Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health Awards

Alonso Award for Excellence in Psychodynamic Group Theory

Aaron Stein Memorial Fund Award 

Social Responsibility Award

Alonso Award for Excellence in Psychodynamic Group Theory

The Alonso Award for Excellence in Psychodynamic Group Theory reasserts, in a concrete way, the value of original thinking about psychodynamic group theory. Individuals may qualify in a variety of ways. Suitable entries include doctoral dissertations, videos, published papers, and other creative research. Submissions of entries should be emailed or mailed to the Group Foundation office by November 1st of each year for consideration.  An annual cash prize of $500 is presented.

2019 Recipient

Bonnie Buchele, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, DLFAGPA

"Today's Bridge Between Psychoanalysis and the Group World."

2018 Recipient

Robert Grossmark, Ph.D.

"Narrating the Unsayable: Enactment, Repair and Creative Multiplicity in Group Psychotherapy"

2017 Recipients

Ravit Raufman, Ph.D. and Haim Weinberg, Ph.D., CGP.

"To Enter One's Skin: The Concrete and Symbolic Functions of the Skin in the Social Unconscious, as Expressed in Fairy Tales and Group Therapy."

John R. Schlapobersky, BA, MSC.

"From The Couch To The Circle: Group-Analytic Psychotherapy In Practice."

2016 Recipient

Deborah C. Schwartz M.D., FRCPC, FAGPA, CGP, Marcia S. Nickow Psy.D., CADC, CGP, Ric Arseneau M.D., FRCPC, FACP, CGP and Mary T. Gisslow M.D.

"A Substance Called Food: Long-term Psychodynamic Group Treatment for Compulsive Overeating."

Past Recipients
2015 Recipient

William Sharp, PsyaD,LMHC,CGP

“Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, But What About Words?”

2014 Recipient

Jacqueline L. Kinley, M.D., FRCPC, Diplomat ABPN and Sandra M. Reyno, Ph.D.

"Attachment Style Changes Following Intensive Short-term Group Pychotherapy."


2013 Recipient 

"Group Therapist as Social Scientist, with Special Reference to the Psychodynamically Oriented Psychotherapist."                                                              Les Greene, Ph.D., CGP, FAGPA

2012 Recipient

“The Ethics of Trauma:  Re-traumatization in Society’s Approach to the Traumatized Subject."                                                                                                          Leanh Nguyen, Ph.D.


“Neurobiology and Building Interpersonal Systems:  Groups, Couples and Beyond” - a special issue of the IJGP
Susan Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, FAGPA and Paul Cox, M.D., CGP, Editors

"Co-Creating Meaningful Structures Within Long-Term Psychotherapy Group Culture" Robin Gayle, Ph.D., MFT

"Practice Guidelines for Group Psychotherapy"
Harold Bernard, Ph.D., Gary Burlingame, Ph.D., Phillip Flores, Ph.D., Les Greene, Ph.D., Anthony Joyce, Ph.D., Joseph C. Kobos, Ph.D., Molyn Leszcz, MD, FRCPC, Rebecca R. MacNair-Semands, Ph.D., William E. Piper, Ph.D, Anne M. Slocum McEneaney, Ph.D., Diane Feirman, CAE

"Anniversary Reactions in the Therapy Group"
Phyllis F. Cohen, Ph.D., Psy.D., CGP, FAGPA

"The Edge of Chaos:  Encactment, Disruption, and Emergence in Group Psychotherapy"
Robert Grossmark, Ph.D.

“In the Belly of the Beast: Traumatic Countertransference”
Bonnie Buchele, Ph.D., CGP, DFAGPA and Richard Beck, RCSW,BCD,CGP,FAGPA

“Falling Forever: The Price of Chronic Shock”
Kathleen Adams, Ph.D., CGP

“Traumatic Experience in the Unconscious Life of Groups”
Earl Hopper, Ph.D., CGP, FAGPA

“Vulnerable Moments: Deepening of the Therapeutic Process”
Martin S. Livingston, Ph.D., CGP

“Relational Group Psychotherapy: From Basic Assumptions to Passion”
Richard Billow, Ph.D.

