The AKRI Dialogues V

Lifting the Veil: Legacy and Transformation in Group Relations

An Online Event, March 18 - 21, 2021

Pre Dialogues Presentation

Ubi Sunt: Where are those who were before us?
An examination of our ancestry is highly relevant to the legacy aspect of the upcoming Dialogues.  For many of us, these presenters are among our ancestors and mentors: Charla and Bernie are both members of the second generation of group relations practitioners in the US and have held leadership positions in AKRI and their home affiliates. Ann has been active in the international GR community for many years.

Charla Hayden, Bernie Gertler, Ann Houston Kelley


Friday, March 19th, 2021
Organizing a Bicultural International Seminar: Pairings, Splits, and Avoidances in the Collaboration
This presentation will review the experiences and learning from an online group relations seminar designed for Chinese participants and taught by American or Indian and Chinese teaching pairs. Challenges around authority, trust, competition and cooperation, language and translation, COVID-19, money, different levels of experience, and unspeakable political issues were present. Challenges were often dealt with by pairing and splitting mechanisms. 
The seminar produced meaningful learning yet at the same time had an “as if” or ceremonial feel to it. The meaning of this for international group relations work and collaboration will be discussed.
  • Raymond Bakaitis(Presenter)A. K. Rice Institute, President
  • Xiaohua Lu(Presenter)Counseling Center of Beijing Jiaotong University, Associate Professor


Friday, March 19th
Exploring Projections within the AKRI System: Histories and Futures (A Panel by CSGSS)
This presentation will explore projections onto Affiliate Centers and the roles those projections play in the larger AKRI system. As an entry point, we will present recently collected survey data to identify various projections carried by CSGSS in particular. After identifying the various projections, a panel of 2-3 CSGSS members with various formal and informal roles will discuss ideas about the impact and function of those projections on the center’s relationship with AKRI and its Affiliates. There will be an opportunity for attendees to dialogue with the panel.
Friday, March 19th
Lifting the Veil: A.K. Rice Institute Discourses on Identities, Missions, and Values of Organization, Practices and Implications for AKRI and Global Group Relations
Description This presentation/paper focuses on the discourses in the A.K. Rice Institute over the past thirty five years about the identities, ideologies, and values that comprise the AKRI identities and missions. The presentation is formed around these organizing questions:
  • What do AKRI discourses represented in the AKRI multimedia archives since 1995 tell us about group relations identity, purpose, mission, and values as a field of inquiry and practice?
  • What are the tensions in the discourses and what do they reveal regarding the tensions and splits over the years, the efforts to understand and heal them, and current efforts at re-affiliation/reintegration?
  • What are the implications for AKRI and global group relations, especially during the Pandemic?
  • How do the discourses reveal themselves in the current AKRI Community Meetings?
It is our hypothesis that there are common threads and patterns over the last thirty years which present inspiring renderings of AKRI and honest disagreements about group relations as theory and application in group relations conferences and beyond, which mirror discourses that have implications for AKRI’s future and global development of group relations.
  • Seth Harkins(Presenter)A.K. Rice Institute, Dialogues Presenter
  • Jack Lampl(Presenter)AKRI, Grex, Consultant
  • John Bair(Presenter)Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, Clinical Psychologist

Friday, March 19th
Naked or Themed?: A Proposal for Sequencing Learning in Group Relations Conference Work
Bernard Gertler and Charla Hayden have been advocating for what we have begun to call the “naked/basic” conference. What that has meant to us is what we have also called the “classical” conference – the one without a focused theme except for the study of the exercise of leadership, followership, authority, etc. We have received a good deal of criticism with and opposition to this framework being called “classical”, and, together with another colleague, Ann Houston Kelley, we have wanted to understand why this opposition has been so intense. 

