Frequently Asked Questions

AGPA Connect Registration

  1. Can I email or fax in my registration and submit payment by mail?
  2. Do I have to wait until my application is approved to register for AGPA Connect at member rates?
  3. If I applied for a scholarship can I go ahead and register while I wait for a decision?
  4. I am Retired/New Professional/Student/Resident, do I get a discount?
  5. Is there an extension on the deadline for registering for AGPA Connect at the early bird rate?
  6. I am a faculty member, do I have to register?
  7. Is there any discount if our agency/institution sponsors a group of us to attend?
  8. Is the Special Institute included in the five day super saver package?
  9. I only want to go to one workshop in the morning, can I pay half the single day rate?
  10. Can I go for just one day of the Institute?
  11. I would like to get a ticket for my spouse/guest to attend the luncheon and/or party with me. How can I get them a ticket?
  12. I will not be able to attend AGPA Connect, how can I get a refund?

Hotel Information

  1. How can I find a roommate to cut down the hotel cost?
  2. I am a New Professional/Student/Psychiatric Resident, is there a special hotel rate?

Registering for Events at AGPA Connect

  1. Is there pre-registration for the Institutes and Conference events?
  2. When does registration for Institutes and Conference events open? How will I know?
  3. I only want to go to a certain event, can you tell me if it is open?
  4. I can't tell what I want to register for just by the title listed in the Program Brochure, should I wait until I view the online course catalog before registering?
  5. Before AGPA Connect, I'm already registered and would like to make a change, can I give you the information over the phone?
  6. At AGPA Connect, I’m already registered but I’d like to switch to a different event. What should I do?
  7. Can I attend just a portion of a session (if I don't care about CEs)?
  8. Why aren’t the session locations in the conference catalog or available online?
  9. How many continuing education credits do I get for attending the Special Institute, Two-Day Institute and/or Conference Workshops?

Questions for First-Time Attendees

  1. What should I expect if this is my first AGPA Connect?
  2. What do you mean by "experiential" learning?
  3. How is AGPA Connect structured?
  4. How do I understand all the different sections of AGPA Connect?
  5. What are the must do's at AGPA Connect?

The AGPA Connect App

  1. What is the AGPA Connect App?
  2. Who can I speak with if my AGPA Connect app is not working properly?
  3. Where can I get a copy of the slides my presenter used?

AGPA Connect Miscellaneous

  1. What’s in the envelope we receive at the AGPA Connect registration desk?
  2. What’s the deal with all the ribbons?
  3. What’s the dance?
  4. What if I have questions or concerns during AGPA Connect?
  5. What is the dress code?
  6. What meals/snacks are provided?
  7. Is there a place that people meet up?

General AGPA Information

  1. What's an affiliate/the ASA?
  2. What's a SIG?
  3. Who's Marsha?

AGPA Connect Registration

    Can I email or fax in my registration and submit payment by mail?
    Registration forms must be accompanied by payment. If you email, fax or phone in your registration we ask that you include credit card information.

    Do I have to wait until my membership application is approved to register for the meeting at member rates?
    If you are applying online, you will need to complete your online membership application first, then you will be able to register as a member. If you are using the paper registration form, you can submit your application with your registration form and still apply member rates. You must pay the full year membership fee in order to get the member discount.

    If I applied for a scholarship can I go ahead and register while I wait to hear?
    No, you need to wait until you receive a link to register from the AGPA Office.

    I am Retired/New Professional/Student/Psychiatric Resident, do I get a discount?
    Yes, New Professionals, Students, Residents, and Retirees get a 35% discount. Students and Residents must send verification such as a copy of their student I.D. or a letter from their institution of residency.

    Is there an extension on the deadline for registering for AGPA Connect at the early bird rate?
    As long as the registration is postmarked by the deadline date, the early bird rate will apply. No extension will be offered for online registration.

    I am a faculty member, do I have to register?
    Faculty members are encouraged to fully participate in the meeting. Faculty registration is required for at least one day of AGPA Connect.

