The theme of my workshop is working with difficult group members, the pre-oedipal population. The early childhood experiences of these group members have damaged their ability to sustain healthy relationships as adults. I have found that the traditional mode of group leader interventions, interpretations, do not necessarily work with this population. Emotions are not of the intellect. Pre-oedipal group members respond more positively to emotional communication.
I was born to be a group therapist. When I was 5-years-old, growing up in Bayside, Queens, I had my own gang. The "Pepper Gang", was a rag-tag group of boys and girls that had its own clubhouse and a 'turf". By the time I was in my early 20's, I added intellect to my leadership skills and worked as a TA for my statistics professor at Queens College, New York. When I began training as a group therapist, I entered a complicated relationship with my own group therapist; that relationship was the driving force behind the motivation to write my book: "Emotional Incest in Group Psychotherapy--A Conspiracy of Silence"
Over the years, I have studied alternative ways of resolving these [difficult] members resistances to emotional intimacy in group. My workshop demonstrates these techniques. Clinicians treating pre-oedipal group members could profit from attending my workshop. Suggested readings include the books and articles by Louis Ormont, Leslie Rosenthal and Hyman Spotnitz.