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Vitalizing the Here and Now in Group Therapy:

Integrating Existential and Interpersonal Approaches


Dates: May 31 & June 1, 2013


Faculty: Molyn Leszcz, MD


Interpersonal theories of human development attribute psychological difficulties to early life relationship experiences that lead the individual to develop pathogenic beliefs that in turn create maladaptive interpersonal patterns of behaviour. The existential model alternatively believes the individual’s psychological difficulties arise out of the inevitable confrontation with life’s ultimate concerns of death, freedom and responsibility, isolation and the search for meaning. Through didactic presentation and group demonstration, the synthesis of these two approaches will be examined as they unfold in the here-and-now of the interpersonal psychotherapy group. 

Dr. Molyn Leszcz, internationally renowned group psychotherapy teacher and clinical researcher who has co-authored with Irvin Yalom the classic landmark textbook on Group Psychotherapy, brings his clinical wisdom and inspirational teaching to this 2-day interactive workshop. Not to be missed, the curriculum offers both depth and breadth teaching of clinical principles that can be applied to both group and one-one-one psychotherapeutic work.


Learning Objectives:

Participants will gain knowledge and in-depth understanding of:

  1.  The centrality of the interpersonal process in psychopathology and emotional distress.
  2. Contemporary developments in group psychotherapy that synthesize interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral, existential and psychodynamic perspectives;

              ….and be able to:

  1. Use the interpersonal model as an integrative approach that links these domains;
  2. Explore and understand patients’ existential concerns including death, freedom and responsibility, isolation and the search for meaning.
  3. Clinically apply methods to enhance effectiveness in the use of here-and-now approaches, through integrating techniques of disciplined personal therapist involvement and therapeutic meta-communication.


Course Outline:

A.       The evolution of psychotherapy and perspectives on psychotherapy integration

           The existential domain:

·        Boundary experiences and existential confrontation

·        Death

·        Isolation

·        Freedom and responsibility

·        Meaning


B.        Theoretical underpinnings of the interpersonal approach

·        The Cognitive-Interpersonal Schema – Misconstrual and Misconstruction

·        Interpersonal Impact, Complementarity and the Maladaptive Transaction Cycle

·        Schema Disconfirmation and Emboldenment

·        Causality – Linear vs. Circular

·        Impact Message and Countertransference


C.         Group Therapy Treatment Constructs

·        The Power of the Here and Now

·        The Group as a Social Microcosm

·        Cohesion

·        Can the Group be a Corrective Emotional Experience?

·        Interpersonal Learning and the Adaptive Spiral


D.          Therapist Transparency

·        Therapeutic Metacommunication and Feedback

·        Therapist presence

·        Maximizing the use of countertransference

·        Disciplined personal therapist involvement


Please click here for a copy of the flyer.


Fee: $395


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If you would like more information, please contact Connie Kim at