Small Study Group Training in the Group Relations Tradition
Six Mondays from June 7 until July 19, 2021 (No meeting July 5)
Lasting for 4 hours and starting at: 
  • Los Angeles: 9:30 am
  • New York: 12:30 pm
  • London: 5:30 pm
  • Berlin: 6:30 pm
  • Nairobi: 7:30 pm. 

Co-sponsored by

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The Small Study Group Training is an excellent opportunity to practice group-as-a-whole consulting skills for those who have previously attended at least two group relations conferences or equivalent events. Participants will rotate between member and consultant roles. Each participant will consult twice to a Small Study Group, once alone and once in a pair. At the end of the session the participant receives feedback in public from a senior group relations consultant. Participants will have an additional one-to-one debrief opportunity with a staff consultant for 30 minutes in the days following taking up the consulting role. 


The program is particularly suited for people who 

  • want to develop their group relations skills, 

  • want to learn more about the unconscious in groups, 

  • are interested in group-as-a-whole methodology, 

  • spend lots of time with/in groups, for example consultants, managers, trainers, facilitators, teachers, group therapists, community organizers, etc. 

  • have attended at least two group relations conferences or similar course experiences*


  • Please be familiar with Zoom basics, have a good internet connection and participate from a distraction-free environment. 

  • Six Mondays, starting June 7 and ending July 19, 2021 (With a gap week July 5th for the US federal holiday)

  • Sessions last for four hours, starting at: 

    • Los Angeles:  9:30 a.m. 

    • New York: 12:30 pm

    • London: 5:30 pm

    • Berlin: 6:30 pm

    • Nairobi: 7:30 pm

  • Fee:

    • $500 full fee

    • $425 for GRI Co-Creators (sign up as a Co-Creator here)

    • $450 for WBC / AKRI members

  • For questions, contact Alan Ruiz at

  • Membership is capped at 16 participants so space is limited; once the course is full further applicants will be waitlisted. Registration must be completed and paid to hold your spot.



Participants will be assigned to a Small Study Group and participate in two Small Study Groups each week. One of the participants in the Small Study Group will take up the role of consultant. After the group is over that person will receive feedback from one or two faculty. The rest of the time will be spent in plenary, review groups or dyads depending upon the week and the purpose. 



Faculty will include

Sarah Rosenbaum, PhD


Sarah (she/her/hers) has extensive group relations experience, having staffed numerous group relations conferences and events in multiple roles for more than 25 years. She has trained and mentored group relations consultants and has helped to develop the current policies for conferences for the A.K. Rice Institute (AKRI). She is a Fellow and former president of AKRI, a long-time member of the New York Center, and a GRI co-creator. Sarah is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice, providing a range of clinical and consulting services, and lives near Philadelphia.


Jonathan Rust, PhD, NCC


Jonathan (he, him, his) is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Counseling at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz where he teaches and trains graduate school counseling and mental health counseling students. He is a Certified Group Relations Consultant with the AK Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems as well as a member of the affiliate organization the New York Center for the Study of Groups, Organizations and Social Systems. Jonathan is a NYS licensed psychologist and a Nationally Certified Counselor, who maintains a private practice. His areas of expertise in research, teaching, and psychotherapy include understanding how racial and cultural factors—and the societal power and privilege dynamics associated with them—systemically affect the psychosocial development and mental health of racially and culturally diverse groups. His work includes providing diversity and multicultural counseling trainings and consultative services to professional mental health organizations, agencies, and clinics as well as schools.  


Michael Speer, PhD


Michael is an independent consultant working in the areas of leadership and organizational effectiveness. He has taught leadership and group dynamics at the University of Maryland where he was a Senior Fellow at the Burns Academy of Leadership. He is a volunteer coach at Coaches4Causes. He is a former (Board) member  of AKRI, and a member and former president of the Washington-Baltimore Center, where he recently served as Membership Chair. He has consulted to scores of small, large, and other groups and training events in dozens of conferences in the Tavistock tradition throughout the United States. In addition to his professional roles, he shares his life with his husband and partner of 35 years, and loves living, without a car, in Washington, DC.  


Alan Ruiz, MFA


Alan (he/him/his) is an artist and educator. He is currently Visiting Associate Professor at Pratt Institute and is a Lecturer in the Visual Studies department of the New School as well as School of Constructed Environments, Parsons. He serves on the Executive Committee of the New York Center for the Study of Groups, Organizations and Social Systems. He is a member of the A.K. Rice Institute and is a Group Relations International Co-Creator.  His writing on the intersections of art, architecture, and social systems has been published in Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, Archinect, and Movement Research Performance Journal.