This presentation will provide our current thoughts about how the naked/basic conferences, those without a prescribed focus on elements of identity, relate to the “themed” conference – those which carry a focus on the structural relations among groups based on elements of shared personal identity.  We are presenting this paper in the hopes of engaging others to consider whether there might be a logical sequence of a relationship between “naked” and “themed” conferences – a sequencing of the two kinds of AKRI-based conferences that could be offered.
  • Charla Hayden(Presenter) Hayden Consulting , Organizational Consultant
  • Bernard Gertler(Presenter)William Alanson White Institute, private practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy
Friday, March 19th
White Women in Group Relations: A Group Study
In September and October, 2020, seven white- and female-identified members of the Group Relations community undertook a group study with the task of applying "Group Relations perspectives to the study of manifestations of internal racism in ourselves and our role in structural racism and white supremacy; to provide mutual support as a resource in this learning; and to disburden people of color from the often re-traumatizing task of educating white people." The six 90-minute Zoom meetings were recorded, by prior agreement, to support the use of the study in further research and transcripts were generated and distributed to all participants. In this presentation, four participants in the group study will offer brief presentations reflecting on their experiences. They will be joined by a non-participant, Katharina Rothe, who will offer a perspective on the group process based on her reading of the transcripts. The presentations will be followed by a discussion with the audience.
Friday, March 19th
Changing AKRI’s Consultative Stance
My presentation floats a proposal to modify AKRI’s consulting stance in its Here & Now (H&N) events.  Namely:  to adopt a dual-focus perspective, giving balanced weight to both its classical focus on covert/underlying/primitive group dynamics (Basic Assumption Life) alongside a focus on more overt/developmental/mature group behaviors (Work Group Life).  To implement this in practice, I propose re-defining the guiding work task of the H&N Events.  Alongside the usual instruction: “The primary task of (this event) is to study the process of the group as it evolves in the H&N”, let’s add an adjunctive task something like this: “To develop the group as a learning team which collaborates in the service of studying itself.”  The role and perspective of the H&N consultant would accordingly shift to serve this expanded dual-focus.  It would also assign them challenges more analogous to the challenges real-life leaders face:  to both lead with regard to their group’s purpose or performance function, and to simultaneously lead with regard to their group’s people or maintenance function.  Is this a modest or massive proposal?  Is it clarifying or obfuscating?  Is it workable or impractical?  I’d like to discuss.  What I believe is this:  if AKRI conference directors were to experiment with this idea, it might ramify into and help to address many of the multiple issues and concerns raised in the call for proposals - and would do so in a manner that fully respects and builds upon AKRIs substantial legacy.
  • Joel Mausner(Presenter)Workplace Psychology, Business, Leadership & Career Psychologist
Friday, March 19th
On the Matter of the Race Conversation in Group Relations: The Limitation of the White Psychoanalytic Worldview for Building Human Community
Description A recurring conversation/theme in U.S. based group relations (GR) meetings is race, centered only on black and white relationships. An informal survey of GR participants indicated a near unanimous dissatisfaction with the nature, value and understanding that the race conversation yields. Group Relations’s foundation is the work of psychoanalyst Wilfred R. Bion. From Bion’s and other’s work AKRI has developed an Establishment (as defined by Bion) methodology for conducting Group Relations conferences.

In various conversations together the authors have asked themselves the reframing of Douglas’s rhetorical question of 1852- “What to the slave is the 4th of July” What to the African (whether U.S., West Indian, European, or from the Continent) is the psychoanalytic tradition; or put plainly, is the assumption that the theories proposed by White German/Austrian, Swiss, French, US, men and women have universal value?

The ideas of authority, power, competition and role as inherited or informed by Western individualism will be compared with ideas of authority, power, competition and role in Africana traditions.

This workshop will offer a didactic and interactive 90 minute presentation that will offer a historical framework with examples of ways to move through the stilted, uncertainty of the majority of GR conversations we’ve witnessed into conversations that create space for honesty in our relationships with each other and our limited seeing and understanding of others and our own inherited limitations.
  • Jodi Austin(Presenter)Group Relations International
  • Todd Murphy(Presenter)Yale University School of Management Interpersonal & Group Relations Course, Lab Facilitator
Friday, March 19th
The Neuroscience of Group Relations: The Primate Mind and Hierarchies of the Collective
Our models of the mind determine how we perceive and understand the collective mind that we explore together in Group Relations. Insights from Winifred Bion, Kurt Lewin, and others influenced the early Group Relations Conferences in 1950-60s. For over fifty years, Group Relations have been exploring what groups experience and how groups or individuals act and react to changing circumstances from a psychoanalytic perspective.