    Is there any discount if our agency/institution sponsors a group of us to attend?
    A special discount is available to individuals from the same agency/institution. The first registration is at the full rate with additional registrations from the same agency at a 35% discount. Agency/Institution registrations may be shared among personnel. Registration forms must be forwarded together and accompanied by a listing of the names of registrants on agency letterhead stating personnel are full-time or part-time employees whose sole source of income is from the agency. The letter should also verify the agency or institution as a non-profit. (Other discounts are not applicable when using an agency/institutional discount.) Please send all materials to registration@agpa.org.

    Is the Special Institute included in the five-day super saver package?
    No, the Special Institute is not included and is a separate fee. If you register for the Special Institute and the five-day package there is a $50 discount.

    I only want to go to one workshop in the morning, can I pay half the single-day rate?
    Unfortunately no, the minimum you can register for is the single-day rate even if you only go for half the day. Additionally, the single-day rate can only apply to one day (i.e., a person cannot attend an afternoon workshop on Thursday and a morning workshop on Friday).

    Can I go for just one day of the Institute?
    Unfortunately no, registration will only be accepted for the full two-days and registrants are expected to attend both days including the Institute Opening Plenary Session. Continuing Education credit will not be awarded for partial attendance.

    I would like to get a ticket for my spouse/guest to attend the luncheon and/or party with me. How can I get them a ticket?
    You can register your spouse/guest for the spouse/guest package which includes the Group Foundation Party, Luncheon, Spouse and Guest breakfast, and three Plenary Events. Discounts do not apply. Single event tickets are also available online or onsite at the meeting.

    I will not be able to attend AGPA Connect, how can I get a refund?
    Before the refund deadline date (typically one month prior to the meeting); you must submit a written cancellation notice to registration@agpa.org. Confirm with the AGPA Staff that your cancellation notice was received. You will be refunded the amount paid minus a $50 cancellation fee. After the deadline no refunds are provided.

Hotel Information

    How can I find a roommate to cut down the hotel cost?
    We suggest that those looking for a roommate post a message to the AGPA Connect community indicating that they are looking for a roommate. This community will become available in the fall. If you have any questions regarding posting, contact the AGPA office at (877) 668-AGPA or (212) 477-2677 or e-mail: info@agpa.org for more information.

    I am a New Professional/Student/Psychiatric Resident, is there a special hotel rate?
    Yes, there are a limited number of discounted rooms for New Professionals, full-time graduate Students and Psychiatric Residents. If you fit in one of these three categories, you must complete the required reservation request form. New Professionals, Students or Residents are paired with another New Professional, Student or Resident unless an eligible roommate is specified.

Registering for Events at AGPA Connect

    Is there pre-registration for the Institutes and Conference events?
    Yes and it’s important to pre-register. At AGPA Connect, attendees sign up for all their events prior to the start of the week. This may not be a common practice at other types of conferences. We also pride ourselves on keeping our conference an experiential learning event.

    When does registration for Institutes and Conference events open? How will I know?
    You can register for the next year’s AGPA Connect as early as the current conference. You will be notified by email when registration happens.

    I only want to go to a certain event, can you tell me if it is open?
    Registration is now online. This allows attendees to immediately know if there is availability. Availability does change -- a closed event could have someone drop out and a space will open. As you register you will know if you got in a particular workshop. There is an option to go on a waiting list. You will be notified by email if a space becomes available.

    I can't tell what I want to register for just by the title listed in the program brochure, should I wait until I view the online course catalog before registering?
    If you wait you take the chance of being closed out. It is better to register now and if, once you view the online course catalog, you realize it's not what you want, you can always switch into another event that is open.

    Before AGPA Connect, I’m already registered and would like to make a change, can I give you the information over the phone?
    Now that registration is online it’s easy to check availability yourself and make changes if there are openings. However, you’re welcome to call or email the AGPA office if you need a question answered. You can email registration@agpa.org, or call (212) 477-2677.

    At AGPA Connect, I’m already registered but I’d like to switch to a different event. What should I do?
    Currently this will need to be done in person at the registration desk. Events/sessions that have opening are visibly listed by number at the registration desk. Participants cannot attend any events that are at capacity.

