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Mid-Atlantic Group Psychotherapy Society

The Mid-Atlantic Group Psychotherapy Society (MAGPS) is a regional affiliate of the American Group Psychotherapy Association that serves group therapists in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

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MAGPS Conferences

MAGPS hosts two annual conferences, one in the fall and one in the spring. These conferences are designed to bring together members of our community who are interested in coming together to learn about group therapy and group dynamics in a warm, collegial environment.

It is the mission of MAGPS to establish a safe, unique, creative learning environment for all attendees by hosting conferences that offer both didactic and experiential learning through participating in whole group and small group processes.  Throughout small group sessions over the course of conference weekends, challenging dynamics may emerge requiring participants to respond to, witness, take responsibility for, and self-reflect upon microaggressions, power and privilege dynamics, effectively manage ruptures, and to the degree possible, restore or repair relational ruptures.  While Small Groups can be a powerful learning tool, this experience has harmed colleagues holding marginalized identities in the past.  Prior to registering for a conference, please review MAGPS Safe Environmental Guidelines, as well as the following recommendations made by the AGPA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force, by clicking on the hyperlinked text AGPA Guidelines for Creating Affirming Group Experiences.

MAGPS conferences are intended for psychologists, counselors, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, and social workers. Conferences offer both didactic and experiential learning experiences to deepen attendees' understanding of topical content in preparation for introducing the gained knowledge into their group therapy work. CEs are available for interested participants; please read our conference registration packet to ensure that your discipline is covered.  

While we offer conference registration discounts for MAGPS members, attendees do NOT need to be members of MAGPS or AGPA to attend, nor do they need to be actively practicing group therapy, or live/work in the Mid-Atlantic region. 

Scholarships are available for students and first-time attendees. Click here for more information and apply for a scholarship.

Please reach out to us at conferences@magps.org if you have any questions. We hope to see you at an upcoming event!  

PAssing the torch:

viewing intergenerational

Dynamics in GROUP

MAY 21-22, 2022


shemika M. brooks, PsyD, CGP &
Jackie Darby , PsyD, CGP

Click here for conference and registration information.

Upcoming Conferences

    • 9 Jul 2022
    • 28 Oct 2022


    Fall 2022 Conference SCHOLARSHIP

     The 2022 Fall Conference, "Body Justice in Group" is being presented by Paula D. Atkinson, LICSW. 

    Our biannual conferences are designed for members of our community to come together and learn about group therapy and group dynamics in a warm, collegial, and engaging environment.

    MAGPS conferences are intended for trainees and practitioners in psychiatry, psychology, social work and other mental health disciplines.
    Conferences offer both didactic and experiential learning experiences to deepen attendees' understanding of topical content in preparation for introducing the gained knowledge into their group therapy work. Attendees do not need to be actively participating group therapy,
    or live/work in the Mid-Atlantic region.

    Scholarships are available for students and first-time attendees. 

    Scholarships cover all conference registration fees and include one-year of free MAGPS membership. 

    If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, click the REGISTER button on the left and Cristina Secarea, MD, our Past President and Scholarship Chair will be in touch with you shortly. If you have any questions about our Scholarship process or the Conference itself, please feel free to email her at scholarships@magps.org.

    • 4 Nov 2022
    • 7:00 PM
    • 6 Nov 2022
    • 1:30 PM
    • 100 Heron Blvd, US-50, Cambridge, MD 21613

    Registration is now open for the MAGPS 2022 fall conference!

    Body Justice in Groups

    Presented by Paula D. Atkinson, LICSW

    Join us as Paula Atkinson helps us to explore the psychosocial aspects of weight and body shape, the broad range of social sciences including anthropology and sociology that create the way we think about weight, “health”, worth, and identity. 

    Over the course of this dynamic conference we will explore the topics of fat phobia, size-ism, thin idealism, and weight stigma and how these intersect with other racism, classism, and forms of oppression as well as how they are present in groups. The role of body liberation and body justice will be included as we discuss how it intersects with diversity, equity, and inclusion.  

