Dr. Pepper and The Dark Side

Monday, May 30, 2016 6:00 AM | Melissa Kelly


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.

P.O. Box 356, Belmont, MA 02478     (617) 431-6747

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