    Can I attend just a portion of a session (if I don't care about CEs)?
    Continuing education credits are only awarded for full attendance and completion of a session or an event. Participants can stay for as long as they are able for any session. As a courtesy, please inform the leader of the session if you do not plan to return or complete the session.

    Why aren’t the session locations in the syllabus or available online?
    Many events and meetings have locations listed in the AGPA Connect syllabus as well as on the AGPA Connect app. Institute, Course, and Workshop locations are not listed. These sessions have a set number of attendees. Registered attendees are provided with location information.

    How many continuing education credits do I get for attending the Special Institute, Two-Day Institute and/or Conference Workshops?
    The Special Institute is 6.0 Credits, the two-day Institute is 13.0 credits, an all-day workshop is 5.0 credits, a half-day workshop is 2.5 credits, a 90-minute workshop is 1.5 credits, and an early morning session is 1.0 credit.

Questions for First-Time Attendees

    What should I expect if this is my first AGPA Connect?

    Vibe: First-time attendees are often surprised and delighted by the collegial nature of AGPA Connect. There is an overall warmth and friendliness to AGPA Connect. This is evident from the very start of the week when participants don name tags that boldly state their first name or chosen nickname. Everyone is there to learn from each other.

    Learning and Teaching: AGPA Connect is typically experiential – it is NOT uncommon for first (and longtime) attendees to have very powerful emotional and educational experiences. Some find this very engaging, and others may feel overwhelmed.

    Purpose: The purpose of AGPA Connect is to advance the best practices of group psychotherapy via experiential learning. While AGPA Connect is not meant to be therapeutic, some participants have a very transformative experience during the week.

    What do you mean by "experiential" learning?

    AGPA believes in experiential learning. Attendees learn by doing; they are able to access opportunities to immerse themselves in groups. This first-hand experience offers attendees the opportunity observe, participate and explore group dynamics. Attendees not only receive didactic learning, they are able to put that learning into practice.
       

    How is AGPA Connect structured?

    AGPA Connect is held over 6 days (Monday-Saturday). There are three separate sections of the week:
      Monday: Special Institutes are offered.
      Tuesday and Wednesday: Two-Day Institutes are offered.
      Thursday - Saturday: The Three-Day Conference.

    How do I understand all the different sections of AGPA Connect?

    Monday: Special Institute (6.0 CE Credits)
    Special Institutes are taught by prominent clinicians. The presenters offer an in-depth one-day training events which are a combination of experiential and didactic learning.

    Tuesday-Wednesday: The Two-Day Institute (13.0 CE credits)
    The Two-Day Institute is devoted to small group teaching primarily in the experiential mode. These two-day groups are led by carefully selected experienced instructors. The secure environment of these small groups allows for rich cognitive and emotional learning about group processes and oneself as well as providing an opportunity for personal and professional renewal.
    The Institute consists of two sections: There are Process Group Experiences (PGE). These small group experiences provide participants an environment in which to obtain, expand, and retain their skills in conducting group therapy. The group psychotherapy skills gained are important in conducting any group, regardless of its theoretical orientation, time parameter or patient population. PGE sections are essential training and benefit the participants, both personally and professionally. A portion of each PGE will be didactic. A maximum of 12 registrants will be accepted per group.
    There are also Specific Interest Sections, which are intensive learning experiences about specific theories and approaches in group treatment. Registrants can pursue current interests in greater depth or learn ways of integrating new approaches and methods into their private practice, clinic, or agency work. Most of the Specific Interest Sections have extensive experiential components. Registration maximum (14-20 registrants) has been set by the instructor(s).
    Institutes are limited in size and thus fill up quickly.

    How do I select my Institute if I really know nothing about the leader?
    First of all, Institute leaders are carefully screened in the selection process, so rest assured all of the Institute faculty are top notch. Talk to the person who got you interested in attending AGPA Connect; they might have some experience-based knowledge about the different leaders. Ask others who’ve attended the Two-Day Institute about their experience. To get more specific information you can check out your leader on the AGPA Connect app, in the membership directory of the AGPA website, or you can google the name of a leader who may interest you.

