Austin Group Psychotherapy Society

Institute: Co-Facilitation- How to Choose, How to Endure

  • Saturday, October 16, 2021
  • Sunday, October 17, 2021
  • 2 sessions
  • Saturday, October 16, 2021, 9:00 AM 4:30 PM (CDT)
  • Sunday, October 17, 2021, 9:00 AM 12:30 PM (CDT)
  • Online Event
  • 12


  • Members can Login for access.
  • Questions or Issues contact:

Deborah Sharp, LCSW-S, CGP, FAGPA

& Ryan Spencer, LMFT, CGP

This event has been postponed until 2022. Keep an eye on your inbox for more information or contact AGPS's Institute Chair at

Event Description:

What is it that is so compelling about co-leading groups? This one-and-a-half day institute will focus on the co-leader experience. There will be a didactic portion followed by process and a meta-process, or debrief, of the experience. The first day will cover how to select a co-leader and how to grow and maintain the co-leader relationship. The second day will focus more on the unique challenges and benefits of co-leadership. This is not consultation for co-leaders, although those in co-leader relationships are welcome to attend, along with those who are co-curious or have little to no experience with co-leadership. The focus will be more on groups in private practice, but this institute will also be valuable to those co-facilitating groups in agency settings.

About the Facilitators:

Deborah Sharp, LCSW-S, CGP, FAGPA, has been running groups of various kinds for 20 years. She currently runs four modern analytic process groups in her private practice: one for individuals with chronic or catastrophic illness, one for female-identified individuals over age 50, and two co-facilitated with Ryan Spencer that are open to all ages and genders. Devoted to life-long learning and growth, Deborah attends the Center for Group Studies in New York. She is a Past President of AGPS and serves at the University of Texas as Director of the Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution Office where she leads Restorative Justice Circles.

Ryan Spencer, LMFT, CGP, is an active board member of AGPA and has served on the boards of the Austin Group Psychotherapy Society, 2016/2017, and Group Psychotherapy Association of Los Angeles, 2009-2015. He has been running groups since 2006 and has had a range of group experience in hospitals, schools, clinics, and currently, private practice. He leads an online adult process group and coleads two adult process groups with Deborah Sharp.

Deborah and Ryan will be offering a consultation group soon. Watch for an announcement!

What Are Group Institutes?

Institutes are a highly experiential form of small group teaching led by experienced instructors. They are intended to develop therapy skills relevant to leading groups. They often offer a chance to explore a particular theme in greater depth or to experience a different theoretical approach. Institutes are primarily designed for mental health professionals who have clinical psychotherapy experience. While institutes are not therapy, they are process-oriented and it is expected that they may stir feelings spanning the whole range of human experience. Members agree to attend the entire group, to participate actively, and to respect the confidentiality of the other members. The secure environment of these small groups allows for rich cognitive and deep emotional learning about group process and oneself, not to mention a chance for personal and professional renewal.


Saturday, 10/16/21

     9:00-10:15    Didactic and small group exercise

     10:15-10:30    Break

     10:30-11:45    Process group

     11:45-1:15    Lunch

     1:15-2:30    Process group

     2:30-2:45    Break

     2:45 - 4:15    Process group

     4:15 - 4:30    Debrief

Sunday, 10/17/21

     9:00-9:30    Didactic 

     9:30-9:35    Break

     9:35-10:50    Process group

     10:50-11:00    Break

     11:00-12:15    Process group

     12:15-12:30    Debrief and evaluations


Participants will be able to:

  • Describe two important issues related to selecting a co-leader.
  • Identify three recommended strategies for maintaining a healthy co-leading relationship.
  • Identify two unique challenges or benefits to co-leading groups vs. leading groups individually.

8.5 CEUs available for social workers, LPCs, LMFTs, and psychologists.

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