Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I join a Study Group?
Having monthly contact with eight to ten other members is a way to get to know people in the organization in a smaller setting. Exploring ideas and concepts together and struggling with difficult clinical cases are not only intellectually stimulating and technically useful, but promote feelings of connection among group members. Members have reported that being in a Study Group has contributed to their sense of ICP+P being a cohesive organization with a warm and friendly atmosphere. In addition to joining Study Groups, members are encouraged to volunteer to lead Study Groups. This helps to ensure that there are always new groups for members to join and helps to expand the range of diverse and interesting group topics already offered by ICP+P. Please consider, as a leader of a new group, this opportunity to create either a new group with a topic of your choosing, or to select one of the many interesting member suggested topics awaiting a new leader! It is a very straightforward and easy process to start a new Study Group. If interested, please contact the Group Coordinator for details.

Can I be in more than one Study Group?
Yes, you are welcome to participate in multiple Study Groups! That being said, it is our priority that all current members have the opportunity to be involved in at least one of their top choice Study Groups. Therefore, if you are enrolled in a second or third group at the time when the cycle renews, your spot is not guaranteed in these additional groups.

How long does a group last?
Study Groups run for two years. The current cycle runs from September 2020 to June 2022. Current and new members can join, or change to another open ongoing group, at any time in the two-year cycle.

How often does a group meet?
Most groups meet once a month, but each group specifies its meeting dates and times.

How does the sign up process work?
The normal sign up process at the beginning of each cycle is as follows:

  • Current Study Group members will have the opportunity to re-enroll in a group before enrollment is opened up to the rest of the membership.  Existing members are given an enrollment period to enroll in their current group before other members will be accepted into the group.
  • It is important to confirm your spot in the group with the group leader even if you wish to remain in your current Study Group. It is up to each member, and not the Study Group facilitator, to sign up for the new group cycle.
  • At the beginning of each cycle, the ICP+P administrator will send out an email with a complete listing of Study Group offerings for the current two-year cycle. It is then your job to contact the leader of your Study Group of interest directly to inquire about openings and the sign-up process for that particular group.

Can I start a new Group, you may ask?

Absolutely! ICP+P is open to a wide range of subject areas for a Study Group focus, so please do not hesitate to suggest any ideas that are of interest to you.

The first step is to locate a Study Group leader! The leadership role in a Study Group is flexible, depending on the structure and nature of the Study Group. As a leader, you can choose the topic, the schedule, the location as well as the style of leadership for the group.

  • Some leaders prefer to organize specific reading lists and enjoy leading the group more formally, while other leaders prefer a member-led group with members deciding together about readings with a peer-to peer style of discussion.
  • Some Study Groups have an experiential focus. The current Creativity Study Group invites outside presenters and attends performances, concerts, etc. to enrich their readings and group discussions.

To start a new Study Group the new leader chooses a topic / schedule / location and writes a brief description about the Study Group focus. This information will be posted below for members to review as they consider groups to join. Refer to the list below to get ideas for starting second groups on an existing topic, or to spark your ideas for new topic areas.

Below is the complete listing of Study Group offerings for the current two year cycle (2021-2022). If you have questions you wish to discuss about a particular group, feel free to contact the group leader or the Coordinator of Study Groups, Natalia Wannon. Some Study Groups are offering CE credits; this will be indicated at the end of the description of the group, along with the link to the learning objectives.

Also, please note that all groups are meeting virtually during the current pandemic conditions.

Title – Affect and Self-Regulation Study Group 
Leader – Richard A. Chefetz, MD 
Time -7:30 pm on the first Monday of the month
Location -4612 49th ST NW, Washington DC

The overarching frame of reference for this year of study is to deepen our understanding of affect regulation in the context of intense affects associated with what some people have called human evil. It enters the world of perpetrator psychodynamics that better informs us regarding what we and our patients must negotiate in understanding the impact of evil in our lives. While ostensibly only about clinical work, it is also about our geopolitical reality.

Contact/interview with Rich is required for membership.