    Will a leader just be randomly assigned to me?
    When you sign up online you choose your Institute leader. If you use a paper registration form, a leader may be assigned to you if you do not indicate a specific leader. Assignments will be made based on the level of experience that you indicate.

    Can I go for just one day of the Institute?
    No, registration will only be accepted for the full two days and registrants are expected to attend both days. Participants are also required to attend the Institute Opening Plenary Session on Tuesday morning and encouraged to participate in the Institute debriefing on Wednesday late afternoon.

    Thursday-Saturday: The Conference
    The three-day Conference offers a variety of formats including courses, limited registration workshops, as well as open session panels.

    Course - A course is a one-day or a two-day training. One-day Courses meet in two sections for one full day. Two-Day Courses meet in four sections on two full consecutive days. Participants must attend all sessions in order to receive continuing education credits. Course manuals are available for purchase in advance or onsite at the meeting.

    Workshop - A workshop is a training event with limited enrollment. While didactic, workshops also include a distinctive experiential component. Workshops can be all-day (5 hours), half-day (2.5 hours), or 90 minutes (Friday afternoon).

    Open Session - These meetings are presented in a variety of formats, including panels, papers and demonstrations. Audience participation and exchange with the presenters is encouraged. Enrollment is not limited, but registration and attendance for the entire Open Session is required for CE credit. Open Sessions are offered either for one-hour early morning, half-day sessions or 90 minute Friday afternoon sessions.

    Colloquy - This is a facilitated one hour discussion. The colloquies take place in the early morning. These roundtable discussions focus on unique areas of interest to the group therapist.

    Large Group - The Large Group is an analytic group experience in which conference attendees share thoughts, feelings, fantasies and dreams through free association in an open atmosphere. The Large Group is a three-part Open Session held on Thursday and Friday during lunch (1:00-2:15 PM) and Saturday afternoon (2:00-4:30 PM). Attendance at all sessions is encouraged but not required. Attendees can and do bring their lunch into the session if they choose. Lunch is not offered as part of the session. Large Group is considered an experience worth having by many participants of the Conference. That could be why some have referred to it as the “Large Group lunch time experience.” The attendance at these Open Sessions can go from a couple dozen participants to well over a hundred. 

    What are the must do's at AGPA Connect?
    There are so many must do’s at AGPA Connect. The event offers such a variety of opportunities that every attendee will find their “thing” to do. Here are some suggestions: Talk to people, sign up for an Institute, join the other new attendees at the New Attendee No Host Dinner, attend the New Member Breakfast, be active on the AGPA Connect listserv, find your Affiliate, go to the Institute Plenary, attend Debriefings, have breakfast with new attendees and new members, go to the dance, meet up with people in your SIG, check out the Large Group, get involved.

The AGPA Connect App

    What is the AGPA Connect App?
    The AGPA Connect app is a downloadable conference assistant. The app contains lots of useful information. On the app you can find a digital copy of your itinerary, a floorplan of the venue, general handouts as well as materials submitted by faculty. A key feature on the app is the evaluation forms, you need to complete one for each offering that you attended. You can also check out who else is at AGPA Connect and lots more! Play around in the app, you’ll discover the features.

    Who can I speak with if my AGPA Connect app is not working properly?
    If you’re having trouble with your AGPA Connect app, please go to the AGPA registration desk and speak to one of the staff members available. If they aren’t able to help they should be able to direct you.

    Where can I get a copy of the slides my presenter used?
    Many presenters make their materials available on the AGPA Connect app. If not, you can ask the presenter how you may obtain a copy of the slides.

AGPA Connect Miscellaneous

    What’s in the envelope we receive at the AGPA Connect registration desk?
    There’s lots of useful stuff in this large window envelope. There will be a copy of your registration itinerary and your name tag, for registrants of the entire 5 day event there will be a Friday Dance (yes dance) ticket and a Saturday Luncheon ticket. You will be handed a lanyard to hang your name tag from. It's important to wear your name tag for the duration of your attendance at AGPA Connect. This helps people know you. It also is necessary for security and admittance to programs. The less obvious items in your envelope are round color-coded stickers. There will be a sticker which states how many sections of the conference you’re attending. These stickers are placed on your name tag. If you’re a first-time attendee, you will also find a ribbon in your envelope. You may have other ribbons as well depending on any other involvement with AGPA. The ribbons are attached to your name tag. The order is not important.

