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For the past 30 years, our 2-Year Intensive Training Program has engaged participants in learning about psychodynamic group therapy through a variety of contemporary theoretical lenses, including but not limited to self-psychological, intersubjective, existential, relational, and modern analytic. Consisting of six 2-day conferences (three per academic year), each weekend (which takes place all day Friday and Saturday) focuses on a specific topic relevant to running groups, and the cycle overall progressively addresses issues that arise in the early, middle, and termination phases of group treatment. Past conference themes have included effective group leadership, freedom and belonging, resistance, co-leadership, love and hate, envy and competition, implicit bias, and group therapist self-disclosure.

Experiential learning is a hallmark of the program. In addition to participating in interactive plenaries, every student is assigned to a small process group that meets four times each weekend and maintains its membership throughout the two-year cycle. These “here-and-now”-centered groups, co-led by NGPI faculty, are invaluable vehicles for bringing the theory we teach to life. In addition, students take part in three facilitated large process groups each weekend consisting of the entire student body. These large group experiences are uniquely powerful in highlighting the impact of broader social forces (e.g., power, privilege and prejudice) on group dynamics.

Recognizing the importance of cultural identities (both marginalized and dominant) and attending to their influence on group process is a particular emphasis and strength of the NGPI. Throughout each cycle, we strive to address the intersection of intrapsychic and sociocultural dynamics, both in the choice of didactic material and how we attend to the process that evolves in the various experiential components of our program. We also make a concerted effort to recruit students and faculty with diverse backgrounds, origins, experiences, and work settings.


Maryetta Andrews-Sachs, MA, CGP, AGPA-F

Kavita Avula, PsyD, CGP (NGPI Dean)

Kirsten Chadwick, PhD, CGP

Jessica Chan, MSW, CGP

Mary Tatum Chappell, PsyD, CGP 

Molly Walsh Donovan, PhD, CGP, AGPA-F 

Karen Eberwein, PsyD, ABPP, CGP 

Ronald Hopson, PhD

Stacey Jackson-Lampley, PhD 

Bradley Lake, MSW, CGP 

Victoria Lee, PhD, CGP 

Rachel Miller, PsyD, CGP (NGPI Co-Chair)

Farooq Mohyuddin, MD, FAPA, CGP, AGPA-F 

Reginald Nettles, PhD, CGP 

Leon Paparella, MSW, CGP 

Bruce Pickle, PsyD, CGP 

Robert Schulte, MSW, CGP 

Rosemary Segalla, PhD, ABPP, CGP, AGPA-F

Jonathan Stillerman, PhD, CGP (NGPI Co-Chair)

Christopher Straley, MSW, CGP, CST 

Steve Van Wagoner, PhD, CGP, AGPA-F

Ayana Watkins-Northern, PhD, CGP, AGPA-F



Group Therapy in the 21st Century: Dynamics, Identities, Hope and Healing

In this two-year program, faculty and participants will explore together the intersection of intrapsychic dynamics, group processes, identity and cultural context. Through a blend of theoretical exploration, experiential learning, and reflective practice, participants will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the complex endeavor of conducting group psychotherapy and grapple with the unique demands on us as therapists to blend theory and practice in a diverse and ever-evolving world. Most broadly, our aim is to build a skilled and aware community of group therapists and contribute to a broader dialogue of hope, healing, and growth.

Conference dates and topics will be as follows:

Diversity in Groups: The Other in Me

November 8-9, 2024

Co-Chairs: Venus Masselam PhD, CGP, Reginald Nettles, PhD, CGP, Steven Van Wagoner, PhD, CGP, AGPA-F, Ayana Watkins-Northern, PhD, CGP, AGPA-F

(Co-sponsored by NWSP’s Center for Race, Ethnicity and Culture)

Based on the pioneering concepts of Harry Stack Sullivan, this conference will focus on the presence and impact of difference and unconscious bias in therapy groups. We will introduce the concept of intersectionality and pay special attention to the process of “othering”, exploring ways to foster cohesion and interpersonal connection between members and between members and leaders by embracing differences and intervening when prejudice and microaggressions arise.

Group Psychotherapy: An Ongoing and Developing Dance

January 24-25, 2025

Chair: Bradley Lake, LICSW, LCSW-C, CGP

This conference will delve into the three-dimensionality of group therapy through the lens of dance, highlighting the significance of movement, interactions informing both commonality and conflict, development towards the whole, the spark of creativity, and the amalgamation of individual "voices" that together create a rich, multifaceted narrative. Participants are encouraged to bring all of their creative selves to this conference. 

Devaluation, Dehumanization, and the Erosion of Empathetic Connection in Hatred and Prejudice: Groups as Healers 

March 21-22, 2025

Co-Chairs: Mary Tatum Chappell, PsyD, CGP, Steven Van Wagoner, PhD, CGP, AGPA-F

BBIPOC people join groups carrying myriad experiences of being marginalized, devalued, and at times dehumanized by a dominant white culture. How to safely talk about these experiences in mixed race groups can be enormously challenging. This conference will explore how the erosion or failure of empathy in society contributes to racial prejudice and hatred, and how groups can be instruments of healing when empathy is established and/or restored between members of the group.

