Core Group Skills

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COre Skills ClaSs

This course provides training and skill development for mental health professionals in the practice of group psychotherapy. It includes a basic understanding of the theory, principles, and applications of group work. The course will include an 8 week experiential group demonstration followed by a weekend of didactic learning and discussion. This class is suitable for all mental health practitioners at any experience level.

The Core Course will include basic concepts and theories in group therapy, describing developmental phases of group, issues of leadership and membership, and elaborate on group dynamics and process. It will cover the here-and-now vs. the past and future, content vs. process, boundaries, resistance, regression, and transference and countertransference issues related to group psychotherapy. It will provide a brief introduction to modalities of group practice (psychodynamic, group analysis, interpersonal, system-centered, gestalt), and kinds of groups (therapy, psycho-educational, support).

Get Certified!

This course fulfills the 15-hour contract required to become a Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP) by the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA). Visit for more details. Please note that this training is open to any mental health practitioner, but certification as a CGP is only available for the professions listed here.

20 CEs will be given for attendance.

Participants MUST attend the ENTIRE time to receive credit.

Schedule and Costs

Experiential Demonstration Group: Two weekly groups starting in late March and 1 biweekly group starting in late April. Scheduled based on availability.

Location: Video Conference

Weekend Seminar: Friday May 20th, 4:00-7:00pm and Saturday May 21 8:30-2:30pm

Location: Entrepreneurial and Education Center, 100 N 72nd Ave, Wausau, WI 54401


Non-Marathon County: $800

Marathon County: $300

Thanks to the Marathon County Health Department, a reduced rate is available for any participant who lives or works in Marathon County.

Learning Objectives

1. Identify the basic dynamic elements of the group formation model and group development (beginning, middle, and end).

2. Compare different approaches (i.e. psychodynamic, interpersonal, gestalt) and types of groups (i.e. psychoeducational, growth-oriented, process, support groups)

3. Discuss the key issues of group leadership and co-leadership, including styles, boundaries and pitfalls.

4. Identify basic transference and countertransference reactions in group psychotherapy

5. Analyze and elaborate on the role that resistances in group process.

6. Describe three types of resistance typically used by clients in groups.


Nathaniel Wade, Phd, CGP

Instructor and Group Facilitator

Dr. Nathaniel Wade, PhD, LP, CGP is Professor of Psychology and Director of Training at the Counseling Psychology doctoral program at Iowa State. He is a licensed Counseling Psychologist and Certified Group Psychotherapist. He has published numerous journal articles and two edited books on topics related to psychotherapy. He specializes in interpersonal process groups and directs a small, university-based mental health clinic that focuses on group therapy practice, research, and training. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (in Counseling Psychology and Group Psychotherapy).

Learn more about Dr. Wade here!

Carlos Canales, PSYD, CGP, FAGPA, SEP

Instructor and Group Facilitator

Dr. Carlos Canales, Psy.D., CGP, FAGPA, SEP™, is a licensed Clinical Psychologist, Certified Group Psychotherapist, and Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner. He currently works in a private practice clinic in West Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Canales is bilingual and bicultural. He is a clinical member of the Iowa Psychological Association (IPA) and a Fellow at the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA).

Learn more about Dr. Canales here!

Dakota J Kaiser, PhD, CGP

Group Facilitator and Course Coordinator

Dr. Dakota Kaiser, PhD, CGP, is a Licensed Psychologist. Certified Group Therapist, and Member of the National Register of Health Service Psychologists. He holds additional licenses as an LPC and SAC in WI and LMHC in IA and holds board certification as a Nationally Certified Counselor. Dr. Kaiser is the Clinical Director of Behavioral Health at Bridge Community Health Clinic and the Managing Partner at Tall Pines Behavioral Health. He holds an academic appointment as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Learn more about Dr. Kaiser here!


THanks Again to our Sponsors