Austin Group Psychotherapy Society

Holding Cultural Complexity in Groups: Group Therapists with Different Races and Genders Exchange Ideas

  • Saturday, December 02, 2023
  • 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Virtual


Registration is closed

Hosted by: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee. 

Facilitated by Aaron Bandy


Diversity Annual Workshop

In this half-day diversity workshop, Dr. Kavita Avula and Dr. Haim Weinberg, will examine how intersectionality informs group therapist choice and vantage point especially when facing DEI or social justice issues.  They will explore their target and agent identities and work together to embrace humility and mutual respect even in the face of different core identities and places of positionality.  

With clinical vignettes from our therapy groups, training groups, and international work, the co-presenters will discuss how complex the work can be and how hard it can be to "get it right".  In this session, we will share our best work, our worst mistakes, and guidelines for how group therapists will ideally respond in the face of bias (or when caught in a possible microaggression). We will have a dialogue about our different points of view, exploring these differences, some of them related to our own identities.  We will have a group discussion as we work to amplify the options for responding to fraught situations, all the while working to embody respect and vulnerability.  


Dr. Kavita Avula is an Indian-American licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in trauma, international psychology, unconscious bias, and large group dynamics.  She is the President of Therapist Beyond Borders, an organization comprised of individuals with multiple marginalized identities with outstanding skills to facilitate culture change at institutions that know they are stuck. Dr. Avula serves as the Vice President of the Board of Trustees at the Soundview School and engages in strategy to improve the future of the school. She dedicates a portion of her time to serving the Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BBIPOC) community and offered the first ever BBIPOC Institute at AGPA.

For decades, Dr. Avula has worked with human rights and humanitarian organizations on a range of issues from conflict resolution to critical incident response. 

She has offered group facilitation and trauma healing  in the face of natural disasters and conflict in many different countries including Colombia, Ukraine, Uganda, Tanzania, Mexico , the Philippines, and Kenya. Therapist Beyond Borders has served small and large communities including humanitarian groups, hospitals, and universities. 

Additionally, she is Dean and serves on the Large Group Team at the Washington School of Psychiatry’s National Group Psychotherapy Institute, a nationally recognized advanced group training program.

Dr. Haim Weinberg (PhD) is a licensed psychologist in Israel and California, a group analyst, and Certified Group Psychotherapist in private practice in Sacramento, California. He is the past President of the Israeli Association of Group Psychotherapy and of the Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society (NCGPS). Dr. Weinberg is the list-owner of the group psychotherapy professional online discussion forum. He served as the Director of International Programs at the Professional School of Psychology where he created and coordinated an online doctoral program in group psychotherapy.  He co-edited a series of books about the social unconscious and wrote a book on Internet groups. His co-edited book “Theory and Practice of Online Therapy” was published just before the COVID-19 pandemic started. His new co-edited books are "Advances in Online Therapy: The Emergence of a New Paradigm" and "The Virtual Group Therapy Circle - Advances in Online Group Theory and Practice".

Dr. Weinberg developed group therapy training groups in Asia, and is leading online training process groups for therapists around the world.

Learning Objectives

1. Analyze the difference between a group leader of color and a White group leader when running a therapy group.

2. Name at least 3 ways in which diversity impacts group dynamics and leadership

3. Demonstrate and use interventions that take into consideration cultural sensitivity.

4. Compare the transference to group leaders based on race and gender.

3 CEUs for social workers, LPCs, LMFTs and psychologists.will be offered.


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