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 study groups for members to join and helps to expand the range of diverse and interesting study 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 Study Group Coordinator for details.

Can I be in more than one study group?
As long as all current members get to be in one of their first three choices, members can choose to be in more than one group. Signing up is done every two years and plenty of notice is given in the monthly newsletter. The study group coordinator would be the person to contact with specific questions.

How long does a group last?
Study groups run for two years. The current cycle runs from September 2018 to June 2020. Current and new members can join, or change to another open ongoing study 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-register 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 sign up 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 to the membership with a link to the study group registration form where you will be asked to request your first, second and third choice(s) of study groups and whether you are currently a member of your first choice group.  You will also have the opportunity to indicate if you wish to participate in a second study group if space permits.

Can I start a new Study 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 (2018-2020).  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,   Etta Sandler.  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.

Title – Affect and Self-Regulation Study Group 
Leader – Richard A. Chefetz, MD 
Time -7:45 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 humiliation, rage, and related experience.

Contact/interview with Rich is required for membership.

 CE credits are available for full attendance. Learning objectives


Title – Authoritarian Leadership, Mental Health, and Culture Study Group
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 start with reading the book Tyrannical Minds: Psychological Profiling, Narcissism, and Dictatorship by Dean A. Haycock, Ph.D. Goals will include analyzing the personality traits of persons who have become dictatorial leaders, assessing the potential impact of that leadership style on the mental health of members of a society, and discussing the theorized personality traits of persons who choose to follow such leaders.

A brief telephone screening is required.

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 –  Rockville, MD

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.

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 theory and technique. We will be reading Daniel Stern: The Present Moment and finishing Bessel van der Kolk: The Body Keeps the Score (begun this cycle). Clinical material will always be at the core of our discussions and participants are encouraged to bring in case material. New members are welcome and will 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 – Couples Study Group
Leader – Noella Driscoll, LICSW,, 202-257-2976
Time – First Friday of every month from 2:00 to 3:30
Location – 1901 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 602, Washington DC

This study group welcomes clinicians who are interested in exploring books and articles regarding couples therapy and related topics, including (but not limited to) attachment, trust, infidelity, sexuality, and health. We will determine reading material according to the interests of those attending the study group. We will explore our work with clients based on thoughts that emerge from the readings and discussions.

Title – Creative Writing Study Group
Leader – Jeffrey Jay, PhD
Time – First Thursday evening of each month from 7:30-9:00 pm
Location – Bethesda, MD

This study group will focus on creative writing with a primary focus on fiction (prose, poetry, plays and screen-plays) although non-fiction could be incorporated if a group member wishes to include it. The group’s purpose is to provide an opportunity for feedback, encouragement and support in writing fiction. Members will take turns reading and responding to our own writing with the encouragement to return with revisions to reach a final product. There are no requirements to join other than the intention to produce written work, to openly share with the group, and to responsibly respond to the writing that others provide. The advantage of a writing group within ICP+P is to bring together personal creativity to the rich psychological perspective we enjoy in our profession.

Title – Developmental Studies and All Things Clinical
Leader – Joseph Lichtenberg, MD
Time – Tentative for the 3rd Monday of every month at 8:00 pm and is open to consideration
Location – 6256 Clearwood Road, Bethesda, MD 20817

Contact Joe Lichtenberg for more information @

Title – Early Career Professionals’ Study Group
Leader – Roger Segalla, PhD, ICP+P Director Emeritus
Time – Last Wednesday of the month from 11:45 am-1:00 pm
Location – 4809 St. Elmo Avenue in Bethesda, Maryland 20814

The Early Career Professionals’ Study Group will be for ICP+P members who are in the early years of their professional careers. This group will discuss issues such as: developing a professional identity, setting up a private practice, practice guidelines, creating a theoretical perspective(s), setting fees, dealing with insurance (or not), etc. We will also be reading and discussing a series of introductory, foundational, articles from Self Psychology and the Relational Perspectives. Space limitations mean that the group will be restricted to (7) seven members in the early years (1-5) of their professional practice.

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 – Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy  (ISTDP) Study Group
Leader – Margo Silberstein, EdD
Time – 2nd Thursday of the month from 1:00-2:30 pm
Location – 3511 39th Street,NW, Washington, DC 20016

This group considers the perspective of Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy and how it may be applied to our clinical cases across a the spectrum of psychodiagnoses. With roots in classical psychoanalytic theory and ego psychology, ISTDP offers a theoretical frame as well as techniques for dealing with anxiety, defense and resistance that help to create a robust alliance for growth. This perspective incorporates current findings in neuroscience, attachment theory and a body centered experiential focus that explicitly encourages mentalization. Using Jon Fredericksons’s Co-Creating Change: Effective Dynamic Therapy Techniques as a framework for our inquiry, we will discuss case material, observe videotapes of psychotherapy sessions and use role playing to discover new ways approach common clinical impasses.

We welcome interested members to consider joining us. Please contact Margo Silberstein 202 413 4718 or for further information.

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 (day and time can be changed depending on the needs of the members who sign up; but come on that day and we can decide the best day and time for all participants.)
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. With these themes in mind, I invite you to join me in this study group!

Psychodynamic Readings of Literary Fiction
Leader – Deborah Curry, PsyD
Time – 3rd Friday of the Month from 12:30-2:00 pm
Location – 5480 Wisconsin Avenue, Ste 216, Chevy Chase, MD 20815

We discuss, from a psychodynamic perspective, novels that are nuanced and complex. These are typically books that have won literary fiction awards. Discussion leadership rotates among members monthly. Each member picks the novel for which he or she is facilitating an upcoming discussion. Discussion focuses on clinical themes, interpersonal and self esteem maintenance strategies, defenses and preoccupations that are illuminated by the texts as well as our patient cases evoked by the them. Some of the books we have read are Behold the Dreamers, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, The Son, My Name is Lucy Barton, My Father’s Paradise, The Lost Daughter, The Hate U Give, The Buried Giant and H is for Hawk.

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 – 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.

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, with readings in all 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 this sexual dimension: both in terms of clients’ manifest sexual issues and in terms of the deeper transferential/relational moments. If this piques your interest, don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to participate!

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 – The Science, Art, and Application of Psychotherapy Integration
Leaders – Stephen R. Stein, PhD and Oksana Zadoro, LICSW
Time – 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month from 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Location – 3000 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 327, Washington, DC 20008

This study group will focus upon the convergence of selected components of theory and practice that serve to enhance and intensify the therapeutic encounter. The central role of the integration of contemporary psychodynamic approaches, affective and social neural science and mind/body principles will be explored. A didactic and experiential format will be employed to facilitate the application of this model to clinical practice. In 2018-2019 the group will be reading Brown and Fromm’s “Hypnotherapy and Hypnoanalysis”.

An interview with a leader is required before joining the group.

CE credits are available for full attendance. Learning objectives

Title – Transgenerational Trauma
Leaders – Richard Ogden, PhD and Leslie Westbrook, PhD, LCPC
Time – 2nd Friday of every month from 2:30-4:00 pm
Location – 4400 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814

The group’s focus will be the study of trauma that is “passed down” from one generation to the next. We will be reading both professional and fictionalized accounts to further our understanding of this topic. In addition, we will be discussing our clinical work and personal experiences as they relate to transgenerational trauma. To develop a deeper understanding of transgenerational trauma, our Study Group will read Wounds of History. Additional readings may supplement our exploration of the topic.

CE credits are available for full attendance. Learning objectives


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 Kolk as 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.