Program 2017


Wednesday, October 18th 2017
7:30-9:00 Welcome Mix & Mingle
Please drop by the Lord Nelson – Arms Public House to meet your CGPA Board members and fellow conference attendees
Thursday, October 19th 2017
8:15 – 8:45 Registration and Continental Breakfast

Please note the location for this morning session is at the Lord Nelson Hotel

8:45 – 9:00
Welcoming Remarks
Joan-Dianne Smith, MSW, RSW FCGPA, CGPA Interim President and CGPA 2017 Conference Chair
9:00 – 10:00
Keynote Speaker Joe Shay, PhD, CGP, LFAGPA, Cambridge, MassachusettsThe Top 10 Complications in Treating Couples and Groups: Is There Anything You Can Do About Them?
Tony Soprano brings Carmela in for couples therapy. They both mock you. Homer Simpson comes in with Marge. Ugh. You hate him! Get a divorce, lady. Members of couples and also of groups arrive with different agendas and levels of development, express anger at us, ask us to vote for their side, speak in different emotional languages, and evoke our judgments even if we don’t want to admit that. The affective intensity in the room is high—and our individual therapy training never prepared us for this! But, since couples are small groups, perhaps our group training can help. Using video clips, we will examine common complications in treating couples and groups—and what to do about them. (Rated R)
10:00 – 10:15 Refreshment Break
10:15-12:00 Session Continues Faciliated by Joe Shay
Dr. Shay will continue with the latter portion of his presentation involving a video of therapist-actors who will be enact a therapist and a couple drawn from a popular TV show, This Is Us. Dr. Shay will act as consultant while the therapist works with the couple.
12:00-1:30 Lunch (On your own)
There are lots of dining options while you walk from the Lord Nelson to the Air Insititue for your afternoon sessions.
1:30 – 4:30 Workshop 1: Coping with Aging in Ourselves and Patients: How to be Effective Group Therapists with an Aging and Medically Ill Population
Ken Schwartz, MD, FRCPC, Psychiatrist, Toronto, Ontario
The workshop focuses on teaching the principles of conducting group therapy with an aging population. Learning an innovative model which emphasizes the importance of understanding and utilizing feelings, one’s own and of others, leads to both an improved use of countertransference and personality growth for aging group members.
Learning Goals and Objectives:
1) Feel more comfortable in leading older adult groups upon learning a new model of therapy that emphasizes the importance of understanding and utilizing feelings, one’s own and of group members.
2) Appraise one’s own personal feelings with respect to issues of aging and medical illness and its impact on working with this population.
3) Identify three psychological techniques/practices that facilitate psychological resilience and growth in older adult groups.
1:30 – 4:30 Workshop 2: The tale of an ugly duckling: How to overcome resistance and harness the power of group to incite organizational change
Sabina Nagpal, MD, FRCPC, MPH, Psychiatrist and Associate Professor, Hamilton, Ontario, Jacqueline Kinley, MD, FRCPC, Dalhouise University, Halifax, Nova ScotiaIn this didactic, interactive and experiential workshop, participants will use a framework to understand resistance, organizational culture and change management. An experiential process and case study will facilitate participants’ learning about how to overcome resistance to groups. Participants will learn how group can act as a powerful tool for inciting organizational/clinical cultural change.Learning Goals and Objectives:
1)Describe how organizational/clinical community culture manifests and can both obstruct and incite change and innovation
2)Differentiate between overt and covert barriers to novel groups and to identify approaches to overcome each
3)Identify ways to use change management strategies in their own work settings to overcome personal and organizational resistance to change
1:30 – 4:30
Training 1: Beginner Level Training, Beginning a group: The first meeting of strangers
Aida Cabecinha, OT Reg. (Ont.), Dip. CGPA, Registered Occupational Therapist, Private Practice in Psychotherapy, Co-Director Toronto Institute of Group Studies; CGPA Board of DirectorsThe first meeting of any group is typically approached with apprehension and anxiety both by the group leader and group members. Both the group leader and group members are concerned about how group members will work together, how group members will respond to them and how group members will respond to the group. Concerns about trust and safety are central in the minds of participants. This anxiety and apprehension regarding the initial meeting represents the first shared group experience. The group leader’s capacity to use his/her emotional experience in the first group meeting as a barometer for the group members’ experience, is crucial in creating a safe emotional climate that invites interaction and encourages reflection about the first meeting of strangers. The group leader’s main task is to create an atmosphere that provides optimal opportunity for members to achieve their goals of learning about themselves while working towards meeting the goals of the group.
Learning Objectives:
1. Create a safe group environment by attending to a group’s boundary system, setting group norms and activating supportive therapeutic factors.
2. Identify the therapeutic tasks associated with the engagement/formation stage/formation of group development, from group, group member and leader perspectives
3. Attend to the process and content of the first group meeting including, the first shared group experience of anxiety and apprehension, underlying themes of safety, trust, belonging, and attachment.
4:30 – 4:45 Stretch Break
4:45 – 5:45

Annual General Meeting

2017 AGM of the Canadian Group Psychotherapy Association
Come and join us to learn about our association, how our board functions, and what happens in our work together. Participate in elections of new board members. We welcome all our members as well as other interested attendees.