    What’s with all the ribbons?
    The ribbons serve a few purposes. There are several different color ribbons, each designating a function in AGPA. The ribbons let attendees know a participant's current duties at that year’s AGPA Connect. For example, there is a ribbon for faculty, Board Members, Committee Members, donors to the Group Foundation, New Attendees and more. Often there are statement ribbons available and supplied by members or the Local Hosting Society. The ribbons make good conversation starters. Ask someone about their ribbon(s). Make sure to clearly display your new attendee ribbon; it invites conversation.

    What’s the dance?
    On Friday night of the conference there is a well-attended lively dance. The dance is a large group opportunity to let loose and move. Everyone joins in to dance and enjoy the evening. We collectively blow off steam. Don’t worry, there’s no judgment, just smiles.

    What if I have questions or concerns during AGPA Connect?
    The registration desk is the easiest place to start. The AGPA Connect staff are seasoned and experienced. They can provide you an answer or direct you to the right person. If you were contacted by the Membership Committee PRIOR to AGPA Connect, the Membership Committee member will provide their contact information to be used for any issues that may arise during the week. Last but not least ask an attendee with a string of ribbons. The ribbons indicate that these members have knowledge to share.

    What is the dress code?
    There is no official dress code. Be comfortable with mindfulness of temperature in the rooms. When in doubt, business casual will always work.

    What meals/snacks are provided?
    There are no meals or snacks provided during AGPA Connect, except for the new member breakfast (which provides a continental breakfast), desserts during the dance and the ticketed luncheon on Saturday. All rooms have ice water available. Boxed lunches are available for purchase in the community gathering area. Lunch breaks provide ample time to locate a nearby restaurant, meet up with a new friend, or take a walk to nearby tourist sites. The Local Hosting Society will have information on restaurants and activities in the area.

    Is there a place where people meet up?
    Yes, near the registration area there is an area designated for exhibitors and information tables. This area has a table with membership information. The Affiliate Societies Assembly hosts a table. The Local Hosting Society also hosts a table. The cocktail receptions are also held in this space. This area is also where we gather to meet on Tuesday evening for the New Attendees No Host Dinner. All new attendees are encouraged to come. It is self-pay so bring cash; it makes it easier to split the check. It’s a great way to meet new friends and start your journey towards building your AGPA family. This area is also the place to list or read notices from other members. An example of some notices you might see posted: local societies post local Affiliate dinners in this area, individuals list tickets, lost and found items, and other notices of No Host Dinners.

General AGPA Information

    What’s an Affiliate/the ASA?
    An Affiliate Society is a local chapter of the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA). Affiliates serve the educational needs of group practitioners at the local level. The mission of an Affiliate is to provide educational opportunities to Mental Health Practitioners across disciplines. Check the AGPA website site to locate the closest Affiliate to your area. Visit the ASA table in the exhibit area at AGPA Connect. The Affiliate Societies Assembly (ASA) is a congress of representatives from each Affiliate Society of AGPA.

    What’s a SIG?
    SIG stands for Special Interest Group. AGPA offers several SIGs to our members. When you become a member you can join the SIGs that interest you. SIGs allow like-minded group psychotherapists to share ideas and strengthen their knowledge through interaction with their colleagues. SIGs vary in content, structure and activity level, but each is open to all interested members. Throughout the year SIG members have the opportunity to participate in a listserv and other educational activities. A few examples of SIGs are: Racial and Ethnic Diversity (RED SIG), College Counseling and Other Educational Settings (CCOES SIG), Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Identities (SIGGLBTQ), and Addiction and Recovery (AR SIG). You can locate a complete list on the AGPA website. 
    When do SIGs meet during AGPA Connect? SIGs meet at lunch time. The day, time, and location will be listed in the AGPA Connect Syllabus and on the app.

    Who's Marsha?
    Marsha is Marsha Block. In AGPA Marsha is legendary. She is the CEO. She makes the association work. She’s our fearless leader who holds the institutional and functional history of our organization.

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