Fran Carter, MSS, LSW

Racial trauma is widespread, yet too few of us have wrestled with how to use what we know as clinicians and consultants in working with racial trauma or systemic racism. Psychoanalysis as pioneered by Freud certainly had roots in Freud’s sense of oppression and mass scapegoating of Jews, yet today psychoanalysis is often seen as for the elite rather than for the oppressed. This workshop discusses how psychoanalytic work can be useful in racial trauma and how SCT group work can modify group norms that maintain and replicate racialized role adaptations.

Category: Session 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Theory and Basics|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 2.0
Format: Didactic, experiential
Day(s): Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Distinguish racist and antiracist behavior
  • Discuss how psychoanalysis is useful for healing racial trauma
  • Describe how unexplored survivor roles can influence the repetition of racist norms
  • Discuss how exploring closed survivor roles can transform the group-system norms

Presentation Content

Psychoanalysis has proved useful yet underutilized in working with racial trauma. Recent work in peer-reviewed journals has highlighted both the usefulness of psychoanalytic work in treating racial disturbances as well as the challenges within psychoanalysis of working with racism. The American Psychoanalytic Association devoted a three-part special section of The American Psychoanalyst (TAP) entitled “Conversations on Psychoanalysis and Race” (Winter/Spring 2017 issue) with articles by Beverly J. Stoute on “Race and Racism in Psychoanalytic Thought: Are There Ghosts in Our Nursery?,” Anton Hart on “From Multicultural Competence to Radical Openness: A Psychoanalytic Engagement of Otherness,” and Dorothy Holmes on “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Will Institutional Psychoanalysis Answer the Call to Psychoanalytic Understanding and Treatment of Racial Disturbances among Us?”

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. A theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Ashley, W.W.C. (in press). Reflections on healing the wounds of racial trauma in clinical practice. Journal for the Advancement of Scientific Psychoanalytic Empirical Research (J.A.S.P.E.R.).

Ashley, W.W.C. (2020, Fall). What shall we tell our babies? Reflections. Seeking the Light: Notes on Home. https://reflections.yale.edu/article/seeking-light-notes-hope/what-shall-we-tell-our-babies

Ashley, W.W.C. (2021). New rules for radicals: TNT for faith-based leaders. King of Prussia, PA: Judson Press.

Gantt, S.P. (2021). Systems-centered training for group leaders: Weakening social survivor roles that undermine women (and men) in leadership. In Y.I. Kane, S.M. Masselink & A.C. Weiss (Eds.), Women, intersectionality and power in group psychotherapy leadership. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P., & Adams, J.M. (2010). Systems-centered training for therapists: Beyond stereotyping to integrating diversities into the change process. Women & Therapy, 33(1), 101-120. doi: 10.1080/02703140903404812

Systems-Centered Training & Research Institute. (2021, October 24). Systems-centered training & therapy: Seeing the system, not just people. Commemorating the work of Yvonne Agazarian. [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/KWm762r7sAM

Presenters

Willard Ashley, M.Div., D.Min., Rev., SCP, NCPsyA, CGP. Dr. Willard Ashley, Sr. is the President & CEO of Dr. Willard Ashley, Sr., LLC, Upper Montclair, New Jersey, whereby he conducts webinars, consultation, psychoanalysis, group therapy, and coaching. Dr. Ashley is a trustee and faculty member of the New Jersey Institute for the Training in Psychoanalysis. He is also a trustee of Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School. He is the President & CEO of Unity with Diversity, a charitable think tank on diversity, race, and racial inequalities. Ashley instructs doctoral students about racial trauma at the Rutgers University School of Social Work. Reverend Ashley has served as pastor for 39 years at various congregations. Judson Press released Ashley’s 4th book, New Rules for Radicals: TNT for Faith-based Leaders. Dr. Ashley was the second African American to be granted tenure and the first African American Dean of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary (NBTS).

Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, DFAGPA, FAPA. Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, DFAGPA, FAPA, is a psychologist in private practice and coordinated group psychotherapy training in psychiatry at Emory University for 29 years. She chairs the Systems-Centered Training (SCT) and Research Institute; teaches SCT in the USA, Europe and China; and leads training groups in Atlanta, San Francisco, and The Netherlands. She has co-authored four books with Yvonne Agazarian, co-edited The Interpersonal Neurobiology of Group Psychotherapy and Group Process with Bonnie Badenoch, and received the 2011 Alonso Award for Excellence in Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy. Her newest book is Systems-Centered Training: An Illustrated Guide for Applying a Theory of Living Human Systems (Agazarian, Gantt, & Carter, 2021).

Joan Adams, MSW, LCSW-R. Joan Adams, MSW, LCSW-R, maintains a private practice of psychotherapy and clinical supervision in Harlem, New York City; and provides training and consulting on racial equity, anti-racism and anti-oppression, and cultural competency for individuals, groups and organizations. Ms. Adams is an independent consultant/trainer for several groups. Ms. Adams completed the Undoing Racism Workshop™ led by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond and participates in the work of the Anti-racist Alliance, which is the New York area organizing group of The People’s Institute. She has participated in the Workshop and served as a Resource Facilitator numerous times.

Frances Carter, MSS, LSW. Frances Carter, MSS, LSW, is a Licensed Social Worker, living and working in the Philadelphia area. She maintains a clinical and consulting practice working with individuals, couples, groups and organizations. Fran is a founding member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, a Board Member and System Mentor. She continues to be interested in the development of training, curriculum and research and has contributed her time to these work groups within SCTRI. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and a senior trainer, leading workshops, ongoing training and consultation groups and intensive training blocks throughout the US and Europe. She is also a principle in SAVI Communications and the SAVI Network where she works with others to develop training in the SAVI approach to communication. She has co-authored Systems-Centered Training: An Illustrated Guide for Applying a Theory of Living Human Systems (2021) with Yvonne Agazarian and Susan Gantt.

