Group Psychotherapy Experience and Training (GPET) Introductory Programme

The introductory programme had its first intake in January 2010.    The course offers an introduction to the group analytic perspective and the adaptation of this perspective to our current context.

It is suitable for individuals who have an interest in group psychotherapy and/or who are currently or potentially working in the field.  It is aimed at providing skills particularly to individuals within organizations who are working or wish to work with groups at a grass roots level, and is open to individuals with a minimum of a matric qualification. Graduates of the introductory programme who have a university qualification will be eligible to apply for the intermediate group.

The programme incorporates (1) a small and median group psychotherapy experience, and (2) a theoretical component provided in the form of seminars and lectures.

When:  The programme runs over a year and coincides with school terms, breaking for school holidays.   The next course begins in January 2020, and will continue until December 2020.


Experiential group: Participants will join a weekly experiential group on a Wednesday afternoon from 17.00 – 18.30.

Seminars and Worshop: A monthly theoretical seminar will take place, usually on the last Tuesday of the month from 17.30–19.00. There will be an orientation seminar and a further 10 seminars in total. Two or three graded readings will be provided electronically for each seminar. These readings cover basic group analytic concepts and foundational principles, and will form the preparation for the seminars. The seminar component of the programme aims to create a safe learning experience where ideas can be freely and creatively explored, debated and integrated.

Seminar topics are:

  • What is a group?
  • Group dynamics (the conscious and unconscious processes)
  • Transference and countertransference
  • Stages of the group
  • The role of the group conductor
  • Termination

Quarterly Meetings: Four lectures in the the first year and two lectures in the second year will be offered once a term on a Saturday morning from 9.00 -10.30am.   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. This quarterly lecture will be followed by a once a term median group from 11.00 -12.30pm. These quarterly meetings are open to the total membership of the Centre for Group Analytic Studies.

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.

The introductory programme will conclude with a once-off Saturday morning workshop from 9.00-12.30. 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.

Where:  All experiential group sessions and seminars will take place at the Centre for Group Analytic Studies, 11 Rouwkoop Road, Rondebosch. The quarterly lecture and median group will take place at Barnard Fuller Building, Health Sciences Faculty, UCT.

Who:  The programme is suitable for individuals who have an interest in group psychotherapy and/or who are currently or potentially working in the field. A minimum of a matric pass is the qualification entrance requirement for this course; however the programme is also suitable for individuals with an undergraduate degree or diploma. There will be no course evaluation and no formal accreditation, with the emphasis being on providing participants with knowledge and skills that can be integrated into the workplace. All participants will receive a certificate on completion of a minimum of 80% of each component of the course.

Cost: The course will cost R15 400.00 for the year, or R3 850.00 per term. Participants can choose to pay annually in advance, receiving a R900.00 discount or can pay quarterly. Fees include weekly experiential groups, monthly seminars, quarterly median groups and lectures and a once-off workshop.

Participants will either receive an account annually or quarterly, as elected. Annual accounts will be issued at the start of term in January and payment will be due at 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 R600.00 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 year.

January – December 2020

Course Fee:           Quarterly         R 3,850.00
Total Cost R15,400.00

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

**NOTE: There is a subsidy available for a limited number of individuals working within organizations at a grass roots level. This subsidy will cover 50% of the cost of the sessions (excl the group psychotherapy component if the participant is covered by a medical aid).

Please contact for further information or to request an application from. Applications will be accepted until Monday 25th November 2019.