Previous Issue

July 2014 – Vol. 24, No. 2


President’s Column
Lee Gillis, Ph.D.
President Gillis is focusing on helping undergraduates connect to both group psychology and group psychotherapy graduate programs.

President-Elect Column
Dennis M. Kivlighan, Jr., Ph.D.
President-Elect Kivlighan plans to focus on connecting and furthering the group experience asking Society members to videotape conversations about group and the Society.

From Your Editors Column
Tom Treadwell, Ed.D., T.E.P, CGP, and Leann Terry Diederich, Ph.D.
The Society offers a compelling presentation schedule along with CE credits.


Candidate Election Results

Dissertation Award 2013
Learn about Dr. Catherine Shea, recipient of this year’s award.

2014 Division 49 APA Program Summary
Jill Paquin, Ph.D., and Joe Miles, Ph.D.
Division 49’s summary of programs for convention.

Seeking Diversity Award Nomination
Jeanne Bulgin Steffen, Ph.D., CGP
Nominations are due July, 1, 2014


Group Psychotherapy Column: Experiential and Didactic Group Therapy Program: The Sad Lady’s Group
John Breeskin, Ph.D.
Intensive six-week group experiential and didactic therapy program focusings upon communication skills, assertiveness training, and trust-building.

Diversity Column: Increasing Multicultural Competency in Group Psychology: Balancing Etic and Emic Approaches
Jeanne Bulgin Steffen, Ph.D.
The importance of emic (culturally specific) versus etic (culturally universal) factors related to multicultural competency.

Brief Articles

Concurrent Group Therapy with Parents: An Exploratory Study – Part II
Elisabeth Counselman Carpenter, LCSW
Part II- Concurrent group therapy for parents whose children are being treated in group therapy.

Group-Centered After-School Community-Based Prevention Program
Anna Louise Thompson, MA
A Reading Orienteering Club (ROC) program allowing children who are failing in reading, to learn the basics following a group modality.

Prevention Corner: Training Groups in Prevention
Elaine Clanton Harpine, Ph.D.
Training programs in group prevention.

Committee Reports

Treasurer’s Report
Rebecca MacNair-Semands, Ph.D., FAGPA, CGP
The 2014 proposed budget was submitted and approved by the board in January.

Secretary’s Report
Jennifer Alonso, Ph.D., CGP
The energy, ideas and desire to support you as a member of the Society is inspiring.

Diversity Committee’s Report
Jeanne Bulgin Steffen, Ph.D., CGP
Focusing on our major goal of identifying diversity award nominations/ an award recipient.

APA Council Report
Sally Barlow, Ph.D., ABPP
Summary of action items

Early Career Psychologists

Highlights from the Early Career Task Force’s Conference Call
Joe Miles, Ph.D.
On June 16, 2014, the ECP group hosted a conference call on “Supervision in Group Therapy.”

Speak Up and Let it Go: Exploring the Meaning Behind Holding Back
Rachel Bitman, MA and Stephanie Carrera, MS
Attending first group therapy class is anxiety-provoking.

Other Information

Group Summit, a Conference for University Counseling Center Professionals
Tevya Zukor, Ph.D., CGP
The University of Pittsburgh will once again be hosting the Group Summit.

A Call for Group Therapy Manuscripts
Chris Teja
A resource to any of you who may be looking for an opportunity to develop or submit a book proposal.


Division 49 APA Poster Awards

Congratulations to the APA Annual Convention Student Poster Award Winners!

First Place: Xu Li and Dennis Kivlighan, PhD. “The Cognitive Errors of Commission and Omission of Novice Group Counseling Trainees about Group Situations.” For more information: Misconceptions about Group Counseling Trainees in Knowledge Structures about Group Situations

Xu Li M.Ed.

Second Place: D. Martin Kivlighan, III, Maleeha Abbas, Nick D. Frost, Arellys Aquinaga, Christina Frank and Alberta M. Gloria, PhD. “Are Group Therapeutic Factors Associated with Academic Improvement? A Multilevel Analysis.”