AKRI has placed emphasis on irrational behavior among social groups as well as on authority and leadership. Group relations conference founders were often psychotherapists, psychologists/psychiatrists, and academic scientists (Rioch conducted research at NIMH). In parallel, organizational and management consultants and systems theorists have also shaped Group Relations. The fields of human ethology, neuropsychology, more recently social neuroscience have new data on how human individuals and groups make decisions. This session will attempt to integrate these frameworks with Group Relations exploration of group experiences and actions.

The following subtopics may be covered by presenters. Technology will be used to gauge attendees interests and engage participant discussion.

  • Integrating technology and decision making models (group info processing)
  • What do we learn from conferences? Group level data (quantitate vs. qualitative)
  • Neurodevelopment and the functional brain (networks versus circuits)
  • Data and learnings from the Hierarchies of the Collective (Mind, Body, Spirit) Conference Series
  • Qualitative versus quantitative approaches to studying what we learn about groups
  • Interpersonal Neurobiology and groups
  • Complexity, chaos, fragmentation, and integrative theories
  • Computers, gaming, post-reality frameworks and politics
Friday, March 19th

KEYNOTE: Sam Kimbles, Ph.D.

 Friday, March 19th
A Reading Club’s Journey to a Latinx Application of Group Relations
The panel discussion will feature members of the reading club that originally sought to acknowledge underrepresented voices in group relations thought, and transformed into a staff to develop and administer an online Group Relations conference for Brown and Black communities, Activism as a Spiritual Practice: A Latinx Led Leadership Event, April 16-18. The presenters will reflect on the complexities of Latinx leadership in GR work, Latinx communities, and the world, inviting others to be part of a Latinx leadership movement.
  • Jaime Romo(Panelist)Kaiser Permanente, Hospice spiritual counselor
  • Yaromil Fong-Olivares, M.S.(Panelist)Bentley University, Director, Corporate Education
  • Joshua DeSilva(Panelist)Private Practice, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
  • David Luna(Panelist)Washington-Baltimore Center for the Study of Group Relations, Member
  • Tom Butler(Moderator)
  • Rod Smith(Speaker)US Air Force Academy , Assistant Professor
  • Diana Castaneda(Speaker)Community Counseling Centers of Chicago (C4), Associate Director of Crisis and Child & Adolescent Services
Friday, March 19th
International Members in AKRI and AKRI's Role in the International GRs Community
Group relations in the Tavistock tradition has been evolving in the world. AKRI is the GRs organization in America. She has a lot of international members from Africa, Europe, Asia, er al. As a international member in AKRI, we feel difficult to find our voice, take our authority, and exercise our mission in AKRI. One of the reason is it is not easy for us to participate meeting and GRC in site. But we can participate ACM more easier during and after pandemic because we meet online which is very easier to participate. During the experience of ACM, we found we are difficult to find our voice, take our authority, exercise our mission. What is the role of international members in AKRI, what do we need from AKRI? What can we do for the AKRI?

We will share our feelings and reflections in AKRI as a international members from Learning from experience
Understanding the group dynamic and the relationship between AKRI and international member group by reflection and interpretation of the experience.
  • Yu-An Wang(Presenter)Private Practice, Psychotherapist
  • Mette Buchman(Presenter)Independent Organizational Consultant, Organizational Psychologist
  • Robert Hsiung(Presenter)Dr. Bob LLC
  • Xumei Wang(Presenter)Department of Psychiatry Shenjing Hospital, China Medical University, Professor and Director of Department of Psychiatry
  • Winnie Fei(Presenter)Tavistock Institute China, Chief Executive Officer
  • Tingli Zhou(Speaker) Beijing Group Relation Conference , Co Consultant
Saturday, March 20th
Collaboration as a Conference Management Model: Chairperson and Council of Plenipotentiary Authority
This presentation looks at the legacy of the Director and Staff structure, then examines how this staff used technology and certain boundaries to transform the way they operated with authority. It can provide a perspective of how the capability of collaboration can be grown to work within a task of operating a conference. Finally, it may be an exemplar of working with AKRI across international boundaries with staff from AKRI, Tavistock Institute, OFEK, Group Relations India, and Utrecht University.

