Group Psychotherapy Experience and Training (GPET) Intermediate Programme

The intermediate programme has been running successfully for the past 12 years with CPD accreditation from the HPCSA, and is recognized by the IGA (Institute of Group Analysis, London) as equivalent to their Introductory Course in Group Analysis.

The training follows a group analytic perspective and the adaptation of this perspective to our current context.

The programme incorporates:

  1. a small and median group psychotherapy experience,
  2. a theoretical component, provided in the form of seminars and lectures, and
  3. support and supervision for the conceptualizing, implementation and running of a psychotherapy group.

When and What: The programme runs over two years and coincides with school terms, breaking for school holidays.

January 2020 – June 2021

Participants will join an experiential group for the first 18 month period. The group, conducted by Thabile Zondi, will meet on a weekly basis on a Wednesday evening from 18.30 – 20.00.

In the first 18 months participants will also meet once a month for a theoretical seminar on a Tuesday afternoon 17.30 – 19.00 (usually the second  Tuesday of the month, unless this falls on a public, religious  or school holiday). There will be a total of 15 seminars coordinated by Lily Becker and Willem de Jager.  Two or three graded readings will be provided electronically for each seminar.  These readings will form the preparation for the seminars.  The seminar component of the programme aims to create a safe learning space where ideas can be freely and creatively explored, debated and integrated.

Seminar topics are:

  • Revisiting the foundations and history of Group Analysis
  • General principles of Group Analysis
  • Projective processes in groups
  • Creative and destructive processes in groups
  • Resistance and defences in groups
  • The large group
  • Organisations and systems
  • The social unconscious
  • The role of the facilitator in groups
  • Applications and adaptations of group analytic theory
  • Setting up groups in Cape Town

The seminar programme will begin with an orientation session conducted by the course convener, Monica Spiro.

Madie Duncan and Pat Mayers will provide a Saturday morning workshop to conclude the first 18 month period.  This workshop will provide an opportunity to reflect on the lived experience in the experiential group and the knowledge gained from the theoretical seminars.  The aim of this workshop will be to offer some synthesis to these two components of the programme.

July 2021 – December 2021

The final six months of the programme will focus on support and supervision for conceptualizing, implementing and conducting a psychotherapy group. Participants will have the opportunity to select from a number of ongoing supervision groups. Participation in these weekly groups will replace the experiential component. Some participants may require assistance with the conceptualizing and implementation of a new group, whilst other participants may require supervision for an existing group which they are currently facilitating.   Participants will have the opportunity to present their group, or potential group, every fortnight at a minimum.  If there is a need, there will be the possibility of continuing with the supervision beyond the six month period.

In the final six months participants will undertake a written task of 3500-5000 words.  This task requires that participants select a critical incident or process either in the median group in which they have participated, or in a group that they have facilitated or encountered in their workplace.  The purpose of the assignment is to engage with the application of group analytic theory in a way that supports self reflective practice.  The task is considered a highly personal opportunity for meaning making.

Quarterly Meetings

During the course of the 2 years, a lecture will be offered once a term on a Saturday morning from 9.00-10.30.  These special interest lectures will be presented by various individuals, including visiting group psychotherapists.  The lectures will cover a broad range of topics, often attempting to integrate group analytic theory with our South African context.

The quarterly lecture will be followed by a once a term median group from 11.00-12.30.  The quarterly meetings are open to the total membership of the organisation.

Ethics Workshop

An annual ethics workshop is held on a Saturday morning, usually in the third term, from 9.00 – 12.30 at no additional cost.

CPD (Continuing Professional Development Points)

The course receives CPD accreditation from the HPCSA with a maximum of 30 clinical points per annum and 3-6 ethics points for attendance of the Ethics Workshop.

Where:  The experiential group, seminars, the workshop and supervision sessions will take place at The Centre for Group Analytic Studies, 11 Rouwkoop Road, Rondebosch.  Quarterly meetings take place at the Barnard Fuller Building, Health Sciences Faculty, UCT.

Who:  A maximum of 8 participants will be accepted into the programme.  Professionals who have a graduate qualification that enables them to run psychotherapeutic groups are eligible, (e.g.  psychologists, occupational therapists, psychiatrists, social workers, psychiatric nurses).  Graduates who have completed the introductory course and who have a university qualification are also eligible to apply.

Most graduate programmes offer an introduction to groups in their clinical training, but further experience, knowledge and support is required for successful work with groups.  The programme will be useful to clinicians who are interested in initiating groups, or those who are currently working with groups, either in an organization or privately.  There will be no course evaluation.  All participants will receive a certificate on completion of a minimum of 80% of each component of the course.

Cost: The course will cost R 15,400.00 per year, or R 3,850.00 per term.  Participants can choose to pay annually in advance, receiving a R 900.00 discount, or can pay quarterly. Fees include weekly experiential groups, monthly seminars, quarterly median groups and lectures, supervision, and a once off workshop.

Participants will either receive an account annually or quarterly, as elected. Annual accounts will be issued  mid January and payment will be due by the end of January. Quarterly accounts will be issued at the beginning of each term, and payment will be due within the first 2 weeks of term, unless a prior arrangement has been made. Payment can be made by cash, cheque, or EFT. Medical aid statements will be provided at the end of each term as the full costs of the experiential therapy groups can be claimed from medical aid.  R 260.00 a group (approx R 10 400.00 in the first year and R 5 200.00 in the second year) can be claimed.

A non-refundable registration fee of R 600.00 is requested on application.  Once participants accept a place on the programme, they will be committing to the training and to the full cost of the programme for the duration of the 2 years. 

First Year (January – December 2020)

Course Fee:           Quarterly         R 3,850.00
Total Cost R 15, 400.00

Second Year (January – December 2021)

Course Fee:           Quarterly         R 3,850.00
Total Cost R 15, 400.00

*NOTE: Fees paid annually will receive a R 900.00 reduction.

**NOTE: Experiential group psychotherapy sessions can be claimed from medical aid.