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Fall Workshop 2017: Group Psychotherapy as a Neural Exercise
Oglethorpe University; Turner Lynch Campus Center
4484 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30319
Saturday, October 21, 2017, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM EDT
Category: Workshops

Fall Workshop: Group Psychotherapy as a Neural Exercise

A Polyvagal Theory Perspective

Philip J Flores, PhD, CGP, FAGPA, ABPP


Lisa Mahon, PhD, CGP, FAGPA


Co-Sponsored By: The Georgia Psychological Society




Saturday, October 21, 2017

9:00 AM - 4:30 PM (Registration/Check-In opens at 8:30 AM)


Link to map with parking suggestions: parking map


6 CEUs approved by GPA (#, GALPCA (#7241-17), GSCSW (090317), and GAMFT (#181-2017).

Base workshop rate is $190 with discounts applied for members, early registrations, and students. 

Register Now


This workshop will describe and demonstrate how Polyvagal Theory provides a neurobiological framework to understand the processes involved in successful group psychotherapy.  Group psychotherapy, conducted and guided by the insights of Polyvagal theory, can help craft an ideal neural exercise regimen for promoting the biobehavioral adjustments for the regulation of emotions, interpersonal engagement, resilience, health, emotional attunement and behavioral flexibility. This workshop will feature didactic presentations, group demonstration and discussion regarding how the innovative perspectives of Polyvagal theory can enhance group work.
For more information on Polyvagal Theory check out this interview between AGPS President Bob Fredrick and presenter Phil Flores: Polyvagal Theory: An Interview

Presenter Information: 

Philip J. Flores, PhDCGP, FAGPA, ABPP and Lisa Mahon, PhD, FAGPA, CGP are both clinical psychologists who are in private practice in Atlanta, GA. They each have more than thirty years of clinical experience in the teaching, supervision and application of group psychotherapy in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Their current groups have been running continuously for nearly thirty years in their outpatient practice. Both are Fellows of the American Group Psychotherapy Association (FAGPA) and Certified Group Psychotherapists (CGP). Dr. Flores is an ABPP in Group Psychology.

Dr. Flores has published numerous articles and book chapters on addiction, group psychotherapy, attachment theory and interpersonal neurobiology. In addition to his two books, Group Psychotherapy With Addiction Populations and Addiction as an Attachment Disorder, he has recently published an article in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy with Dr. Stephen Porges titled Group Therapy as a Neural Exercise: A Polyvagal Theory Perspective, 2017. He was Consensus Panel Chair for Substance Abuse Treatment: Group Therapy, A Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP #41) issued by the U. S. Department of Health & Human Services. Dr. Flores is a co-chair and contributing member of the Science to Service Task Force of AGPA that produced the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Group Psychotherapy. Dr. Flores’ book, Addiction as an Attachment Disorder was the 2005 Gradiva Award Winner issued by The National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. He has presented numerous workshops nationally and internationally on these subjects. He has served as Adjunct Faculty at the Georgia School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University and supervisor of group psychotherapy at Emory University

Dr. Mahon considers group as a primary form of treatment and group therapy has been a central modality of her clinical work. She has presented numerous experiential training workshops at the annual AGPA national meetings. She has served as an officer on the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) Board of Directors and served as the past chairwoman of the Group Psychotherapy Foundation, a philanthropic organization, which supports the education, training, research and community outreach of group psychotherapy.  Dr. Mahon has been active in the Atlanta Group Psychotherapy Society where she has served as past president, treasurer and is currently on the Board of Directors and is chair of the Education Committee. 


 Workshop Objectives:

The attendee will be able to:

  1. Describe the foundation of Polyvagal Theory.
  2. Define the features of the Social Engagement System, which include neural pathways of the vagus system connecting brain, face, and heart.
  3. Define the concept of neuroception and the biophysical functions it provides in guiding interventions that promote learning, behavioral change and affect regulation.
  4. Describe the meaning of Polyvagal theory as a neural exercise and it’s implications for interpersonal group psychotherapy.
  5. Describe how group psychotherapy, conducted and guided by the principles of Polyvagal Theory, can promote the bio-behavioral adjustments necessary for both attachment and affect regulation.
  6. Explain the natural synergy between Polyvagal theory and the theoretical foundations that guide interpersonal and relational group psychotherapy models.
  7. Discuss the ways the demonstration group reflects the application of Polyvagal theory to group. 


Workshop Schedule:

8:30 - 9:00 AM Registration, Coffee, Light Refreshments
9:00 - 10:00 AM Introduction to Polyvagal Theory (Flores)
10:00 - 10:30 AM PVT within the framework of Interpersonal group work (Mahon)
10:30 - 10:45 AM Break
10:45 - 11:35 AM Demonstration Group. (Mahon)

11:35 AM- 12:15 PM

Large Group Discussion of Demo Group (Flores)
12:15  - 1:15 PM Lunch on your own
1:15 - 2:45 PM

Polyvagal Theory: Neuroception, Social Engagement System & Vagal Brake (Flores)

2:45 - 3:00 PM

3:00 - 3:50 PM  Demonstration Group (Mahon)
3:50 - 4:20 PM Large Group Discussion of Demonstration Group (Flores)
4:20 - 4:30 PM Wrap-Up & Evaluations




Discount Pricing  

(ends 10-13-17)

Full Price

$ 160

$ 190

$ 125

$ 150
Students $ 60 $ 70


**Oglethorpe Faculty and Students can receive a discount. Contact [email protected] for a coupon code to use at check out

 Things to Know:

  • 6 CEUs approved by GPA (#, GALPCA (#7241-17), GSCSW (090317), and GAMFT (#181-2017).
  • Workshop start and end times are firm in order to provide CE credit. AGPS cannot provide CEs for participants who have arrived late or leave early from any part of the workshop.
  • Due to time constraints, we encourage participants to purchase lunch from the Oglethorpe cafeteria or to bring your own lunch. The cafeteria lunch is $8.75, and there is a large variety of food from which to choose.
  • Pre-registration cutoff date is October 13, 2016. No refunds for cancellations within 7 days of the event.
Register Now


Erin Hinek

AGPS Communications Chair

Contact: [email protected]