Through a combination of didactic presentation and experiential event, participants will:
  1. Learn about the conference management team and their process with a model of working with a “Chairperson and Council” instead of “Director and Staff”
  2. Hear about the application of the Co-Active Leadership model to how this conference management team operated with me as their administrator
  3. Experiential exercise (on Zoom) for audience to try out one aspect of the Co-Active Leadership model
  4. Finally, close with observations and staff learnings based on this working model
Saturday, March 20th
Training & Certification Process: Current Challenges, Perceptions, and Questions
The AKRI Training & Certification Program was created 20 years ago to develop and certify AKRI group relations conference consultants. Since then, the program has evolved to refine and improve the process. There are a variety of issues that we face on an ongoing basis. In this presentation, we want to engage those attending in thinking with us about:
  • How our understanding has evolved about the mission of the Training and Certification Program
  • The psychological and symbolic role that the Training and Certification Program plays in AKRI – what does the T&C program “hold”
  • Our efforts to revise, streamline, and make more meaningful the competency aspect of the applications
  • The availability of conference work during and after training
  • Cost and accessibility of the T&C process
  • Online group relations conferences
  • The mentoring system
  • Are there systemic or other factors with our process which affect diversity, inclusion, equity
Saturday, March 20th
Lifting the Veil: Group Relations In China: Portraits (Selfies) of Cross-cultural Study of Organizational Development 2014–2021
Description Situated within the context of Chinese and Western historical and international geopolitical relations, this paper investigates critical events involving trust, conflict, transition and the challenges of intercultural collaboration. Important to this organizational narrative are three broad themes. The first is the training and development of Chinese consultants, administrators, and researchers. The second is the transition from bilingual (English, Mandarin) to monolingual (Mandarin) conferences and ultimately the transition to autonomous Chinese directed and staffed conferences. The third is the organizational and institutional development. Together these group relations endeavors create a portrait a maturing group relations staff and infrastructure in China in which trust, conflict, and collaboration define the nodal points of transition and organizational development.
  • Seth Harkins(Presenter)A.K. Rice Institute, Dialogues Presenter
  • Nick Bartlett(Presenter)
  • Yu-Kuang Kevin Hsu, Ed.D, Ph.D.(Presenter)National Tsing Hua University, Psychology Professor/Chair/PhD
  • Xiaohua Lu(Presenter)Counseling Center of Beijing Jiaotong University, Associate Professor
  • Jeffrey Roth(Presenter)University of Chicago Medical Center
  • Xumei Wang(Presenter)Department of Psychiatry Shenjing Hospital, China Medical University, Professor and Director of Department of Psychiatry
Saturday, March 20th
Group Relations Conferences and Transformations in O
This presentation will:
  1. Describe Bion's concept of O.
  2. Link this concept to equivalents in other paradigms and further relate it to Bion's theory of thinking.
  3. Describe the dynamics of transformations in O (T/O) and contrast it to transformations in K (T/K). This will accompanied by some examples. In addition, the vital relationship of (T/O) to growth in individuals, groups and social systems will be addressed.
  4. Generate practical examples and suggestions for inducing receptivity to transformations in O in Group Relations Work.
  • Clive Hazell(Presenter)Clive Hazell PhD, Counseling Psychologist
Saturday, March 20th
Develop Leaders to Develop Leaders of Character: An Application of Love and Group Relations
Group relations has a history with the military helping people survive traumatic experiences post WWII. In wanting to deal with observable performance-driven metrics, the military stepped away from group relations theory in favor of practices suited for training. Within the US Air Force, training is designed for developing personnel for known situations, and education is designed for developing personnel for unknown situations. A global pandemic, global warming, changing geopolitical landscape all pose dynamics that create unknown situations leaders must contend with. At the US Air Force Academy, these unknown situations must be met with inclusive leaders of character who can innovate solutions to these unknown challenges. In the education setting, group relations can help military leaders do just that.