“An Integrated Picture of Therapeutic Relationships in AGPA Institute and Counseling Center Groups”
Jennifer Johnson, Ph.D.

Group Psychotherapy for Psychological Trauma
Robert H. Klein, Ph.D., CGP, DLFAGPA and Victor L. Schermer, M.S., C.A.C, Editors

Nancy Edwards, Ph.D., LFAGPA
Seymour Rubenfeld, Ph.D., FAGPA
For outstanding journal articles in group psychotherapy

Eleanor Counselman, Ed.D., CGP, FAGPA
Jerome Gans, M.D., CGP, FAGPA
Walker Shields, M.D., CGP, FAGPA
For outstanding journal articles in group psychotherapy

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Aaron Stein Memorial Fund Award

The Aaron Stein Memorial Fund Award is given annually to honor the memory of Aaron Stein, a pioneer in group psychotherapy, and an inspiring teacher. The award recognizes organizations in the locale of the upcoming AGPA Annual Meeting that utilize the creative applications of group theory and technique to benefit the community, particularly in non-psychotherapeutic settings. Please contact the Group Foundation office if you would like to recommend an organization.  An annual cash prize of $500 is presented.

2019 Recipient

Teen Line

2018 Recipient

Purple Songs Can Fly

2017 Recipient

Theater of War

Theater of War stages table readings of Ancient Greek tragedies by Sophocles about soldiers of war and their experiences of injury, betrayal, honor and psychological trauma for military and civilian audiences.  By using the metaphor of tragedy, a space is provided in which soldiers can speak about the impact of service on them, where military spouses can speak about what trauma has done to their homes and where civilians can reflect on all complexities of war.  The actors in this production dedicate their time to performing at military bases, conferences and government sites around the world for personnel at all levels of rank and across all branches of military.  To date, they have appeared at the Pentagon, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Guantanamo Bay and a variety of military bases and hospitals, in addition to community sites including schools and homeless shelters.

2016 Recipient

Big Apple Playback Theatre of New York, NY

A theatre based on stories told by audience members. Life stories are shared, cast, and then enacted on the spot by a team of actors/dancers and a musician. Be they comic or tragic, our life stories are full of important moments worth sharing and remembering. Telling our stories to each other in a theatrical context is both redemptive and invigorating. Listening to the stories of our community is crucial as we strive towards a world without hate and violence. The objective of Big Apple Playback Theatre is three-fold: to invite dialogue, build community, and to create compelling theatre. It therefore lives on the cusp between art and social change and provides opportunity for laughter, reflection, and connection.


2015 Recipient

The Living Arts Playback Theatre Ensemble of Emeryville, CA

A troupe of improvisational actors and musicians who “play back” personal stories shared by audience members in ways that both honor and illuminate the original experience.  The ensemble produces performances, workshops and events for personal, professional and organizational growth.

2014 Recipient

Boston Gay Men's Chorus  

Founded in 1982, the 175-voice ensemble is celebrated for its outstanding musicianship, creative programming, and groundbreaking community outreach.  The BGMC creates social change by providing a positive, affirming image of the gay and lesbian community.  The Chorus sponsors internal events for members to promote connections, encouraging members to form bonds of fellowship.  It is heard live by more than 10,000 people each season and thousands more through recordings, television and internet broadcasts.

2013 Recipient

Charley Vance, for The Tangipahoa Parish Talented Theater Movie Project, Amite, Louisiana

Charley Vance was honored for his work with The Tangipahoa Parish Talented Theatre Movie Project Narrative.  For 14 years students of two high schools in rural Louisiana have created three 20 to 30 minute movies per year.  Over the years these movies have explored such topics as dating abuse, drug abuse, drinking and driving, cheating, divorce, teenage pregnancy and problems of social acceptance.  They have also done films on clinical issues such as eating disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome, and court mandated group psychotherapy.  Students work as a group to develop these screen plays and produce the movies.

