Leading from Experience: Developing the Consultative Stance Application

11/22/2019 06:00 PM - 11/24/2019 01:30 PM ET


Thank you for your interest in attending Leading from Experience: Developing the Consultative Stance on Friday November 22th, 2019-Sunday November 24th, 2019 at The Austen Riggs Center. The event starts at 6pm on Friday and concludes at 1:30pm on Sunday. 

Registration Fee for Consulting Participants: $500

Registration Fee for Non-Consulting Participants: $450

Faculty: Donna Elmendorf, PhD., Dannie Kennedy, PhD., Jim Krantz PhD., Jerry Fromm, PhD.

This Workshop is designed to strengthen participants’ ability to exercise leadership through drawing on the consultative stance, in whatever work roles they occupy.   Building on concepts and practices within the Group Relations tradition, the Workshop emphasizes the value of inner experience as an important guide to advancing work in any group or organizational context. Through the consultative stance, people may be able to connect what they are experiencing and observing with important issues affecting the group’s work.  They thus might provide a form of leadership by helping others into deeper, more sophisticated engagement with the group’s primary task.

For those unfamiliar with it, the Group Relations tradition involves a framework for understanding group dynamics, especially in relation to authority. The Group Relations tradition (1) studies the group-as-a-whole, as if the group can be thought of as a living entity somewhat distinct from its individual participants, and 2) focuses on what seems to be happening in the immediacy of the moment, that is, the here-and-now emotional life of the group. Consultants to this kind of self-study group focus on the group, rather than on individuals, and they take up only a consulting role, rather than a leadership role as that might be more usually defined.

The consultative stance – whether taken up formally in a consulting role or informally in a member role - involves being immersed in the dynamics of a group and paying attention to what we find ourselves feeling, thinking about and reacting to. These experiences provide a window into what might be going on just outside of people’s awareness. Speaking to this experience from one’s role and checking it against the experience of others can help the work of a group evolve, particularly as it leads to discovering previously unseen contexts and potentially challenging dynamics. Taking a consultative stance creates an opportunity to exercise this form of leadership. 

Because the consultative stance is relevant to leadership in a range of settings, the Workshop is not focused on developing participants’ capacity to work as consultants in Group Relations Conferences. Nevertheless, a small self-study group is used to provide a grounding for participants to experience and deepen how they take up the consultative stance.Participants may take up formal consultative roles in the Small Study Group, followed by focused reflection with faculty, or they may participate simply as participants.  There will also be an opportunity for application, in which participants lead an examination of their back-home organizational dilemmas through the window of their experiences there and in the workshop. Consulting roles in the Small Study Group are open to anyone who has had at least one Group Relations Conference experience or an equivalent group experience.  There are a limited number of consulting opportunities, and they are available on a first-to-sign-up basis. Those who choose the consultant role will be assigned to co-consulting teams, who will then take turns consulting to the group process of fellow participants.  Non-consulting participants will have the opportunity to observe the reflections of the consultants after each session.  There is no prior Group Relations experience required for non-consulting participants.  .   

Note: The registration fee includes dinner on Friday evening, and breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday.  Participants will be responsible for dinner on Saturday evening and for making their own lodging arrangements.

Space is limited to 28 attendees.


A deposit of $50 is required to reserve a space once your application is accepted.  The administrator will contact you directly to let you know what further payment is due based on the role you will take, applicable discounts or fee reductions. Full payment is due November 14, 2019.   

You will be sent a registration and payment link once your application is approved and payment can be made in one of two ways:

1. Online via credit card through the registration and payment link.

2. Paper check: Select payment via Check on the registration and payment link and  mail  a check made out to CSGSS to: Lori Schweickert 1901 N. Harrison Avenue, Cary NC 27513.



To request a fee reduction, check the box for indicating that you will be applying for aid. Then please send a letter via email to Lori at lori@lorischweickert.info, stating the reasons for your request.  Letters requesting fee reductions must be received by October 30th, 2019.

Registrants from CSGSS, BPSI and Austen Riggs will receive a $100 discount. Two or more participants from the same organization (other than these 3 organizations) will each receive a $50 discount.  


If an application is withdrawn on or before November 14th  an administrative fee of $25 will be retained and the remainder of the tuition will be refunded.  No refund will be issued after November 14th, 2019.




1. Albany International Airport, Albany, NY

2. Bradley International Airport, Hartford, CT


1. Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, MA – this is a historical inn situated right across from the Austen Riggs Center:  http://www.redlioninn.com/, (413) 298-5545.

2. Berkshire Visitors Bureau: http://berkshires.org/business_category/where-to-stay/

(Surrounding towns: Great Barrington, Lenox, Lee, Pittsfield)

3. AirBnB has several excellent options in the area


  Rainbow Taxi: (413) 443-7111  (If you are flying in, it might be more cost effective to rent a car.)

  Uber and Lyft also service the area.


This presentation is designed for mental health professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, and nurses, with a registration fee up to $500.00. Requirements for course completion include: Signing in on the attendance roster, attending the entire session, and completing a course evaluation. Certificate of attendance will be issued electronically through the CME Tracker website, available to print immediately after submission of the electronic evaluation form.

The Austen Riggs Center is accredited by the Massachusetts Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  Physicians participating in this workshop will receive 15.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) ™. The Austen Riggs Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Psychologists participating in this workshop will receive15.0 CEU credits. The Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for the program and its content.

Unfortunately, requirements of the social work accrediting body regarding co-sponsorship preclude offering CEU credits for social workers this year. The Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for the program and its content and follows all state and federal laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990(ADA). In accordance with the ADA, the Austen Riggs Center is committed to accessibility. If you need accommodations for your course, please contact info@austenriggs.net. For additional information about this program, please call the Erikson Institute Education Coordinator, at 413.931.5230. For additional Continuing Education details, please visit: www.austenriggs.org/accreditationeducational-activities.

Please click on the register button above to submit an application for the event. 




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