Continuous Online Group (COG)

AGPA is pleased to announce a Continuous Online Group to be held in conjunction with AGPA Connect 2021.

The task of this group is to provide experience with and learning about online large group dynamics. Members may use computers or smartphones from anywhere in the world. The online community runs from February 9 - March 5. As indicated by its name, it will stay open "24/7" for electronic interaction. As in other online groups, posted messages will automatically be recorded and made available.  Interactions are not real-time and are recorded.

This event will consist of four phases: 
• Orientation Phase: February 9 - 10
• Experiential Phase: February 10 - March 2
• Reflection Phase: March 2 - 4
• Departure Phase: March 4 - 5

During the review and application phase, the group will reflect on and try to understand the experiential phase and compare the dynamics of this group with those of other groups, both online and face-to-face. Participants are required to complete the online evaluation, which will be emailed at the completion of the second phase, and will be awarded six CE credits.

Learning Objectives:
The attendee will be able to:
1. Describe the experience of being a member of an online group.
2. Describe the effects of communicating in writing rather than by speaking.
3. Describe the effects of having a transcript available.
4. Describe the effects of interacting asynchronously rather than in "real" time.
5. Describe the dynamics of an online group.
6. List ways a continuous online group is like a large group. 
7. List ways a continuous online group is like a small group.

Course References:
1. Bernard, HS, West, KL, Agazarian, YM, Carter, FB, Carr, W, Gabelnick, F, & Lawrence, WG. (1993 Dec). Special issue: The large group. Group, 17 (4), 195-266.
2. Griffiths KM, Calear AL, Banfield M. (2009). Systematic review on Internet support groups (ISGs) and depression (1): Do ISGs reduce depressive symptoms?. J Med Internet Res, 11 (3), e40.
3. Griffiths KM, Calear AL, Banfield M, Tam A. (2009). Systematic review on Internet support groups (ISGs) and depression (2): What is known about depression ISGs?. J Med Internet Res, 11 (3): e41.
4. Griffiths, K. M., Mackinnon, A. J., Crisp, D. A., Christensen, H., Bennett, K., & Farrer, L. (2012). The effectiveness of an online support group for members of the community with depression: A randomised controlled trial. PLoS ONE, 7 (12), e53244.
5. Hsiung, RC. (2000 Dec). The best of both worlds: An online self-help group hosted by a mental health professional. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 3 (6), 935-950.
6. Lomanowska, A.M. & Guitton, M.J. (2016). Online intimacy and well-being in the digital age. Internet Interventions, 4, 138-144.
7. Mohr, D. C., Burns, M. N., Schueller, S. M., Clarke, G., & Klinkman, M. (2013). Behavioral intervention technologies: Evidence review and recommendations for future research in mental health. General Hospital Psychiatry, 35 (4), 332-338.
8. Murray, E. (2012). Web-based interventions for behavior change and self-management: Potential, pitfalls, and progress. Medicine, 2.0, 1 (2), e3.
9. Nimrod, G. (2012). The membership life cycle in online support groups. International Journal of Communication, 6, 1245-1261.
10. Weinberg, H. (2001 Jul). Group process and group phenomena on the Internet. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 51 (3), 361-378.
11. Weinberg, H. (2002 Mar). Community unconscious on the Internet. Group Analysis, 35 (1), 165-183.

 

To register, click here. Registrants for AGPA Connect 2021 will not be charged. For those not attending the 2021 Meeting, the registration fee for the COG is $90 for members and $180 for non-members.

The co-leaders will be:
Robert Hsiung, MD, psychiatrist in private practice; consultant for the Teachers College Fall Group Relations Conference 2018; co-founder and past president of the International Society for Mental Health Online; founder of Psycho-Babble, a large public online peer support group; and editor of E-therapy: Case Studies, Guiding Principles, and the Clinical Potential of the Internet (Norton, 2002).

Jeffrey D. Roth, MD, CGP, FAGPA,
addiction psychiatrist; medical director of WorkingSobriety.com; director of Group Relations Conferences in Chicago and China for the A.K. Rice Institute and past director of Virtual Large Study Groups for an international consortium of group relations organizations; past president of the Chicago Center for the Study of Groups and Organizations; and past editor of the Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery.

Vincenzo Sinisi, MA, CGP,
psychoanalyst, group analyst, and clinical psychologist in private practice; faculty member and supervisor at the Center for Group Analytic Studies Cape Town; founding member of the Johannesburg Group Analytic Group; past chair of the Cape Town Society for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy; member of the South African Psychoanalysis Association; and committed internet enthusiast.

Joseph E. Wise, MD, CGP,
certified group psychotherapist and board-certified psychiatrist practicing in Brooklyn, NY; consultant for Group Relations Conferences, including the Teachers College Fall Conference 2014-16 and 2019; Army psychiatrist for a decade, including deploying to Iraq as a psychiatrist in 2010; past Chief of Behavioral Health at a military community hospital; author and presenter on psychodynamic and interpersonal group therapy approaches to working with people in the military and Veterans and treating combat PTSD; and co-editor of Gay Mental Healthcare: Providers and Patients in the Military (Springer, 2018).

Anne F. Lindhardt, MD,
psychiatrist and group analyst in private practice; chair of the board of the Mental Health Foundation, Denmark; chair of the Analytic Group Section and board member of the International Association for Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes; past board member of the Group Analytic Society International; conductor of training programs in group analysis in China and Ramallah (Palestine); author of Etik og værdier i psykiatrien [Values and ethics in psychiatry] (Psykiatrifondens Forlag, 2011); co-editor of Matrix - Nordisk Tidsskrift for Psykoterapi [Nordic Journal of Psychotherapy]

 

Groups are proliferating online, and while most online groups are not therapy groups, group therapists are likely to find this a stimulating experience. Questions about registration may be directed to AGPA at registration@agpa.org.  All other questions may be directed to Dr. Hsiung at bob@dr-bob.org.  

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