This 60-minute presentation will describe the journey of a leadership class created on love and group relations principles. The presentation will describe how the course was created via love, power, and justice ontologies, and concepts from group relations, development, and leadership theories. Participants can expect to hear about the design of the class, adjustments made in the online environment, design considerations to connect with the military experience, and successes/lessons learned about the experience as a teacher of the course. This presentation will feature a short summary on the US Air Force Academy’s guiding leadership document: The Developing Leaders of Character Framework.

This presentation is for those interested in offering group relations to a military audience, or in the application of group relations to develop leaders committed to inclusion, diversity, and equity.
  • Rod Smith(Speaker)US Air Force Academy , Assistant Professor
Saturday, March 20th
“Break the Cycle, Break the Chain”* – Integrating Emergent Systems Paradigms into Group Relations’ Social Justice Work
“It’s like you’re telling us that if you don’t see the heart and the love and the humanity and the joy of the Black experience—of Black humanity—then the antiracism work is bankrupt.” - Brené Brown in dialogue with Tarana Burke about the genesis of their co-edited book You Are Your Best Thing

“ ...the success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervener.” Bill O’Brien, as quoted in Scharmer, C. Otto. Theory U: Learning from the Future as It Emerges

This paper explores the hypothesis that the dominant societal paradigm in America, coined here as “American White Exceptionalism”:

a) functions in part as a social defense that, through stressing dualist, rationalist, individualist, anti-embodiment, and patriarchal tenets, distorts the theoretical paradigm for group relations, which, in turn, obstructs the practice of consistent, deeper attention to the dynamics of emotional-experience-in-context needed to better fathom the life of groups and systems;
b) and that, among the consequences of this, the traditional group relations enterprise constrains our collective ability to see and feel systemic anti-Black racial bias and thereby to mobilize the will to engage with moral urgency in transformative application work.

The author invites collaborative dialogue with you, the reader, in this ambitious exploration of opportunities for evolving group relations work, seen within a larger context of accelerating societal polarization and irrationality, and the many efforts in response to break through to a fundamentally new dynamic.

The paper considers key elements from two emergent and innovative systems models, Intersubjective Systems Theory (Stolorow, Atwood, Orange) and Theory U (Scharmer), for their effectiveness in humanizing and illuminating moments in contemporary American group and societal life, and, ultimately, in generating conditions for transformation.

* Credit: Saul Williams’ song “Break” from the album “The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust” (2007)
Saturday, March 20th
Scapegoating: An Educational Leadership Tale of Transformative Learning from a Group Relations Perspective -Applications of Group Relations Within and Beyond the Conference
This paper is an autoethnography of scapegoating as a lived experience. It occurred over forty years ago during a bitter teacher contract negotiation, which resulted in divisions between general and special education administrators and staff. The dynamics of irrational group phenomenon are explored in terms of group relations theory, basic assumption groups, and the conscious and unconscious dynamics of scapegoating through projection and projective identification. The narrative describes and analyzes the parallels between lived experience of scapegoating in group relations conference and the labor-management conflict. Gender-based scapegoating is also related as dynamic in authority relations. Additionally, the transformative learning of the author is discussed in terms of importance of self-examination of leadership styles and practices and their implications for restoring fractured relationships within a systems context. The implications for contemporary educational leadership are interpreted in terms scapegoating as a phenomenon in contemporary school and organizational life.
  • Seth Harkins(Presenter)A.K. Rice Institute, Dialogues Presenter
Saturday, March 20th
Facing the Racist Perpetrator Within: A Memoir
“The key to our happiness is to own your slippers, own who you are, own how you look, own your family, own the talents you have and own the ones you don’t. If you keep saying your slippers aren’t yours, then you’ll die searching, you’ll die bitter, always feeling you were promised more. Not only our actions, but also our omissions, become our destiny.”
Cutting for Stone, Abraham Vergehese

