Group Psychotherapy Experience and Training: Intermediate Programme


The Intermediate Programme has been running successfully for the past 13 years with CPD accreditation from the HPCSA and is recognized by the IGA (Institute of Group Analysis, London) as equivalent to their Foundation Course in Group Analysis.

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

The programme incorporates:

      • a small and large group psychotherapy experience
      • a theoretical component, provided in the form of monthly webinars and special interest lectures as part of the Quarterly Meetings
      • support and supervision for the conceptualizing, implementation and running of a group
      • the writing of a reflective piece incorporating the application and understanding of theory to practice

WHEN: The programme runs over two years and coincides with South African state school terms, breaking for school holidays.

WHERE: The programme will offer an online option using the Zoom platform.  All participants will require access to Zoom and a stable connection. If there are enough locally based participants, a second and separate experiential group will be offered with the option of meeting face-to-face, should COVID-19 circumstances allow for this.  Face-to-face groups will take place at CGAS, 11 Rouwkoop Road, Rondebosch, Cape Town.


JANUARY 2021 – JUNE 2022

Participants will join an experiential group for the first 18-month period. The group will meet with Lindy Ackermann, an experienced group analytic conductor, on a weekly basis on a Monday from 17h30 – 19h00 during school terms. The experiential group will start on Monday 1 February 2021 via Zoom. The first term will start with an orientation session on Tuesday 26 January 2021 with Monica Spiro, the course convener.

In the first 18 months, participants will also participate in a series of  theoretical seminars/webinars held online. The group will meet once a month for a webinar on a Tuesday evening from 18h30 – 20h00 (usually the second Tuesday of the month, unless this falls on a public, religious  or school holiday). There will be a total of 10 webinars in the first year coordinated by Willem de Jager , and making use of visiting lecturers available to us now that we are online.  Two or three graded readings will be provided electronically for each webinar and these readings will form the preparation.  This webinar/seminar component of the programme aims to create a safe learning space where ideas can be freely and creatively explored, debated and integrated. An additional four webinars in the second year will focus on preparing you for your own group, and introduce the writing assignment.

Webinar topics include:

  • 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


Additional, special interest lectures form part of each Quarterly Meeting. 

JULY 2022 – DECEMBER 2022

The final six months of the programme will focus on support and supervision for conceptualizing, implementing, and conducting a group. Participants will have the opportunity to select from several 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.  Once again there will be the option of participating on zoom or face-to-face if locally based and the COVID-19 situation allows.

Writing Assignment: 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 11h00-12h30.  These special interest lectures will be presented by various individuals, and lectures will cover a broad range of topics, often attempting to integrate group analytic theory with our South African context.

Quarterly meeting will start with a large group from 09h00-10h30.  This is an important learning experience on all the courses as different dynamics (the “social” context) get activated when  groups have larger numbers. Quarterly Meetings are open to the total membership of the organisation.

Ethics Workshop:

An annual ethics workshop is held on a Saturday morning in the third term, from 09h00 – 12h30 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.

WHO:  A maximum of 16 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, webinars, quarterly lectures, supervision, and a once-off ethics workshop. Participants will either receive an account annually or quarterly, as elected. Annual accounts will be issued at the end of January and payment will be due within the first 2 weeks of term. 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 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 for those based in South Africa.  R 260.00 a group (approximately 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 2021 – December 2021)

Course FeeQuarterlyR3 850.00
Total Cost: R15 400.00

Second Year (January 2022 – December 2022)

Course FeeQuarterlyR3 850.00
Total Cost: R15 400.00


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

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