2012 Recipient

Creative Alternatives of New York (CANY), New York, NY
CANY is a non-profit organization that blends group techniques with theatrical techniques to reach traumatized and under-served populations including the homeless, AIDS victims, chronic mentally ill, prisoners and others.  Through the use of creative expression in a therapeutic group setting, CANY helps children and adults expand their self concept to build the social and emotional tools they need in order to live meaningful lives.

2011 - Elders Share the Arts (ESTA) of Brooklyn, NY

2009 - Music Theater Workshop of Chicago, IL
2008 - CREATE Arts Center, of Silver Spring, MD
2007Enterprising Girl Scouts Beyond Bars, run by the YWCA of Greater Austin
2006 - WestCoast Children’s Grandparent-Child Support Program, run by WestCoast Children’s Center             in El Cerrito, California
2005ENACT, of New York
2004Face to Face/Faith to Faith, run by Auburn Theological Seminary in partnership with Seeking                  Common Ground of New York
2003 Hands on Parenting, run by Steps to Success, Inc, of Louisiana
2002Talented Theater of Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana
2001Devotion Follies: Hysterical Headlines of Boston
2000OPICA of Los Angeles
1999Bo’s Place of Houston
1998Focus on Children of Chicago
1997Ravens of New York
1996Bread & Roses of San Francisco
1995Moving in the Spirit of Atlanta
1994Community Connections of Washington, DC
1993Caring School Project of San Diego
1992Awareness Theater of the Family Service of Rochester, NY
1991Twain-Trinity Cooperative of San Antonio
1990First Night of Boston

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Social Responsibility Award

The Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health Social Responsibility Award, inaugurated in 2010, is presented annually at the AGPA Annual Meeting to an AGPA Member or group of Members who has performed an exceptional service that ultimately benefits the public-at-large, nationally or internationally.  This could include, for example, training professionals who have provided group interventions or direct services to a community in need, or those who have provided extensive pro bono work.  Anyone can submit a nominee or an applicant can be self-nominated.  The application must include the nominee(s) name, address, curriculum vita (of all individuals being nominated, if more than one) and a detailed reason for the award nomination.  Additional letters of recommendation are encouraged to accompany the award nomination.  Submissions are due to the Group Foundation office by October 1st of each year. 

2019 Recipient

Richard Beck,LCSW, BCD, CGP, FAGPA received the Social Responsibility Award for his outstanding community outreach activities on behalf of the group psychotherapy community in service to the public.

2018 Recipient
Jeffrey L. Kleinberg, PhD, CGP, DFAGPA received the Social Responsibility Award for his exceptional acts of service that benefit the community at large.

2016 Recipient
Nina K. Thomas, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP is receiving the Social Responsibility Award for her sustained, decades-long work in social activism and trauma work nationally and internationally.

2015 Recipient

Gaea Logan LPC-S, CGP for her sustained, decades-long work in social activism and trauma work nationally and internationally.

2014 Recipient

Kathy Rider, LCSW, BCD, CGP, FAGPA, for her sustained, decades-long work in social service organizations that serve the most vulnerable citizens in Austin, particularly her service on behalf of mental health consumers and children.

2013 Recipient

Cele Keeper, MSW, FAGPA, for her long and outstanding history of community service and volunteer leadership in the mental health and social justice arenas.


2012 Recipient

The Boston-Threshold Group

Helmed by Patricia Doherty, Cecil Rice and Kathleen Ulman, The Boston-Threshold Group was honored for the establishment and long-standing delivery of training conferences in Northern Ireland to support and deliver on the belief that group psychotherapy can be beneficial in response to war and long-standing civil conflict.

2010:  Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP, CGP, FAGPA for her

  • community outreach work on behalf of AGPA and the group psychotherapy community.


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Please direct ALL inquiries and application materials to:

Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health
25 East 21st Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10010
Telephone: 212-477-2677    |    Toll-Free: 877-668-AGPA (2472)    |    Fax: 212-979-6627

To make a contribution to the Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health, click here.

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