Session 3, Monday – Thursday


Large Group

Trainer(s): Claudia Byram , Ph.D., CGP ; Fran Carter, MSS, LSW, CGP ; Susan Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, DFAGPA, FAPA ; Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych

This group meets Mon-Thu

This 60-minute conference-as-a-whole practicum meets at the end of the day on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to explore the conference experience using functional subgrouping.

These four Large Group meetings are open to the entire conference community and demonstrate the application of SCT methods and techniques in the large group setting. The dynamics and potential of large group are crucial to our understanding of social forces at a different level from the more easily accessible family and small group setting. These forces are more similar to those operating in larger social systems, and therefore our understanding of how to relate to these larger contexts is an essential skill for social work and other social change advocates and professionals.

Note: You must attend all four days of Large Group in order to earn CE credits for Large Group.

Category: Session 3
Track: Theory and Basics|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 4.0
Format: Experiential
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe the unique challenge of relating to the Large Group context
  • Apply skills in relating to the Large Group context in a way that increases the potential to include (rather than exclude) diversities
  • Demonstrate a practical understanding of the unique challenge of relating to the Large Group context
  • Practice using functional subgrouping to recognize and integrate differences instead of ignoring or scapegoating them
  • Describe one driving and one restraining force to large group functioning that I observed

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1994). The phases of development and the systems-centered group. In M. Pines, & V. Schermer (Eds.), Ring of fire: Primitive object relations and affect in group psychotherapy (pp. 36-85). London, UK: Routledge, Chapman & Hall.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107. doi: 10.1177/104649649903000105

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171–195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M. (2018). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9.

Agazarian, Y.M., & Gantt, S.P. (2005). The systems perspective. In S. Wheelan (Ed.), Handbook of group research and practice (pp. 187-200). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Armington, R. (2012). Exploring the convergence of systems-centered therapy’s functional subgrouping and the principles of interpersonal neurobiology. Journal of Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies, 1, 51-55.

Brabender, V., & Fallon, A. (2009). Group development in practice. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Gantt, S.P. (2018). Developing groups that change our minds and transform our brains: Systems-centered’s functional subgrouping, its impact on our neurobiology, and its role in each phase of group development. Psychoanalytic Inquiry: Today’s Bridge Between Psychoanalysis and the Group World [Special Issue]. 38(4), 270-284.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2011). Highlights from ten years of a systems-centered large group: Work in progress. Voices: The Art and Science of Psychotherapy, 47(1), 40-50.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Whitcomb, K.E., O’Neill, R.M., Burlingame, G.M., Mogle, J., Gantt, S.P., Cannon, J.A.N., & Roney, T. (2018). Measuring how systems-centered® members connect with group dynamics: FSQ-2 construct validity. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 68(2), 163-183. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2017.1381024

Presenters

Claudia Byram, Ph.D., CGP. Claudia Byram, Ph.D., CGP, is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner with a clinical practice in Philadelphia. She leads Systems-Centered training events, as well as communications training and consultation in the SAVI (System for Analyzing Verbal Interaction) model. She has worked since 1980 as a clinician and trainer, with a doctorate in developmental and clinical psychology from Bryn Mawr College. She began work with Yvonne Agazarian in the early 80s, shifting from psychoanalytic practice toward systems as systems-centered therapy developed.

Fran Carter, MSS, LSW, CGP. Frances Carter, MSS, LSW, CGP, is a Licensed Social Worker, living and working in the Philadelphia area. She maintains a clinical and consulting practice working with individuals, couples, groups and organizations. Fran is a founding member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, and a Board Member and System Mentor. She continues to be interested in the development of training, curriculum and research and has contributed her time to these work groups within SCTRI. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and a senior trainer, leading workshops, ongoing training and consultation groups and intensive training blocks throughout the US and Europe. She is also a principle in SAVI Communications and the SAVI Network where she works with others to develop training in the SAVI approach to communication. She brings to all her work the energy and creativity of her early background as an artist.

Susan Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, DFAGPA, FAPA. Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, DFAGPA, FAPA, is a psychologist in private practice in Atlanta and Emerita faculty at Emory University School of Medicine, Psychiatry department, where she taught and coordinated group psychotherapy training for 29 years. She is the Chair of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, which was recognized with the 2010 Award for Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. She trains, supervises and consults in the practice of SCT in the US and Europe and leads ongoing training groups for therapists and consultants in Atlanta, San Francisco and the Netherlands. She has published numerous journal articles and co-authored the texts Autobiography of a Theory, SCT in Action, and Systems-Centered Therapy: Clinical Practice with Individuals, Families & Groups with Yvonne Agazarian. She co-edited the book The Interpersonal Neurobiology of Group Psychotherapy and Group Process with Bonnie Badenoch in 2013. She was awarded the 2011 Alonso Award for Excellence in Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy by the Group Psychotherapy Foundation for her work in editing (with Paul Cox) the special issue of the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy on “Neurobiology and Interpersonal Systems: Groups, Couples and Beyond.”

Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych. Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych, Member of Institute of Group Analysis, Licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner. He qualified in medicine in 1982, trained in Psychiatry then in Psychotherapy in Leeds (UK). He has wide experience of leading SCT training groups and workshops in UK, Europe and the USA. He has practiced as a Consultant Medical Psychotherapist in the UK for over 20 years and has also had a number of management roles in the NHS, including service development and implementation of training programs for psychiatry trainees. He taught psychotherapy based on SCT to junior psychiatrists and psychotherapy trainees for over 20 years. Clinically he uses SCT in individual and group therapy and has developed a manual to support this work. He uses the Theory of Living Human Systems in day-to-day organizational work, consultation and leadership.