5:45-6:45 Reception at Air Institute – refreshments and snacks provided
7:00 PM Dinner at Le Bistro ( pay own)
Friday, October 20th 2017
8:15– 9:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast
Training 2: Intermediate Level Training, Transference, Countertransference and Projective Identification in Group Therapy
Anne Mahoney, Ph.D., R.Psych.(AB & NS), FCGPA, Clinical Psychologist in private practice: Psychotherapist & Equine Facilitated Therapist
Although the concepts of transference, countertransference and projective identification are rooted in psychodynamic theory these phenomena occur in many types of group therapy. The potential for group leaders and group members to react to others, based on their past relationships and the potential for members to take on other members uncomfortable/disowned emotions is present in any therapy group where members interact in a meaningful way.This intermediate training is designed to provide group therapists across a broad theoretical range (psychodynamic, interpersonal, CBT, DBT, structured and mindfulness based group therapy) a working knowledge of transference, countertransference and projective identification and to explore the therapeutic use of these concepts across a variety of different types of group therapy. The training includes didactic and experiential learning.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify different manifestations of transference and countertransference in group therapy
2. Recognize different types of projective identification in group therapy
3. Explore therapeutic uses of transference, counter transference and projective identification in group therapy
9:00 – 12:00 Workshop 3: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy-a Trauma Focused Approach to Group Psychotherapy
Harry Zeit, MD, CGPP, Medical Clinic for Person-Centered Psychotherapy, Toronto, ON, Patricia Woods RN, CPMHN(C), Individual and Group Therapist Women`s College Hospital, Toronto, OntarioThere is increasing interest, particularly in the world of trauma therapy, on the impact of traumatic stress on the body. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, one somatic methodology which developed because of this awareness, has recently demonstrated its effectiveness when offered in a group setting. Both presenters are certified sensorimotor therapists who utilize this approach in individual and group practice. Pat Woods works in the Trauma Therapy Program (TTP) at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, Canada. Research on sensorimotor psychotherapy, delivered in a group format, has demonstrated a significant effect on improving body awareness, dissociation and receptivity to soothing.

Learning Goals and Objectives:
1. Gain a basic understanding of sensorimotor psychotherapy.
2. Discuss the consequences of a truncated Animal Defensive System.
3. Identify somatic signs of hyper and hypo arousal including basic interventions.
4. Explain how this modality has been integrated in a group therapy setting.
9:00 – 12:00 Workshop 4: Sharing the Workload; Sharing the Stage: What Makes Co-Leader Partnerships Effective?
Allan Sheps, MSW, RSW, FCGPA, Social Worker/Psychotherapist, Allan Sheps Professional Social Work Corporation, Thornhill, Ontario,
Joan-Dianne Smith, MSW RSW, FCGPA, Private Practice, Winnipeg MBWith all the advantages of sharing the burden, how is it that co-therapy can run amok? This workshop will explore how issues like unclear working agreements, differing theoretical models, power imbalances, and unconscious issues between the leaders can limit the therapeutic experience. Using a combination of didactic and experiential material we will offer practical criteria for establishing a productive partnership, outline the developmental process evolving between co-leaders, and consider how differing therapist styles can be integrated effectively within the co-therapy team.

Learning Goals and Objectives:
1. Define the personal and professional characteristics that come into play in choosing a co-leader.
2. Identify the developmental process that co-therapy teams experience.
3. Prepare an effective planning model and be better able to anticipate issues and feelings that typically arise in co-leadership relationships.
4. Explain how transference evolves differently in the co-led group and how leaders can use this phenomenon to the members` advantage.
12:00 – 1:30 LUNCH (on your own)

There are lots of dining options in close proximity ranging from Middle Eastern to Asian to Italian! You can choose what suits your taste. There are also more informal and quick take out options. Sign up to join one of your Maritime hosts and come enjoy local company and an entertaining dining experience.

1:30 – 4:30 Training 2: Continues
1:30 – 4:30 Workshop 5 : Addiction and Recovery: Group as Cultures of Resilience
Deborah Schwartz, MD, FRCPC, FAGPA, CGP Psychiatrist, Vancouver, British Columbia, Marcia Nickow, PsyD, CADC, CGP, Group Therapist, Private Practice, Chicago, IllinoisPeople with addictions–alcohol, drugs, food, sex, love, internet, technology, work, money–transform by `attaching` to a culture of recovery. Building on attachment, group relations and family systems theory and integrating 12-step principles, this institute targets healing from addictive disorders, underlying developmental wounds and intergenerational trauma.