Third Place: Dakota J. Kaiser, MS. “Social Class in Group Research: A Content Analysis.”








Division 49 Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy Diversity Award Nomination

Jeanne Steffen, Ph.D.
Jeanne Steffen, Ph.D.

Division 49 Diversity Committee Chair

The Diversity Committee, a subcommittee under the Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy, is currently asking our members to nominate a person or persons who have made significant contributions to group psychology practice, research, service, and/or mentoring, with a focus on promoting understanding and respect for diversity. The individual selected based on these nominations is then honored as an award recipient at the Annual APA Convention in August. Time is running out! Follow the directions below to nominate a candidate by July 1:
Please consolidate this information into one document and email it to the Diversity Committee Chair,, by July 1, 2014

1. Include names phone numbers, program and institutional affiliations, APA divisional membership of yourself (the endorser) and of your nominee

2. Include a brief letter highlighting your nominee’s contributions in promoting understanding and respect for diversity in group psychology practice, research, service and/or mentoring.

3. Include the nominee’s vita.


Speak Up and Let It Go: Exploring the Meaning behind Holding Back

Iowa State University

Like many “first” experiences we have had in graduate school, attending our first group therapy class was anxiety-provoking. When we heard that we would engage in “experiential” activities, our minds raced. What does “experiential” mean? How much would I have to disclose? How would I be evaluated? Question upon question filled our minds about how much this class would feel like group therapy. The line between group class and group therapy seemed too blurry.

Gradually, we found that the most powerful and engaging classes were those where we and our classmates disclosed. However, we both felt scared walking the fine line between learning group interventions and experiencing them first-hand. What would others think of us if we shared more deeply? How would this impact our professional relationships with our instructor and peers? We wanted to connect with others on a deeper, emotional level, but we were also very aware of the boundaries of a classroom environment. It became very easy to rationalize holding back in these moments. Yet, it also felt limiting.

We decided to attend a conference hosted by the Illinois Group Psychotherapy Society where therapists and trainees learned about why they and their clients hold back. The conference included didactic presentations, experiential exercises, and work in small process groups. Groups consisted of five to six members at various stages of their professional development. Not surprisingly, we were both inclined to hold back in both the large and small groups as we did in our group class. However, a turning point was when our leaders clarified the nature of the small group work. One leader put it nicely when he said, “While our main focus is to process the material and experiences we have in the large group, part of our work can be therapeutic, or address some members’ concerns related to the topic of this conference. This is not a therapy group in that when members disclose, the goal will be to help them resolve or move past their concerns. You can voice concerns as much or as little as you like.” After hearing this and establishing trust in the group, we gathered the courage to share our stories. The fear of being evaluated by the other members did not fade, but we felt relieved and empowered. Our fear had taken a “back seat” in our minds.

The conference has gained a place on the list of our most valuable experiences as graduate students. Why? First, we learned that just because we place ourselves in a vulnerable position doesn’t mean we are engaging in therapy. Second, self-disclosing seems like it may have more risks, but doing so may help us understand what we ask our group members to do in therapy. Lastly, we should challenge ourselves to attend experiential conferences where we place ourselves in members’ shoes. Some activities may be uncomfortable, but they help us learn to trust ourselves, trust the process, and experience first-hand the healing power of disclosing. So, speak up, and let it go.


Publication Chair Report / Secretary

Jennifer Alonso, Ph.D, CGP
Jennifer Alonso, Ph.D, CGP

Jennifer Alonso, Ph.D., CGP

I am honored to be serving as the Society’s Secretary from 2014 to 2016. I had the privilege of attending the February mid-winter meeting where I was surrounded by board members incredibly committed to groups. The energy, ideas and desire to support you as a member of the Society was inspiring. As the secretary, I also serve as the Publication committee chair which includes integrating and updating the information between the Society’s journal, online newsletter, conference programming, website and social media. There have been exciting changes in support of the President Dr. Lee Gillis’ theme of increasing connection to the group experience. The Society’s demographics show that 85% of current members are above the age of 50. It was hoped that engaging members online would be a way to begin connecting, particularly with Early Career Professionals. Since January, the Society’s Facebook page has increased the ‘likes’ to the page by 112%! Of these ‘likes,’ 78% of the users are under the age of 55. We have also added Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, and invite you to join us on the webpages. In addition, members are invited to utilize APA’s new online forum, APA Communities, where we post previous meeting minutes, the bylaws and more. I look forward to meeting many of you at the APA Convention in D.C.



