Group Relations Workshop

Department of Counseling and Marital and Family Therapy

at the University of San Diego and

Group Relations International

March 16 and 17, 2019




The Group Relations Workshop is particularly designed for students of the University of San Diego enrolled in the COUN 526 course: Group Counseling taught by Drs Estrada, Hall and Molenkamp. The workshop is also open for a limited number of currently enrolled students who have already taken the group counseling course and to mental health professionals for whom this is a first introduction to group relations. In the workshop participants will learn about group dynamics as they apply to group therapy as well as organizational dynamics. The workshop is co-sponsored by USD's Department of Counseling and Marital and Family Therapy and Group Relations International, a not for profit organization dedicated to group relations, social justice and spirituality. Please note that this is not a typical weekend group relations conference. It is an introduction to the group relations method, particularly for people in mental health professions. 



Tavistock or group relations conferences refers to a certain method of learning about a wide spectrum of which group and power dynamics are at the heart. A conference is anywhere from 3 – 14 days long in which participants have an opportunity to interact with each other and the staff in various group sizes and compositions. During that time participants learn from their own experience assisted by the staff of the conference. For more detailed information, you may read the Tavistock Primer. The Group Relations Workshop is not a typical weekend group relations conference. It is an introduction to the group relations method, particularly for people in mental health professions. 



Throughout the two days, participants will spend time in groups in here-and-now events and in reflective events. The here-and-now events simply mean that we study whatever is going on in the moment. Reflective events are designed to help participants reflect on the experience they have had in the here and now. Active participation is encouraged in these events. Some more traditional lecture material will also be offered. 



As mentioned above the learning is mostly experiential, which simply means that people learn from their experience – in that sense we cannot predict what you will learn. However, learning often relates to the following areas: group behavior and dynamics, boundaries, authority, role, task, off-task behaviors, group versus individual dynamics, leadership, etc.  It is helpful to read the BART article prior to attending the Group Relations Workshop.



The highly trained staff works under the direction of Dr. René Molenkamp who has over 25 years of experience directing and serving on staffs of group relations conferences both in the US and internationally. He is adjunct faculty in the Department of Counseling and Marital and Family Therapy. He also works as a leadership coach and consultant for the International Institute of Management Development (IMD) in Switzerland and for Judge Business School at Cambridge University in the UK. 

He has selected a staff for this workshop, that will join him in creating a learning experience for participants and staff alike. 



The Workshop will take place in the Mother Rosalie Hill Hall (MRH) at the University of San Diego. Registration starts at 8:30 on Saturday, March 17. Both Saturday and Sunday, events start promptly at 9:00 am and end at 5:00 pm. Ample time will be given to buy lunch at a nearby café. Parking is free on the weekends and you may park underneath the MRH building between the white lines.


Students registered for COUN 526 in Drs. Estrada, Hall and Molenkamp’s class are automatically registered. Students who have already taken COUN 526 and mental health professionals may register below. For questions, please contact Dr. René Molenkamp at





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San Diego, CA 92107



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