The tale of Abu Kassim is the story of a merchant trying to get rid of his old slippers, but no matter what he tries, someone gets hurt and the slippers always come back to him. In Vergehese’s book an old man in prison suggested that Abu Kassim create a special room for the slippers rather than keep on trying to escape them. The slippers in Vergehese’s version of the story seem to be a metaphor for the things we don’t like about ourselves and maybe feel ashamed of. I would argue to extend the metaphor to include one’s history, race, ethnicity, and cultural background. A number of years ago I began re-examining the impact German history of fascism and the Holocaust have on my life as someone with a German background. The stories and observations I share in my book represent my slippers in relation to this history. I very much identify with Abu Kassim’s desire to get rid of them, but also fear that if I try to get rid of them I will inadvertently inflict pain on others. This is my attempt at embracing them and creating a room for them while being respectful of those who have been affected by them. I will be reading two chapters from the book.
Saturday, March 20th
An Interactive Exploration of Seven Visions of Group Relations as a Spiritual Practice
With the aim of opening discussion and inspiring curiosity, we invite others to join us in this exploration of bringing soul to the role, recognizing the spirit of Group Relations work, and exploring presence as a prerequisite for sensing the system of belonging among other related topics and questions:
  • What is your understanding of an eternal soul?
  • Is the experience of soul authorized to show up in what we study?
  • Is there something about the current model that makes the experience of soul harder to sense and/or speak to in our theory or consultations?
  • What are our inherent assumptions about the unconscious that might be relevant to this discussion?
  • Does our work help us better understand how and why we cooperate as much as it helps us understand how and why we fight?
  • In an attempt to guard against the wish for an artificial Kumbaya conference experience have we privileged conflict over the possibility of connecting or observing moments of transcendence?
  • How do we know if we are complicit with a group’s desire for spiritual bypass?
  • What are the access points to presence individually and collectively? How do we know?
  • In our work to illuminate and (possibly provoke) the dynamics of a basic assumption group, do we neglect the potential of nurturing a work group?
  • Does a serious engagement in group relations work over time support our growth individually and/or collectively as contributors to a species which deserves to survive?
  • Drawing parallels between the meditation retreat and the group relations conference - working with presence, soul, and the ineffable.
  • Rebecca W. Ellison, M.A(Presenter) AFRICA CENTER FOR STRATEGIC PROGRESS Part-time , Director, Gender, Youth, and Vulnerabilty Lab
  • Charla Hayden(Presenter) Hayden Consulting , Organizational Consultant
  • Jack Lampl(Presenter)AKRI, Grex, Consultant
  • Lenny Levis(Presenter) Psychologist in private practice of psychotherapy and organizational consultation , Psycholgist
  • David Roth(Presenter)Kaiser Permanente , Director of Spiritual Care and Clinical Supervisor for Chaplaincy Training
  • Tara Victor, PhD, ABPP/CN(Presenter)
  • Mojgan Jahan(Speaker)Private Practice, Psychologist, Speaker, Consultant
Saturday, March 20th
Group relations coming home The Learning from Action Conferences LFA
Description Group relations started in 1943 when Wilfred Bion and john Rickman applied some novel ideas to the rehabilitation of soldiers who had broken down on active service.  This paper describes a series of application of GRCs that have been running in Europe for 20 years which employs the ideas and practice of GR for mental healthcare workers at all levels.  The intention has been to recognise the role recruitment and non-verbal messages that occur in services caring for those in severe mental states where symbolic functioning (including language) is disturbed. A new design not only for MHS workers and that come back to the roots of the GRCs and involve and integrate real activities as shopping(money) cooking cleaning leisure time to the classical GRC events.
Saturday, March 20th
KEYNOTE: Medria Connolly, Ph.D.
Description In 1967, Martin Luther King published his final book, “Where Do We Go From Here – Chaos or Community?”  One year later he was murdered.  When King raised that question, I don’t think that any of us would have believed that 54 years later, under the veil of democracy, we would be living in what Tim Snyder refers to as a “post-truth, pre-fascist” era.  Yet here we are.  So, what does this suggest about Reparations to the descendants of those enslaved by American law? And, what’s AKRI got to do with it?