 CE credits are available for full attendance. Learning objectives

Title –  Child, Adolescent, and Family Therapy Study Group
Leaders –  Martha Blechar Gibbons, PhD, APRN, BC, and Deborah Marks, MSW
Time – 1st Tuesday of every month from 9:30-11:00 am
Location –  Online

This study group welcomes clinicians who are interested in exploring different treatment approaches in working with children, adolescents and their families.  Participants identify and discuss topic-related cases and readings, and share the challenges experienced in addressing this population. Current resources related to treatment are acknowledged and reviewed.

The criteria for participation in our group is simply an interest in working with children, adolescents and families. One or both of the study group leaders talks informally with the potential new member, in person or by phone. The information gained is reported back to the group and the decision is made about acceptance.

If a member is interested in joining, please contact leader Deborah Marks at (301) 530-5607 or

Title – Contemporary Relational Study Group 
Leader – David Wyner, LCSW (
Time – 2nd Friday of every month from 1:00–2:30 pm
Location – 22821 Ridge Road, Germantown, MD 

This study group is for those interested in learning more about Contemporary Relational Therapy: theory and technique. Currently we are finishing Psychodynamic Techniques by Karen Maroda and will soon begin Coasting in the Countertransference by Irwin Hirsch. While in past groups we focused on theoretical work by Philip Bromberg and Daniel Stern, we are now discussing more hands-on clinical experience and integrating it with the theory using cases drawn from participant’s practice. Clinical material is always at the center of our discussions.

New members are welcome and are asked to meet with the group leader before joining.

Title – Couples
Leaders – Peggy Miller, LICSW and Sharon Ballard. LCSW-C
Time – 1st Friday of every month from 1:10-2:40 pm
Location – 3000 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 214, Washington, DC 20008

The challenges of working with couples will be explored through readings that draw from self psychology, attachment theory, intersubjectivity and relational theories, neuroscience, as well as clinical discussion. Topics will include working with oppositional couples, countertransference dilemmas, sexual issues, infidelity, loss and blended families. Additional topics will be determined by the interests of group participants. Group members should be actively working with couples.

CE credits available for full attendance. Learning objectives


Title – Experiential and Theoretical Investigation into the Creative Process
Leader – Katherine Williams, PhD, ATR-BC
Time – 3rd Tuesday of every month from 7:30-9:00 pm
Location – 3715 Alton Place, NW, Washington, DC 20016

Our group views creativity as a capacity that is integral to being human, although the ability to express that creativity may be developed to differing degrees. Our readings have built up a body of thinking about creativity that draws on classical, self psychological, and relational theories. The group shares some responsibility for suggesting topics and readings related to these issues, and collaborates in inviting researchers and artists to join us to discuss their process.

CE credits are available for full attendance. Learning objectives 


Title – Theory and Practice of Inter-Generational Transmission of Trauma
Leaders – Katherine Richardson, LCSW and Nancy Wolfson, LCSW
Time – 2nd Friday of every month from 2:30-4:00 pm
Location – 4400 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814

The Study Peer Group will include reading and discussing articles and texts that focus on clinical theory and psychotherapeutic practice in the expanding area of inter-generational transmission of trauma. Traumas that have occurred as a result of genocide, slavery, natural disasters, and other mass events (“Big-H history”) and childhood, interpersonal, and other more individualized events (Small-h history”) will be included. Discussion will be based on seminal readings as well as the participants’ personal and professional experiences.

CE credits are available for full attendance. Learning objectives


Title – Intersubjectivity Study Group
Leader – Janet Dante, MSW (
Time – 3rd Friday of the month from 10:00-11:30 am, September-June
Location – Office of Janet Dante, 5207 Hampden Lane, Bethesda. (New location)

The focus of this study group is deepening our capacity to work and think intersubjectively with our patients. The book we are reading for this year is: Moments of Meeting in Psychoanalysis: Interaction and Change in the Therapeutic Encounter, ed: Susan Lord. We generally read one chapter a month. We discuss the concepts from the chapter and bring in our experiences in the therapy room, both with our patients, and sometimes with our own therapists.

