Intro to Group Therapy for Clinicians

"When you understand how to support the progressive expression of clients' thoughts and feelings in a group setting, you are armed with a powerful tool."

Designed by trained group therapists, this introduction will support both your cognitive and emotional learning in an experiential setting. 

Gain practical tools for: 
Client selection, Pre-group preparation, Setting a group contract

Learn the basics of a successful therapy group. Experience the power of the process.   

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Meet your Leaders:

Pearl Waldorf, LPC, MSed is a somatic group psychotherapist in private practice in NE Portland. She believes, “Interpersonal process accesses root causes, activates implicit learning and enables the kind of real change our clients are looking for.”  

Jim O'Hern, LCSW, CGP is passionate about group therapy and has extensive training in modern analytic group psychotherapy. “Group therapy offers our clients an opportunity to see and overcome obstacles that keep them from having the life and relationships they desire.”

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For further information contact Jim Ohern at

Who Can Benefit?

 Anyone in an agency, hospital, mental health or college counseling center who is expected to run groups but has little formal training in group work
•  Anyone in private practice or other settings who wants to expand their expertise to conducting groups
•  Anyone wishing to learn the psychodynamic theory and practice of group psychotherapy


•  Combination of didactic, experiential, and question/answer periods with practitioners who run groups in their practices every day.
•  Three 2 and 1/4 hour workshops with your peers Wednesday evenings from 5:45 - 8pm.
•  Student group no larger than 12 participants to support an intimate experience of group.  
•  Integrates the principles and applications of psychodynamic group psychotherapy and interpersonal process.

Workshop I  The role of the leader, group boundaries

5:45pm      Introductions/ What to expect from this workshop.
                   Didactic: Creating Group Agreements/ the Contract
6:30pm      15 minute break
6:45pm       Process
7:30pm       Debrief/ Reflection (End 8pm)

Workshop II  Patient selection
5:45pm       Didactic: Screening-Matching your clients to the offering
6:30pm       15 minute break
6:45pm       Process
7:30pm       Debrief/ Reflection (End 8pm)

Workshop III Pre-group preparation
5:45pm       Didactic: Setting you and your clients up for success
6:30pm       15 minute break
6:45pm       Process
7:30pm       Debrief/ Reflection (End 8pm)



This offering will run three consecutive Wednesdays: October 23rd, 30th and November 6th from 5:45-8PM.

The group will meet at the Boxlift Lofts Building: Studio 16, 333 NE Hancock St. just north of Broadway and West of Martin Luther King Blvd.

Full Training Rate: $375
Student/Early Professional: $325
Designated Clinician Referrals: Prearranged Reduced Rate

*Please note: We value diversity and and inclusion wish to prioritize it over our own financial gain. Our goal is to make this experience available to anyone who is curious about group work and wishes to increase their knowledge base. If you have a passion for group and our training feels financially out of reach, please don't let that keep you from reaching out to us. In service to this, in addition to offering a limited number of reduced rate entry fees to participants who apply, we'd like to encourage folks who identify as members of a minority community and/or who have been impacted by bias, lack of access, microaggressions, or institutional oppression to connect with us. We are passionate about this powerful work and would like to know how to support your participation.

For further information contact Jim Ohern at

How is an interpersonal process group different from other groups?

•  Psychoeducational groups focus on building skills or sharing information. In a process group, the focus is less on content and more on the interaction between group members. It is in the engagement that new ways of seeing things can emerge.
•  Support Groups generally bring together members who have something in common, to talk about and normalize shared experiences, and to offer encouragement. Although members of a process group may talk about shared experiences in a similar way, the leaders focus is to bring members attention to the emotional communication that’s happening between them.
•  Multiple perspectives can help delineate objective vs subjective experiences of people’s behavior. Excellent space for getting real feedback.
•  Living laboratory provides participants real time opportunities to practice new ways of engaging.
•  Group setting, provides participants the kind of heightened affective experiences that support real change in the brain.

Jim and I met in New York attending the Center for Group Studies a program focused on the art of Modern Analytic Group Work. Funny we had to travel all the way across the country to connect. We both struggled in Portland with the lack of high quality training we both knew was essential to running transformational groups. Although our passion for group process found us searching far afield, we are thrilled to be able to provide our community with the kind of offering we both wish we had access to right here in our fine city.

We look forward to hosting you for this exciting event.