Jamie Moran, LCSW, CGP
Group training & education | Individual & couples counseling across genders 
Gay men's & gay & bisexual men's psychotherapy groups 


August/September 2018 ENewsletter    

Greetings! It is hard to believe we are approaching Fall!  I hope you enjoy this edition focused on Group Conflict.  In the three decades I've been working with groups, I've had much time to reflect on the many machinations of group.  During this time, I've found that conflict is certainly one of the more compelling, and perhaps most challenging to work with.  Clearly there exists more than four major points about conflict in group; this edition is again a brief approach.  
If you would like to delve further into this subject (and other topics), I will be leading an all day workshop, Complex Group Therapy Issues, November 3, 2018, in Mountain View, CA sponsored by the Center for the Study of Group Psychotherapy.  For more information, see the Center website at www.csgp.org.
Warm Regards, 
Jamie Moran, LCSW, CGP
Four Reflections on Group Conflict 
1)  As a Group Leader, work towards a better understanding and acceptance of your relationship to conflict.  There are various obstacles to dealing with conflict, including the group leader's own discomfort.  Consider the following points:
a)  Conflict is often meant to reflect a group member's unmet need.
b)  Conflict is best not to be taken personally, which is easier said than done.
c)  Working through conflict can improve a group's sense of intimacy and connection.  
d)  Some group members will feel both value and relief in the leader's not shying away from conflict.   
e)  Countertransference exploration around conflict dynamics are very useful, and may for the most part be kept private.
2)  Promote and work towards "adult" conflict.  Periodic naming of the term "adult conflict" and outlining examples of the following are useful.  
a)  Ask, could the interaction have been phrased, or worded differently to perhaps have a different impact?  
b)  Ask what is familiar about the conflict with the individual(s) involved;  
c)  In a dyad conflict, ask what each member needs from each other.  
d)  Check in with members during the next session to see whether the conflict is resolved, or may be a work in progress.
f)  Check in with members who are not directly involved in the conflict and see how they are feeling.
g)  Educate group members about the nature of conflict; it is not always easily resolvable, and may require a certain amount of work.
h)  Support the concept that the group can be a healthier model of dealing with conflict.
3)  Consider a "there and then" approach.  If a particular conflict is very heated and does not show signs of abating, ask several "there and then" exploratory questions to help group members reflect on their histories. Thus, add meaning, context, and possibly empathy to the discussion.  This exploration can help with curiosity and reflection in the middle of a conflict, both for members involved in the conflict, and those who are not.
4)  Ask for feedback regarding how group members see you handling the conflict.  This exploration can be very telling. For example, if a group member observes you have a bias, a blind spot, or some other observation that normally would not have been shared.  As always, considering the source and context is important.  Maintaining and expressing curiosity about the viewpoint also may deepen your understanding of this particular group member.  Express either appreciation, or value for the feedback you are receiving.
 Group Schedule
MENLO PARK | Gay & Bisexual Men's Psychotherapy Groups
Monday 6:15-7:45pm  
Monday 8:00-9:30pm  

SAN FRANCISCO | Gay Men's Psychotherapy Groups
Tuesday 5:50-7:20pm
Tuesday 7:30-9:00pm
Wednesday 5:45-7:15pm
Wednesday 7:30-9:00pm  
Participation in groups involves an interview and screening process. Please contact me at jammoran@aol.com or 415.552.9408.  
Complex Group Therapy Issues | An all day workshop
Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 
This all day interactive workshop will emphasize exploring and skill building focused on challenging issues for group leaders.  Topics will include dealing with conflict, scapegoating, client resistances, transference and countertransference.  Both didactic and interactive, attendees will have an opportunity to share specific group leader struggles and issues.
For more information and to register, please go to www.csgp.org.


Group circle 

Jamie Moran, LCSW, CGP
Psychotherapy and Consultation
Licensed Clinical Social Worker #14447
Certified Group Psychotherapist #42559
Faculty, Group Therapy Training Program 
425 Gough Street, San Francisco, CA 94102  
661 Live Oak Avenue, Menlo Park, CA 94025  


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