Leading from Experience Training:

Developing the Consultative Stance

April 27-29, 2018
The Austin Riggs Center, 25 Main St., Stockbridge, MA
Convener: M. Gerard Fromm, Ph.D., ABPP
Faculty: Donna Elmendorf, Dannie Kennedy, Jim Krantz
Registration Fee for Consulting Participants: $425
Registration Fee for Non-Consulting Participants: $375
For more info and to reserve a space: Workshop Administrator, Lori Schweickert at

The Center for the Study of Groups and Social Systems is pleased to announce a weekend training workshop on Group Relations informed consulting skills.  This year’s workshop will extend and deepen its focus on leadership and the consultative stance, applicable to any setting, through small study group and application events.

This Workshop is designed to strengthen participants’ ability to exercise leadership through drawing on the consultative stance, in whatever work roles they occupy.   It builds on the group relations tradition, extending some of the concepts and practices into an approach that emphasizes the value of inner experience as an important guide to advancing work in any group or organizational context. Through the consultative stance, people are able to connect, both within themselves and through their observations, with important issues affecting the group’s work.  In this way, they provide leadership by helping people into deeper, more sophisticated engagement with the task.

The consultative stance involves being immersed in the dynamics of a group and paying attention to what we find ourselves feeling, thinking about and reacting to.  Seeing those experiences as a glimpse of what might be going on just outside of people’s awareness creates the opportunity to exercise leadership.  Speaking to that 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.

Because the consultative stance is relevant to leadership in a range of settings, the Workshop is not solely focused on developing members’ 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.  Members may take up formal consultative roles in the Small Study Group, followed by focused reflection with faculty, or they may participate simply as members.  We are also offering an opportunity for application, in which members lead an examination of their back-home organizational dilemmas through the window of their experiences there and in the workshop.

The Workshop is open to anyone who has had at least one Group Relations Conference experience.  In the Small Study Group segment, a limited number of consulting opportunities 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.

To reserve your space please submit the following registration form by email to Workshop Administrator, Lori Schweickert at

Registration Form





Number of Group Relations Conferences in which you have participated: __________

Do you prefer to be a _____ Consulting Participant or ______Non-Consulting Participant?

If you prefer a consulting position but they are already taken, do you want to register as a non-consulting member?

Yes    No

How would you prefer to pay the registration fee for this workshop?
_____ Personal check            _____ PayPal

Do you have any dietary restrictions?

Yes     No

If yes, please specify:

Are you interested in being informed about others who might want to share a double-occupancy room?

Yes  _    No

If yes, please provide your contact information to be shared with interested others:


A deposit of $50 is required to reserve a spaceThere is a $50 fee reduction for members from the same organization.  Full payment is due April 1, 2018.

You can make payment in one of two ways:

1. PayPal: Once your request to attend has been confirmed by the Workshop Administrator, you will be invoiced from the Center for the Study of Groups and Social Systems via PayPal.

2. Paper check: Please send your check made out to CSGSS to:

CSGSS c/o Eric Buehrens, Treasurer, 239 Commonwealth Avenue, #71Boston, MA 02116


To request a fee reduction, please submit a conference registration form to the Workshop Administrator, Lori Schweickert, including a $50 deposit along with a note indicating that you will be applying for aid. Then please send a letter via email to Lori at, stating the reasons for your request.  Letters requesting fee reductions must be received by March 1, 2017.


If an application is withdrawn on or before April 1, an administrative fee of $25 will be retained and the remainder of the tuition will be refunded.  No refund will be issued on or after April 1, 2018.

Area Accommodations:


  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:, (413) 298-5545.
  2. Berkshire Visitors Bureau:
  3. One Air BnB recommended by a 2017 workshop participant is:

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


Rainbow Taxi: (413) 443-7111  (If you are flying in, it might be more cost effective to rent a car.)
Uber and Lyft have service the area.








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