Rupture and Repair: In Therapy Groups, Organizations and Society

October 24-25, 2025

Co-Chairs: Kavita Avula, PsyD, CGP & Haim Weinberg, PhD, CGP

Empathic ruptures between therapy group members, between leaders and members, and in the group-as-a-whole affect the therapeutic alliance and group cohesion. Without repair, they cause fractures and polarization. We will look at ruptures theoretically and clinically in groups, within organizations, and between co-facilitators with different intersectional identities, with a particular emphasis on how ruptures, often seen as the end of relationships, can be just the beginning of meaningful connection and growth.

The Large Group as a Learning Community: Exploring Societal Tensions, Conflicts, Identities, and Belonging

January 23-24, 2026

Co-Chairs: The NGPI Large Group Team

A large group convened as a learning community is a unique setting to explore personal, interpersonal, and systemic dimensions of group life, writ large and small.  The overarching aims of the conference are to recognize contextual influences in group therapy practice and encourage cultural attunement in the group therapist.

How Do I Leave Thee: Endings and Existential Issues in Group

April 10-11, 2026

Co-Chairs: Maryetta Andrews-Sachs, LICSW, CGP, AGPA-F & Farooq Mohyuddin, MD, CGP, AGPA-F

Existential issues – freedom, isolation, meaninglessness, and death – intertwine throughout our lives and underlie all our therapeutic work.  This final conference of the cycle – reserved for 2-Year Program students only - will provide the perfect context for participants to experience these profound issues first hand and explore their impact on therapy group members and group dynamics.


All conferences will be held in-person and take place Friday and Saturday from 9am-5pm at the Friends Meeting House (2111 Decatur Place NW) in Washington, DC.


Prior to each conference, attendees will receive assigned readings and other relevant materials electronically.

During each weekend, attendees will participate in interactive plenaries and small and large process groups. The small group provides an experiential opportunity for each member to study how groups function and learn about oneself through “here and now” interactions with the other members and leaders.

The large group experience complements the small process group. Convened as a learning community, it emphasizes affiliation and communal dialogue to facilitate group-as-a-whole understanding, civic mindfulness, and cultural awareness. The large group is a unique setting for exploring how members’ multiplicity of social identities and cultural histories generate competing world views, creating tension and conflict as well as opportunities for shared belonging, collective learning, and personal growth. 


A faculty advisor is available to assist any member seeking additional training to supplement the 2-Year Program, including: 

  • Seeking individual or group supervision of group therapy
  • Enrolling in the Basic Principles of Group Psychotherapy course
  • Beginning personal group therapy
  • Joining a training group
  • Continuing education opportunities in group therapy


The 2-Year Intensive Training Program consists of six (6) two-day conferences. Twelve (12) CEs are typically awarded per conference. A certificate of attendance will be awarded for each conference and a Certificate of Completion will be awarded at the end of the program for all students who have attended the full two-year program.    

To receive CE credits for each weekend, participants must attend 100% of that conference. Partial credit is not possible.

*Continuing education requirements vary from state to state. Many state boards grant reciprocity with national accrediting organizations and other state boards. It is the responsibility of each professional to understand the requirements for license renewal or check with the state or national licensing board and/or professional organization to become more familiar with their policies for acceptable continuing education credit.

Click here for Accreditation Statement and AMEDCO Continuing Education Certification 


There are two options for participation in the 2-Year Intensive Training Program:

  1. Full Program participants register for the entire cycle of six conferences and belong to the same small process group over two years. Full program participation requires an application and interview process prior to acceptance. Click here to apply.
  2. Single Conference participants, space allowing, attend on a per conference basis and are assigned to a small process group for that conference only. Registration for single conference participation will open 8 weeks prior to each weekend.
 Full Program Participants (all 6 conferences)  Fee 
 Regular Tuition - register after 8/1/2024  $2,400.00
 Early Bird - register by 8/1/2024 $2,150.00

If you are thinking about attending but the cost is prohibitive, please contact Kavita Avula - Dean (

Reduced tuition/fees may be available.


The 2-Year Intensive Training Program is open to all licensed and unlicensed mental health professionals (e.g., social workers, psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, marriage and family therapists, coaches, etc.) and trainees. Applicants should have an interest, education, and/or training in psychodynamic psychotherapy and a desire to learn about groups and group therapy. Past experience as a therapy group member or a group leader is not a pre-requisite.

All applicants to the 2-Year Training Program will be interviewed prior to acceptance. Click here to apply.

For more information about the 2-Year Intensive Training Program or NGPI, please contact:

Rachel Miller, NGPI Co-Chair:

Jonathan Stillerman, NGPI Co-Chair:

Kavita Avula, NGPI Dean:

Click here to return to the NGPI Home Page.

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