Rochester Area GPS: Combining ISTDP and Modern Analysis to Deepen Experiential Learning in Groups [Save to my Calendar]

    Friday, September 30th, 2022 9:00am - 5:00pm (US/Eastern)
Rochester Area GPS: Combining ISTDP and Modern Analysis to Deepen Experiential Learning in Groups
Friday, September 30th, 2022
9:00am - 5:00pm
First Unitarian Church of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14610



The Rochester Area Group Psychotherapy Society (RAGPS)

William H. Watson, Ph.D.

Combining ISTDP and Modern Analysis to Deepen Experiential Learning in Groups

September 30 & October 1, 2022

All-day Conference

Friday September 30, 2022 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

(Registration and breakfast to begin at 8:15 AM

First Unitarian Church of Rochester
220 S Winton Rd, Rochester, NY 14610

Both ISTDP (Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy) and Modern Group Analysis have at their core an emphasis on lowering barriers to emotional experience within individuals and on fostering meaningful emotional connection between them.  Modern Analysis invites group members to put into words the thoughts and feelings experienced towards others in the group as a way to enhance affective awareness and foster emotional communication, as well as to raise awareness of any obstacles that may block the way. ISTDP invites particular attention to the three primary channels of emotional experience: the cognitive, the somatic, and the motoric (action tendency), as well as inviting attention to the automatic mechanisms that get activated when experiencing emotions brings discomfort, pain, anxiety, guilt, or grief. In this workshop, concepts and techniques from both approaches will be integrated and applied to experiential process groups, with particular focus on how inviting openness to emotional experience in self and others, managing the resulting somatic anxiety, and clarification of habitual defenses can enhance affective attunement to self and others, deepen experiential learning and connection, and expedite healing and growth.


  1. Learn the key techniques of ISTDP and how they are used to enhance openness to emotional experience.
  2. Identify the techniques employed in Modern Analytic process groups to foster openness to emotional connection with others.
  3. Describe the key differences and similarities between Modern Analysis and ISTDP in working with emotional experience in groups and how each approach enriches the other.
  4. Describe the 3 channels of emotional experience (cognitive, somatic, and motoric/action tendency) in ISTDP and how attention to them can deepen awareness of emotional experience.
  5. Describe how positive feelings towards a healthy attachment figure can trigger anxiety, rage, guilt, and self-attack. 
  6. Know how to help members distinguish the somatic experience of anxiety from the somatic experience of anger, and how to use that awareness to decrease self-attack.


Consultation Group

Saturday October 1, 2022 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

1577 South Ave, Rochester, NY 14620
Basement Group Room 

Dr. Watson will lead a 90-minute experiential consultation group providing a confidential setting for therapists to explore their work with individual patients and groups. 





William H. Watson, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology) and Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center where he practices, consults, and teaches in the graduate, post-graduate, and residency programs.  At the University of Rochester's Strong Epilepsy Center he sees patients presenting with psychogenic non-epileptic attacks and other somatoform disorders. The recipient of numerous teaching awards, he is also a member and Fellow of APA, past president of APA Division 43, The Society for Family Psychology, and was named the 2009 APA Family Psychologist of the Year. He is also an AGPA Certified Group Psychotherapist, has trained at the Center for Group Studies in New York City, and leads training groups with practicing clinicians as well as with postdoctoral fellows and residents in psychiatry and family medicine, and is on the board of the Rochester Area Group Psychotherapy Society. He has completed Core Training and Advanced Training in Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) with Allan Abbass, MD and Joel Town, PhD in Halifax, NS, Canada. He has presented widely on his areas of interest which include an emotional systems understanding of mind-body disorders, the use of experiential process groups in training mental health professionals, and spirituality in psychotherapy.




COVID-19 Guidelines

  • Due to the requirements of our Friday venue, masks will be required during the didactic portions of the workshop, with the exception of the speaker and the demonstration group participants.
  • Food and beverages will be served during registration and breaks in a separate area, with an outdoor patio option available, at which time masks will be optional.
  • Registrants who are sick should please stay home. Please notify us as soon as possible (at, and we will arrange a refund.


Professional Rates
Friday Workshop only: $153*
Saturday Consultation Group only: $63
 Friday & Saturday: $216*

Student Rates
Friday Workshop only: $35
Saturday Consultation Group only: $63
Friday & Saturday: $98

* The Friday workshop has been approved for 5.75 CEUs for Social Work and Psychology at no extra costWe hope to be able to offer CEUs for additional professions at our future workshops!

University of Rochester Medical Center Center for Experiential Learning is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0005.  This has been approved for 5.75 contact hours.

University of Rochester Medical Center Department of Psychiatry is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0117. This has been approved for 5.75 contact hours.




On-site registration available. 
No refunds issued after September 28, 2022, with the exception of cancellations due to illness or COVID-19 quarantine/isolation.



Networking Corner

To help promote networking and community building we will feature a Networking Corner. Feel free to bring business cards or practice brochures to share.





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