Boulder Psychotherapy Institute

Advanced Training in Applied Existential Psychotherapy (AEP) — since 1989

An Experiential Psychodynamic Gestalt Approach   •   Boulder, Colorado

Module IV: AEP Group Training

Robyn Chauvin, M.A.,L.P.C. and Betty Cannon, Ph.D.


Learn to create an atmosphere of safety and challenge in a group.

Learn to recognize and work with stages of group development.

Learn to move among the three levels of intervention in a group: interpersonal, intrapsychic and group.

Learn to work with here and now interactions and conflicts among group members to facilitate growth and deep level change.

Learn to work with transference, countertransference and authentic relationship in a group.

Learn to use the group to facilitate deep level healing and corrective emotional experiences.

The Training: Working with groups is both an art and a science. This workshop combines techniques inspired by Gestalt, existential, psychodynamic, body-oriented and systems approaches to group. We will also add some interventions of our own. Group members observe and experience groups and practice leading the group in a safe learning environment.

Group Therapy is a largely untapped resource for private practice building. It is more cost effective for clients and highly effective as a modality for therapy - if you have the training and experience needed to keep groups going.

This class is both didactic and experiential. You will learn about the principles of group therapy, watch videos and live demonstrations, do exercises designed to increase your skill level, and get an opportunity to co-lead the group.

Tentative Start Date: Spring 2028

Certification Hours: 60

The Trainers: Betty Cannon, Ph.D., Boulder Psychotherapy Institute President and AEP founder, is a licensed psychologist and certified Gestalt therapist. She has worked with individuals, couples and groups in Boulder for over 40 years and trained and supervised psychotherapists for over 30 years. She is professor emerita of the Colorado School of Mines and Senior Adjunct Faculty at Naropa University. Betty is a member of the editorial boards of three professional journals: Sartre Studies International, Existential Analysis, and Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry. She is an internationally known author, lecturer, and workshop presenter. She is the author of many journal articles and book chapters on existential psychotherapy. Her book, Sartre and Psychoanalysis, is often considered a classic in existential psychology.

Robyn Chauvin, M.A., L.P.C., is BPI's most Senior Trainer. She is a music therapist and musician as well as a Gestalt Therapist and AEP therapist and trainer. She has been working in private practice in Boulder and Longmont since 2008. Her previous work was in in-patient psychiatric contexts and hospice, and she brings a wealth of insight and examples from those contexts as well as private practice to her teaching. Robyn offers supervision/consultation, practice, and process groups as well as trainings at BPI. A prominent member of the LBGTQ community, she is currently writing about gender identity, developmental issues, and the practice of psychotherapy. She is well-known in the BPI community for her humor and wit as well as her Dream Process Groups and the Dream Training Module she teaches at BPI. She has taught and co-taught (with Betty) many other training modules at BPI.


Varieties of Group Therapy and the AEP Model: Psychodynamic, Existential/Humanistic, Gestalt, Eclectic
Group Paradoxes
Structure and Safety in Group Therapy: Check-ins and Check-outs. Rules and Norms
Beginning a Group: Facilitating an Atmosphere of Safety and Challenge
Stages of Group Development: Forming, Storming, Norming, Working, Ending
Levels of Intervention in Groups: Group, Interpersonal, Intrapsychic
Transference in Groups
Countertransference in Groups
Resistance and Defenses in Groups
Authentic Relatedness in Groups
Dream Work in Groups
Psychodynamic Issues in Groups
Existential Issues in Groups
Co-Leading Groups: Advantages and Disadvantages and How to Make it Work
Group Management Issues
Multicultural Issues in Groups

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