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Group Psychotherapy Experience and Training: 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:

  • 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


WHEN: The programme runs over one year and coincides with South African state school terms, breaking for school holidays. The next course begins in February 2021, and will continue until December 2021.

WHERE: The programme will be offered online using the Zoom platform. All participants will require access to Zoom and a stable connection.

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.


Experiential group:

Participants will join an experiential group for the period. The group conductor will meet with the group on a weekly basis for 1.5 hours during school terms (usually on a Monday evening from 18h45 – 20h15). The experiential group will start in late February 2021 via Zoom. The first term will start with an orientation session with Monica Spiro, the course convener.


There will be a series of theoretical seminars/webinars held online. The group will meet once a month for a webinar on a Tuesday evening from 17h30 – 19h00 (typically the second Tuesday of the month, unless this falls on a public, religious, or school holiday). 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. 

Overview of the course content covered by the webinars:

  • Introduction and overview of group analytic principles and processes
    • To introduce participants to the purpose of groups, overall structure and processes of groups and group analysis.
    • To promote engagement with and understanding of the principles and practice of group work with a focus on the group analytic approach.
  • Core group analytic concepts and their application
    • To introduce participants to the characteristics of group analysis and how the processes in analytic groups differ from other group therapeutic approaches.
    • Specific group analytic concepts will be explored: attachment theory and the concept of the matrix.
  • From small groups to the social unconscious/ Median and Large Groups
    • To explore the concept of the matrix and social unconscious in group analysis.
    • To explore the processes in the median and large groups.
  • Role and task of the conductor /termination processes
    • To explore the tools and techniques which the group conductor may use in the conducting of a group.
    • To explore the termination process, how group members may respond to termination and the role of the conductor.

Additional special interest lectures form part of each Quarterly Meeting.

Quarterly Meetings:

During the course, a special interest lecture will be offered once a term on a Saturday morning. 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 the South African context.

The Quarterly Meetings will start with a Large Group from 09h00 – 10h30 and will be followed by the webinar from 11h00 – 12h30. The Large Group is an important learning experience on all the courses as different dynamics (the “social” context) get activated when groups have larger numbers.

Ethics Workshop:

An annual ethics workshop is held on a Saturday morning, usually in the third term, from 09h00 – 12h30 at no additional cost.

COST: The course will cost R13 600.00 for the year, or R3 400.00 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 for those based in South Africa. R 260.00 a group (approximately R 10 400.00 in the first 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.TYPICALLY

February 2021 – December 2021

Course FeeQuarterlyR3 400.00
Total Cost: R13 600.00


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

**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 (excluding the group psychotherapy component if the participant is covered by a medical aid).**