TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION: THE ROLE OF GRC's IN GRADUATE MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS
Authors: Rebecca Abell, PsyD; Sarah Hedlund, PhD; Joseph Schmidt, PsyD
Abstract: Historically, graduate training for mental health professionals included participation in a group relations conference (GRC), T-group, or another opportunity to study group dynamics as they occur. However, this practice that was a standard part of mental health training in the past has become unique to only a few training programs across the United States. This significant decline suggests that there is less interest in or support for this type of learning. In this paper we will explore possible reasons for the near extinction of this facet of mental health training at the intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, and societal levels. We will also discuss the benefits of including this type of learning in graduate training for mental health professionals by exploring the impact of this practice on individual learning, cohort processes, and overall training based on experiences with facilitating an annual GRC for first year students in a doctoral psychology program.