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(NEW) Online Training – Group Therapy: Presence and Process Using Symbols, Metaphor & Poetics

May 22 Login to Zoom 8:30am ; Training 8:45am-4:15pm (EDT) $179, 6 CEUs Presenter: Dee Preston-Dillon, PhD Zoom, MD + Google Map

Group therapy is a powerful approach to work with interpersonal subtleties and unconscious dynamics. Expressive therapies are especially useful to build cohesion and work in depth. In this virtual workshop we will focus on group facilitation, specific examples for creative engagement, and special boundaries to maintain safety and enhance healing in group process. While group topics may focus on specific trauma, identity concerns, or affected populations, expressive therapies create a third presence for the work through active imagination.

The flow of imagination, framed by Yalom, May and Ogden, necessitates an immersion in immediacy and innovation-in-the-moment. How we facilitate and contain creative group process, engage with heightened presence, necessitates practice to balance group dramas of personal and collective narrative. We amplify and ground group process through art, poetics, symbols in sand and metaphor. These expressive approaches bring depth and complexity, they open stories held in safe keeping, enrich layers of meaning for personal and collective narrative. Metaphorically, group is nested in the existential wounds and the potential healing of this unique encounter — group, facilitator, and the imagined.

Registration for this workshop closes one day before the workshop date.

If you want to sign up for this course and missed the registration deadline, please don’t worry. You can still contact Gerri Baum at gerrib@theferentzinstitute.com or call 410-409-7061 to inquire about joining the class. We will do our best to accommodate you. We appreciate your interest in our workshops and look forward to seeing you soon!

The Ferentz Institute, Inc. is an approved sponsor of the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners for continuing education credits for licensed social workers in Maryland. CEU approval for all trainings is also granted to Psychologists, LCPC’s and MFT’s and approved by the Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists and the Board of Examiners for Psychologists in Maryland. Reciprocity has also been granted for clinicians in Washington, DC, Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana, Georgia, Massachusetts and Texas.  If your state is not among this list, we encourage you to check with your state licensing board to see if they will grant reciprocity.
The Institute maintains full responsibility for all programming. In order to provide Category 1 CEUs for all of our trainings, the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners requires online workshops to be live, interactive, and experienced in real time. Therefore, none of our trainings are recorded for later viewing.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe four relevant existential themes that influence group dynamics.
  • Explain three expressive approaches to enhance group process.
  • Explain three clinician skills and attitudes that enhance use of expressive therapy with groups.
  • Describe three stages for use of imagery, symbols, and poetics with group.
  • Describe two exercises for therapist’s practice to build expressive therapy in groups.
  • Explain the use of themes with dreams, symbols, sand therapy, and active imagination in group process.


8:45 – 10:00 AM

  • PowerPoint – defining terms, experiential activity to ground participant goals via zoom (use of picture)

10:00 – 10:08   BREAK

10:08 – 11:00 AM

  • Experiential group activity using symbols brought to zoom by participants. (use of symbols – owning qualities of self)

11:00 – 11:08     BREAK

11:08 – 12:00 PM

  • Experiential group activity using dialogue among figures in my second camera sand scene (activating symbols in my sand tray / gestalt by volunteers)

12:00 – 1:00 PM  LUNCH

1:00 – 2:00 PM

  • Experiential group activity – experiential group activity with poetics, story-telling, letters (use of narrative)

2:00 – 2:08 PM    BREAK

2:08 – 3:00 PM

  • Experiential group activity – experiential group activity with dreams (individual and collective dream-making)

3:00 – 3:08 PM     BREAK

3:08 – 4:15 PM

  • Experiential group activity mini dramas (acting in an imagined theater)
Group of people standing in a circle with hands stretched out to one another