The exploration of these issues is the intent of this presentation.  It is designed to raise questions about what AKRI as an organization is up to giving our understanding of authority, leadership, and group dynamics; facilitate conversation about our roles in furthering or subverting social justice; and hopefully gain a bit of clarity about our collective vision.
Sunday, March 21st
Conference Life in the Age of COVID: A Panel Discussion on Group Relations in Virtual Space
Description After a brief introduction by the committee chairs, invited panelists will be asked to respond to the following questions:

  1. What is the impact of a remote format on the manifestations of, and appreciation of, authority?
  2. What is the impact of a remote format on the manifestations of, and appreciation of, boundaries? How is the "Container" altered and how does this impact the containment of the experience?
  3. What is the impact of the prominent role of technology itself on the experience of roles and boundaries, and on the primary task in the conference?
  4. How is the experience of diversity / social identity impacted by the limitations and opportunities virtual space presents?
  5. What is the impact of conducting GR work in a “disembodied” fashion (i.e. in solely virtual proximity) on regression, projection, splitting, scapegoating, etc.?
  6. What does a director need to know about directing virtual GRCs? What are the unique tasks, skill sets, and competencies that are needed for directing virtually? What might director development look like in this context?
This will be followed by an open discussion in which all attendees have an opportunity to join in dialogue, share their own experiences in virtual group relations events, and raise questions.
Conveners: Laurie Nisco and Sarah Rosenbaum
Panelists: Sheri-Ann Cowie, Robert Hsiung, Jack Lampl, Jeffrey Roth, Evangeline Sarda, and Tyrome Smith
Sunday, March 21st
Evolving Group Relations: Embracing Empirical Social Science
We propose Group Relations leadership encourage return to their former biennial Scientific Meetings concurrent with the current Model of the AK Rice Dialogues. All mental health professions use conferences, publications, and journals to advance their scientific work and the value of their specialties. The American Psychological Association (APA) provides an example for Group Relations in their creation of the new APA Conference and Journal addressing Science and Technology which is in addition to the regular excellent APA Conference and journals.

Group Relations must also do so to regain a leadership role in training recognized specialists. Group Relations training needs to demonstrate through science and dialogue, the rigor of writing, validation, and forthright marketing, the value of their clinical training product.

This Presentation addresses the evolving understanding of group relations applications and research. It includes a systematic review of group relations research, discusses quality criteria, compares group relations and group work innovations and discusses implications for future training and research. This review includes innovative details in the study of group relations thinking, applications, and structures, as well as new detail in the study of the New Unconscious and social systems processes. Group relations along with group work, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and social science, must increasingly engage empirically supported work to achieve best practices. Reflection and introspection are at the heart of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and group relations. These concepts are compatible with and advanced by dedication to empirical investigation and extrospection which are central to social science. The purpose of this Presentation is to demonstrate the need for increased empirical research and systematic analysis to validate and market our group relations training. Group Relations research going forward will include neuroscience investigations and biomarker investigation of the depths of individual, group, organizational, and social psychology propositions.
AKRI Members' Meeting with the Board of Directors
  • Raymond Bakaitis, Ph.D., President
  • Jack Marmorstein, Ed.S., M.A., Past President
  • Sheri-Ann Cowie, Ph.D., Vice President
  • David Brooks, Ph.D., Treasurer
  • Seth Harkins, Ed.D., Secretary
  • Patrick Jean-Pierre, Psy.D.. Internal Director
  • Michael Lindsay, Ph.D.. Internal Director
  • Edward R. Shapiro, M.D., Internal Director
  • Tyrome Smith, M.A., Internal Director
  • Amber N. Williams, M.A., Internal Director
  • Dwight Jewson, Ph.D., External Director
Sunday, March 21st
AKRI Dialogues Closing Plenary
  • Patricia Kummel(Chair, AKRI Dialogues Committee) The Osborn , Psychologist
  • Lenny Levis(Dialogues Committee) Psychologist in private practice of psychotherapy and organizational consultation , Psycholgist
Honoring the 2021 AKRI FELLOWS