Learning Goals and Objectives:
1) Understand addiction as a dynamic disease with multiple manifestations such as substance abuse, eating disorders and process addictions (e.g., gambling, sex and relationships, internet, work, compulsive spending).
2) Explain how the Group Relations-Informed Addiction Treatment model (GRAT), detailed in the July 2015 issue of the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, departs from traditional addiction treatment models.
3) Discuss how the GRAT model`s emphasis on `progressive recovery` promotes long-term healing and interrupts chronic relapse patterns.
4) Specify how treatment models that downplay histories of abuse, neglect, and exposure to conflict and rage contribute to high relapse rates.
1:30 – 4:30 Workshop 6: Balint-Style Group Workshop for Clinicians
Jackie Kinley, MD, FRCPC, Director of the Mental Health Day Treatment Program, Stacy Campbell, MD, FRCPC, Psychodynamics and Group Psychotherapy Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova ScotiaThis experiential workshop will offer clinicians a safe space for sharing clinical experiences and the opportunity to reflect on personal reactions. It will increase capacity to observe and tolerate emotion and understand relational patterns, with the goal of enhancing self-awareness, empathy, and the quality of therapeutic relationships.

Learning Goals and Objectives:
1) Describe how Balint groups offer a framework to provide support and supervision for clinicians to decrease burnout and improve patient care.
2) Build self-awareness, by identifying and processing emotions evoked within a clinical encounter and understanding reaction patterns.
3) Generate ideas about how to build support and supervision in their home communities.
4:30 – 4:45 Closing Circle

Facilitated by Jackie Kinley, MD, FRCPC, Director of Mental Health Day Treatment Program

4:45-6:30 Free Time
CGPA Social Gathering- Dinner at the Waegwaltic Club
The Waegwoltic is a picturesque, historic boating club located on the shores of the north west arm. Steeped in history and tradition, the Waeg is a great place to relax for a maritime meal and enjoy the sunset views. We hope you can join us!
Please pre-register for dinner (cash bar available)
Saturday, October 21st, 2017
8:15 – 9:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast

This year we, we will have a full day ETG group running on Saturday Oct. 21, 2017, led by Aida Cabecinha. Joan-Dianne Smith will be the ETG consultant and facilitate the Peer Circle.

The ETGs offer participants the opportunity to learn about group process and group dynamics by being a member of a small group (6-10 members) committed to examining its own here and now process. The group leader will model competent leadership by shaping positive norms, establishing a safe environment, and assisting the group with honest dialogue about issues as they occur in the here and now experience. As the group develops, it will naturally move through a series of stages, explore common group themes and dynamic issues such as, boundaries, attachment, conflict, envy, competition, intimacy, group cohesion, and termination. These groups are not intended to serve as ‘therapy’, yet there will be a degree of connection and personal disclosure that will naturally unfold as the members begin to get to know one another, and interact as a group.

Group members will develop increased self-awareness through this unique opportunity. They will also understand their experience through the lens of the didactic summary, which will occur at the end of the formal group experience. Group members agree to participate for the whole duration of the group, and also participate in debriefing and evaluation of the group experience. Groups may be briefly observed by conference faculty for training and quality assurance purposes.

Experiential Training Group (ETG) Objectives:

1. Identify developmental stages in the group experience.
2. Articulate common themes and dynamics in the group process.
3. Link personal subjective responses with theoretical concepts.
4. Describe leader interventions that facilitated group process and assisted the group’s forward movement.

Consultant Overseeing This Year’s ETGs

Joan-Dianne Smith, MSW, RSW, FCGPA

Joan-Dianne is our acting president of CGPA, and has a long history with our organization in a variety of teaching, supervision, and training roles. She underwent the training for leading process groups at AGPA’s leader-designate institute several years ago and has led training groups at both AGPA and CGPA. Currently she is in private practice in Winnipeg, where she leads groups, including an interpersonal process group for therapists. She is a regular workshop presenter at CGPA conferences.

9:00 – 3:30 Experiential Training Group

Aida Cabecinha, OT Reg. (Ont.); Dip. CGPA, Learn Grow Function Therapy

Aida is a Co-Director of the Toronto Institute of Group Studies and is involved in training mental health professionals in group facilitation and group therapy. She is a Registered Occupational Therapist and has been a mental health clinician for over 30 years. She currently has a psychotherapy private practice offering both individual and group therapies. She has facilitated Group 101 training days at several CGPA conferences. Currently, she serves on CGPA Board of Directors where she chairs the National Training Committee.

9:00 – 4:00 Peer Circle

Consultant: Joan-Dianne Smith

The Peer Circle provides an opportunity for those wishing to develop the requisite skills to lead Experiential Training Groups. Participants will have a range of opportunities including meeting with the Faculty and the Consultant during the debriefing meetings, observing part of an Experiential training group session and meeting with the program consultant to further pursue leadership issues.

For further information contact Joan-Dianne Smith at

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch (on your own)
1:00-3:30 Continue ETG’s
Closing Circle for ETG Groups/Wrap-up

Facilitated by Joan Dianne Smith, MSW, RSW, FCGPA, Private Pratice

Click Here for Registration