Title – Psychoanalytic Look at Diversity and Trauma through the Lens of Toni Morrison’s Novels
Leader – Gwendolyn Pla, PhD
Time – 3rd Friday of the Month from 2:00-4:00 pm
Location – 5600 Wisconsin Avenue,  Chevy Chase, MD (3 blocks from the Friendship Heights Metro Station on the Red Line and ample free parking on site)

Toni Morrison is one of the preeminent American writers of the 20th century: a novelist, an essayist, editor, teacher, and professor emeritus at Princeton University. While her characters and themes are displayed in an African American setting, her work is universally and internationally embraced and praised. She has earned too many acknowledgements to list including the Pulitzer and the Nobel Prizes in Literature. From a historical point of view, the physical characteristics of her characters, their names, and the effects of these names and physical characteristics reveal much about how they see themselves and how others see them and relate to them. 


Title – Racism in the Field of Psychotherapy: Deconstructing Privilege, Power and Projection in the White Therapeutic Community
Leaders – Alison Howard, PsyD, MEd, CGP and Raquel Willerman, PhD, LCSW  ( and
Time – First Friday of the month 10:00-11:30 am
Location – Online

ABOUT THE GROUP: Assigned readings will be a jumping off point to examine racism in our lives, work and relationships. There will be an emphasis on understanding unconscious ways racism manifests in our field, which we feel has been behind in the effort to address racism in the mental health community as well as in our country. Using the group process, we hope to own and acknowledge the racism within ourselves. As Robin DiAngelo says in her book, “White Fragility”, “It is not IF we are racist, but HOW we are racist”. A goal of the work is to understand how to move forward in our anti-racism efforts, with these racist parts of ourselves, and to create professional communities that feel safer and more welcoming to people of color.

IS THIS GROUP RIGHT FOR YOU? This group is intended to actively engage in anti-racism work. As such, we have been intentional in not using the terms “diversity” and “inclusion”, not because those are not excellent and needed efforts, but because sometimes black people, who suffer the most deadly and egregious forms of oppression, often get pushed to the side when talking about all oppressions. We seek to understand, for example, the unconscious power dynamics of Amy Cooper’s aggression toward a black man who asked her to follow the rules and put her dog on a leash, and in so doing did not “know his place”. But beyond understanding these dynamics, we seek to not scapegoat Amy Cooper but rather to look for the Amy Cooper inside of us. For this reason, our nascent group is for white people to do work with each other before we try to do that work with people of color. Furthermore, because the work is sensitive and difficult, we ask that everyone commit to a confidentiality agreement of the kind reserved for therapy groups, though this is not technically group therapy.

This Study Group is Currently Closed, But Will be Accepting New Members Starting June 2021. For More Information Please Contact the Group Leaders.

Title – Reading Plays to Better Understand the Human Condition
Leader – Lee Futrovsky, PhD
Time – 1st Friday of the month from 2:00-3:30 pm
Location – 5454 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1215, Chevy Chase, MD  20815 (Friendship Heights Metro) 

This study group is for those  who find the theater illuminating of the human condition. We will choose plays, assign parts and read.  We will use both the dramatic material and the experience of  “being another” to deepen our understanding of human  nature, both intrapsychic and interpersonal.  Relating all that we experience while  in character to our clinical work will be  encouraged.


Title – Relational Perspectives Study Group
Leader – Jonathan Lebolt, PhD, CGP,, (240) 507-7696
Time – 3rd Friday of each month from 2:00-3:15 pm
Location – Zoom

Would you like to learn more about relational psychotherapy and psychoanalysis with individuals, couples and groups? We choose books from Routledge’s Relational Perspectives Book Series ( and discuss one chapter per month, relating concepts to case material as much as possible. The group leader is an analyst and group therapist; therapists and analysts of all ages and cultures are welcome. Feel free to contact the leader for more information; please schedule a meeting with him prior to joining.


Title – Self Psychology and Selected Readings in Contemporary Theory
Leader – Mary Jean Kane, MSW (
Time – 3rd Thursday of the Month from 6:50-8:20 pm
Location – ICP+P Office, 4601 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20008

In this study group, we will explore contemporary self psychology, as well as readings from other contemporary theories including intersubjectivity, relational theory, and mind-body paradigms. We will use this material to help us think about our own clinical work. Participants are encouraged to bring in case material which spontaneously comes to mind from the readings.

