Special Institute Presentations

To kick off the start of AGPA Connect, AGPA offers two full-day special institute presentations on Monday, March 2, 2020 from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. 
Attendees have the choice to attend presentations by either Robert Grossmark, PhD, CGP, FAGPA, or Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT.

Continuing Education for Special Institute Presentations: 6.0 credits/.6 units  

Click here to register now!

SI-1. The Untelling: A New Look at Working with the Unconscious in Group


Instructor: Robert Grossmark, PhD, ABPP

Trauma and neglect are not encoded in the symbolic and representational register. They exist in a dimension that is neither past nor present, an “unpast” that shadows experience and interaction. These pre-experiences become manifest in the enacted dimension of individual and group treatment. The group analyst unobtrusively companions the group into the enactments that are an unconscious “untelling” of the “unpast” and to let these enactments speak in their own register. Being known by the group and companioned in these areas of pain, shame and fragmentation creates a lived representation of the "unpast" and is the foundation on which group and individual transformation and healing rests.

Dr. Robert Grossmark is a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. He works with individuals, groups, and couples and conducts psychoanalytic reading and supervision groups. He teaches and supervises at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis, the National Institute for the Psychotherapies Program in Adult Psychoanalysis, National Training Program in Psychoanalysis, the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society and other psychoanalytic institutes and clinical psychology doctoral programs. He has authored numerous papers on psychoanalytic process and group treatment and the recently published book, The Unobtrusive Relational Analyst: Explorations in Psychoanalytic Companioning. He co-edited the books, The One & The Many: Relational Approaches to Group Psychotherapy and Heterosexual Masculinities: Contemporary Perspectives from Psychoanalytic Gender Theory, all published by Routledge.

Learning Objectives:
The attendee will be able to:
1. Identify group enactments of the narratives of trauma and neglect.
2. Compare therapist unobtrusiveness with therapist neutrality and abstinence.
3. Define the elements of group leadership when one unobtrusively companions the group in enactments of emergent narrative.


1. Grossmark, R. (2018). The Unobtrusive Relational Group Analyst and The Work of the Narrative. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 38(4): 246-255.
2. Grossmark, R. (2017). Narrating the Unsayable: Enactment, Repair and Creative Multiplicity in Group Psychotherapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67, 1: 27-46.
4. Scarfone, D. (2006) A matter of time: Actual time and the production of the past. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 75: 807-834
4. Levine, H. (2013) An empty mirror: reflections on nonrepresentation. In Levine, H. B., Reed, G. S., & Scarfone, D. (Eds.), Unrepresented states and the construction of meaning: Clinical and theoretical contributions. London: Karnac Books.
5. Atlas, G., & Aron, L. (2019). Dramatic Dialogue: Dreaming & Drama in Contemporary Clinical Practice. Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 16 (3).


SI-2: A Psychobiological Approach to Couple and Group Therapy

Tatkin-Stan Instructor: Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT

This Special Institute will cover a Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT) theory and methodology for working with couples. PACT is a poly-theoretical, non-linear approach that combines fusion of attachment theory, developmental neuroscience, and arousal regulation. PACT focuses on early attachment and its effect on the brain and nervous system development, as well as on specific neuroendocrine issues related to interpersonal stress. The PACT methodology emphasizes enactment of experience over cognition or psychological interpretation. Interventions often entail therapeutically staged moments intended to trigger arousal and implicit somatoaffective experience and memory. PACT training enables clinicians to discover and analyze psychobiological cues, or "tells," and other bottom-up (implicit) processes that reveal what top-down (explicit) approaches cannot.

Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, is a clinician, researcher, teacher, and developer of A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy® (PACT). He has a clinical practice in Calabasas, CA, and developed the PACT Institute for the purpose of training other psychotherapists to use this method in their clinical practice. In addition, Dr. Tatkin teaches and supervises family medicine residents at Kaiser Permanente, Woodland Hills, CA, and is an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine. Dr. Tatkin is on the board of directors of Lifespan Learning Institute and serves as a member on Relationships First Counsel, a nonprofit organization founded by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt.

Learning Objectives:
The attendee will be able to:
1. Name the three critical developmental periods for the three domains of PACT.
2. Differentiate secure attachments from secure functioning relationships.
3. Cite at least three tools for discovering attachment organization within and between partners or group members.
4. Describe at least three techniques for therapist self-regulation.
5. Explain at least three interview techniques.
6. Describe at least three interventions for promoting secure functioning.
7. Identify at least three behavioral markers that point to deception.

1. Adolphs, R., & Tusche, A. (2017). From Faces to Prosical Behavior: Cues, Tools, and Mechanisms. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26(3), 282-287.
2. Ekman, P. (2016). What scientists who study emotion agree about. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11(1), 31-34.
3. Porges, S.W., & Carter, C.S. (2107). Polyvagal Theory and the Social Engagement System. Complementary and Integrative Treatments in Psychiatric Practice, 221.
4. Schore, A.N. (2017). All our sons: The deevlopmental neurobiology and neuroendocrinology of boys at risk. Infant Mental Health Journal, 38 (1), 15-52.
5. Tatkin, S. (2017). How Couples Change. A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT). In M. Solomon & D.J. Siegel (Eds.), How People Change: Relationships and Neuroplasticity in Pscyhotherapy (pp. 320). New York, New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

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