Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy Specialty Council
Group Specialty Council President
The major task for the Group Specialty Council for 2017 began in April with the receipt of the letter from CRSPPP requesting that we supply more information for the petition to include postdoctoral training and, achievement of the specialty at post-licensure. The Council was also asked by CoA to develop a set of competencies for postdoctoral residency programs reviewed for accreditation.
A model postdoctoral program was developed under the leadership of Sally Barlow in 2003 but that model was based on what was in effect at that time on the doctoral level for group competencies and experiences. Doctoral programs had scant training in group psychology and group psychotherapy which was the impetus for the Society trying to gain CRSPPP approval for a specialty. It was felt that the 2017 version call for significant changes for a model program that would incorporate the proposed doctoral and internship specialty work as having been achieved and that the postdoctoral residency would build on the doctoral level work.
Some of the major changes were to consider the doctoral/internship as the entry level and to describe the training for the postdoctoral at the advanced level. CoA had requested competencies for the specialty so that site visitors and accreditation reviewers would be able to judge if the postdoctoral program was consistent with established competencies.
A workgroup composed of Noelle LeForge, Josh Gross and Nina Brown was formed and developed the competencies for postdoctoral and post-licensure programs for the group specialty. Some examples of major competencies and tasks to be included in postdoctoral programs include the following: that the resident would have an opportunity to lead two different types of groups, to act as a leader not just as a co-leader, their work would be more narrowly focused on specific populations and conditions, there would be broader applications of techniques and procedures such as group process commentary, and residents would gain a more extensive understanding of cultural and diversity characteristics and how they affect the group. A full list of nine post-doctoral program competencies were created, reviewed by Specialty Council members and by CoS, revised in line with suggested changes, and submitted to CoA. The competencies were incorporated into the creation of the Education and Training Guidelines for Postdoctoral programs. In addition, the workgroup developed the process for achieving the group specialty at the post-licensure level that is consistent with ABGP guidelines and standards.
The revisions for the petition are underway with the intent that the resubmission of the petition be no later than mid-December. Prior to that time, the revisions will be sent to the members of The Society for their review and comment.