Please call Mary Jean 703-550-4298 if interested.


Title – Sexuality in Psychotherapy
Leaders – Faith Lewis, MSW and Tripp Reed, MSW
Time -Second Monday of each month from 8:00-9:30 pm
Location – 4511 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20011

Topics range from gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual desire, sexual abuse and trauma, couples’ issues,and sexual addiction. Readings may be suggested by participants, in any of these categories. These readings have stimulated deep discussion of the sexual aspects of our own cases. We have encouraged members to express their personal reactions and professional insights into the sexual dimension: both in terms of clients’ manifest sexual issues and in terms of the deeper transferential/relational moments for the therapist.

Please call Faith 202-409-6835 or Tripp 202-744-0154 if interested.

Title – The Effects of Trauma on the Brain and the Body
Leaders – Virginia Voigt, MSW and Georgia Royalty, PhD
Time – Once a month. 1st, 2nd, or 4th Friday of the month, depending upon preferences of group members, from 2:15-3:45 pm
Location – Ellicott City, MD, at either leader’s office depending upon preferences of group members

The group will use the book, “The Body Keeps The Score, Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma”, by Bessell van der Kolk, MD as the text for the examination of trauma from a neuroscience perspective. Other sources will be added to enhance understanding of specific aspects of trauma and treatment. Goals will include:

• Understanding various forms of trauma, and how they may change the wiring of the brain and affect the body.
• Learning about brain and body based therapies, their mechanisms, and efficacy.
• Understanding how traditional psychotherapy compares with brain and body based therapies.

CE credits available for full attendance. Learning objectives


Title – The Reading of Novels and Memoirs Through the Lens of a Psychotherapist
Leader – Gail Winston, LICSW
Time – 3rd Friday of the Month from 2:00-3:30 pm
Location – Gail’s office:  4601 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 3, Washington, DC 20008

Our group will be reading both fiction and non-fiction material that brings to light issues, emotions and relationships we deal with when working with our patients. Our discussion will be informed by the additional reading of Kathy Steele’s book, Treating Trauma Related Dissociation. Some of the books we will be reading this year are: You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie; Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout; Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison and Memory Wall by Anthony Doer.


Title – Trauma and the Body
Leader – Hannah Craven, LCSW
Time – 3rd Friday of the month from 3:00-4:30 pm
Location – Vienna, Virginia

The purpose of this group is to deepen our understanding of how trauma impacts the body and the mind.   Relying on our strong foundation in self and relational psychotherapy, we are studying how we can incorporate somatic interventions in our work with patients.  We have read Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy by Pat Ogden et al.  We are currently reading The Body Keeps the Score:  Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolkas well as discussing cases from our practices.


Educational Level:
Study group participation is a benefit of membership and the default level of instruction is for all levels, since our members range from graduate students to senior practitioners. Some study group leaders stipulate qualifications for participants: in such a case, those are listed above.

Continuing education credit

The Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis (ICP+P) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. ICP+P maintains responsibility for this program and its content. ICP+P is approved by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners to offer Category I continuing education credit. As our CE program receives oversight from a licensed social worker, the CE credits we award are highly likely to be recognized by licensing boards in Virginia and the District of Columbia. These continuing education credits meet the ANCC standards for nurses. Marriage and family therapists licensed in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia may submit these CE credits to their licensing boards. (Marriage and family therapists in other jurisdictions and licensed counselors should inquire with their local Boards regarding continuing education credit.) Attendees from the above professional groups will earn CE credits for attending the group. Full attendance is required to receive the designated CE credit. ICP+P is accredited by MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians. ICP+P designates this educational activity for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

* The study group facilitators and planners have informed us that they do not have a conflict of interest and have disclosed that they have no relevant financial relationships with any commercial interests pertaining to this educational activity. Additionally, the presenters have been instructed to disclose any limitations of data and unlabeled or investigational uses of products during the presentations. The presentations will not contain any references to off-label (non-FDA-approved) use of products or devices.