WORKSHOP: A Unique Provincial Group Initiative for Physician Leaders: Application of Psychotherapeutic Group Process to Non-Clinical Groups

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Presenting Author(s): Dr. Kim Kelly, BSc, MD, CCFP(AM), FCFP, Dr. Diana Meakins, BMSc, MD, FRCPC, Dr. Laura Stovel, MA, MD, FRCPC

Date and time: 25 Mar 2023 from 13:00 to 14:00

Location: Wildrose Salon C  Floor Map

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify common themes, processes, and curative factors in group psychotherapy;
  2. Examine the application of psychotherapeutic group processes to non-clinical groups;
  3. Describe a unique provincial group initiative for physician leaders.


In this workshop, we will review the goals, theory, and characteristics of psychodynamic psychotherapy. We will discuss the therapeutic opportunities in psychodynamic group psychotherapy, illustrated with brief clinical examples drawn from the presenters’ practices. We will describe a unique provincial group initiative developed for physician leaders, including organizational goals for supporting the initiative, outline the group structure and roles of the co-facilitators and organizational sponsor, summarize experiences and desired outcomes of group participants and facilitators. We will conclude the workshop by discussing application of psychotherapeutic group process to non-clinical groups, and reflecting on similarities and differences between clinical and non-clinical groups, with selected examples. Additionally, we will reflect on future opportunities for application of psychotherapeutic group process knowledge and practice to physician leadership development and wellness initiatives.

Literature References

  1. Bernard H., et al. Science to Service Task Force, American Group Psychotherapy Association. Clinical practice guidelines for group psychotherapy. Int J Group Psychother. 2008 Oct;58(4):455-542. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2008.58.4.455. PMID: 18837662.
  2. Panagioti M., et al. Controlled Interventions to Reduce Burnout in Physicians: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. 2017 Feb 1;177(2):195-205. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.7674. PMID: 27918798.
  3. Scheepers R.A., et al. The impact of mindfulness-based interventions on doctors' well-being and performance: A systematic review. Med Educ. 2020 Feb;54(2):138-149. doi: 10.1111/medu.14020. Epub 2019 Dec 22. PMID: 31868262; PMCID: PMC7003865.
  4. West C.P., et al. Physician burnout: contributors, consequences and solutions. J Intern Med. 2018 Jun;283(6):516-529. doi: 10.1111/joim.12752. Epub 2018 Mar 24. PMID: 29505159. 
  5. Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy, 5th edition. J. Rutan, W. Stone, and J. Shay. Guilford Press, 2014.
  6. The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy, 6th edition. I. Yalom and M. Leszcz. Basic Books, 2020.

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