April 2014 Newsletter

April 2014 – Vol. 24, No. 1


President’s Column
by Lee Gillis, PhD
The theme of my presidential year is connecting to the group experience. Connecting as I view it will occur on multiple levels.

President-Elect Column
by Dennis M. Kivlighan, Jr., PhD
I just returned from the mid-winter meeting where we were conducting the business of our society. It was a productive, fun and thought provoking meeting.

From Your Editors
Tom Treadwell, EdD, TEP, CGP., and Leann Terry Diederich, PhD
Starting with this issue, we have upgraded our newsletter to an electronic edition with an easier navigational format allowing members to traverse the pages quickly.


President-Elect Candidate Statements
Robert L. Gleave, PhD, ABGP, CGP, and Craig Parks, PhD
Statements from the two candidates for President-Elect.

Treasurer Candidate Statements
Amy Nitza, PhD, and Norah Slone, PhD
Statements from the two candidates for Treasurer.

Member-at-Large Candidate Statements
Jill Paquin, PhD, and Tracy Thomas, PsyD
Statements from the two candidates for Member-at-Large.

Student Representative Candidate Statements
Rosamond J. Smith, MS, and Britney Tibbits, MA
Statements from the two candidates for Student Representative.


Research Column: Why Measurement Matters: A Systematic Inquiry of Group Therapy Outcome Studies
Sean Woodland, Marie Ricks, Griffith Jones, and Kyle Lindsay
Conclusions regarding treatment efficacy are best justified when ascertained with a high level of measurement precision, rigorous methods, and inferences accurately reflecting the research question.

Group Psychotherapy Column: What Do You Say After You Say “Hello”?
John Breeskin, PhD
This set of guidelines closely follows a chapter from my book titled Sparky Says Hello and should be read in connection with this article.

Diversity Column: Committee Activities at the 2013 Annual APA Convention
Jeanne Bulgin Steffen, PhD
Selection of a new committee chair for 2014-2016, awarding of the 2013 Diversity award, and summary of the diversity committee symposium at APA.

Prevention Corner
Elaine Clanton Harpine, PhD
The subject of training in group prevention is a frequently discussed topic at conferences and conventions these days.

Brief Articles

Concurrent Group Therapy With Parents: An Exploratory Study – Part I
Elisabeth Counselman Carpenter, LCSW
This article provides an introduction to and literature review of concurrent group therapy.

Group Work With College Students: Integrating Models of Psychosocial Development
Jerrit R. Tucker, MS
Although developmental models lie at the foundation of counseling psychology as a discipline, there are few examinations of developmental models as they relate to group psychotherapy.

Committee Reports

Finance Committee Report
Rebecca MacNair-Semands, PhD, CGP
Division 49 ended 2013 with over $51,000 in income, including royalties from the journal at $47,812 (above the projected amount of $36,600).

Early Career Group: Diversity in Group Therapy
Jennifer Alonso, PhD
On January 14, 2014, the ECP group of the Membership Committee hosted a conference call on “Diversity in Group Therapy.”

Book Review

After School Prevention Program for At Risk Students
Kelly Devinney, MA
Kelly Devinney reviews Elaine Clanton Harpine’s latest book, After School Prevention Program for At Risk Students.


Attorney General Holder to Keynote APA-ABA National Conference on Confronting Family and Community Violence
Psychology and law collaborate to help prevent violence in homes, communities and society with a continuing education conference May 1-3 in Washington, DC.