Louisiana Group Psychotherapy Society
We are making cuts to simplify the process for all board positions so we can keep the organization running. One cut made recently was to temporarily postpone sending out newsletters. We still want you to have the information you need though, so check back here for updates!
Liz Crain, LSU Counseling Student, wrote a brief article after attending the Austin Group Psychotherapy Institute last year:
The Austin Group Psychotherapy Society 2018 Annual Conference presenter Aaron Black, PhD, CGP presented the topic Cultivating the Internal Secure Base in Group Psychotherapy. This presentation combined attachment theory with modern psychoanalytic technique. Much of the content was based on Peter Fonagy’s research on mentalization. Aaron Black defined mentalization as, “The ability to interpret and engage the mental states that underlie the experience of self and others.” He explained that there is a larger capacity for mentalization in a group than in an individual. Insecure attachment reduces mentalization. Aaron Black spoke about attachment in terms of a fluid state, rather than a rigid trait. He defined secure attachment as the use of language to be seen, understood, and responded to. Secure attachment involves verbalizing rather than internalizing distress. When using this theory in groups, the idea is to promote a positive feedback loop of language, interpersonal attunement, and mentalization. Another important piece is to resolve resistances to attachment by determining what is stopping group members from accessing emotional nourishment. What heals attachment wounds is moving from unilateral regulation to coregulation, where a person is no longer relying on their internal resources alone to regulate affect, but where two people are progressively affecting each other’s emotional state, using relational means to regulate affect.