    During the course of the weekend, participants will:

    1. Analyze weight stigma, sizeism, and thin supremacy in individual and societal systems and extrapolate that to group therapy. Specifically recognizing medical, psychosocial, moral, and social/cultural perspectives on weight and health and how these tenets affect beliefs about fatness/thinness and the treatment of people in larger bodies in the world and in groups.

    2. Name ways in which social media, capitalism, and the diet industry, affect implicit attitudes, practices and cultural norms when it comes to body shape and weight; then identify how these systems affect the group process for participants of all body shapes.

    3. Discuss the prevalence and the ways in which disordered eating, negative body image, food obsession, food addiction, exercise compulsion and diet cycling, may manifest differently in individuals and may influence a group process.

    4. Navigate differently shaped bodies in groups through re-examining therapeutic factors.

    5. Define the following factors: body justice, body liberation, intuitive eating, thin idealism, fat phobia, body positivity, diet mentality, joyful movement, the fat acceptance movement, and the Health At Every Size approach and how these philosophies and movements can positively affect a group process.

    6. Identify relevant ethical codes associated with addressing systemic oppression based on body shape and creating inclusive and culturally responsive therapeutic encounters.

    7. Apply a broad range of skills, strategies, and innovative practices to incorporate principles of body justice into group work.

    Conference Schedule

    Friday, November 4, 2022
    7- 8:00 pm Welcome & Community Connection
    8:30-10:00 pm Welcome Social Hour 

    Saturday, November 5, 2022
    8 -8:30 am BodyWorks Meditation Session sponsored by Anti-Racism Committee
    8:30-9:00 Welcome
    9 -10:00 am Plenary 1: Body Justice for Beginners: How we got to FAT = BAD
    10 - 10:15 am BREAK
    10:15- 11:30 am Small Process Group # 1
    11:30- 11:45 am BREAK
    11:45 -12:45 pm Plenary 2:  Body Reflections for Each of Us: How I Experience Living in this Body
    12:45- 2:45 pm LUNCH
    2:45-4:00 pm Plenary 3: Large Discussion Group & Case Presentation
    4:00- 4:15 BREAK
    4:15-5:30 Small Process Group 2

    7:00- 9:00 pm Movie Night sponsored by the Cinema Series Committee

    Sunday, November 6, 2022
    8- 8:30 am BodyWorks Meditation Session sponsored by Anti-Racism Committee
    8:30-9:00 am Welcome
    9 - 10:00 am Plenary 4: Body Liberation for All: How to Cease Doing Harm
    10 - 10:15 am BREAK
    10:15 - 11:30 am Small Process Group 3
    1:30 - 12:00 pm Small Group Process Debrief
    12:00 - 12:15 BREAK
    12:15 -1:15 Plenary 5: Q&A Group Discussion
    1:15 - 1:30: Conference Closing 


    Hotel Information:
    The Hyatt Regency, Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina sits in beautiful Cambridge, MD. This award winning resort and spa features a fabulous golf course, child daycare services, a relaxing spa and much more.  

    Click here to reserve your room with our discounted rate.

    Conference Fees:
    MAGPS Member: $295
    Non-member: $395
    1st Time Attendee: $230
    New Professional: $150
    Student/Retiree: $100
    *CE/CME Processing Fee: $40

    Registration Deadline: 
    Friday, October 28, 2022

    Cancellation Policy:
    Full refund less $25 if cancellation made by October 28; 
    No refunds after that date.

    10 CE/CME
    (Pending Approval)

    (Co-sponsored by The Washington School of Psychiatry)

    For registration assistance, or to register by phone, contact our conference registrar Sonia Kahn at registration@magps.org. For more information, visit our 2022 Fall Conference website, view our conference brochureor contact the conference chairs, Jill Penaloza, LCPAT, CGP or Jackie Darby, PsyD., CGP at conferences@magps.org.

Disclosure of Commercial Support and the Unlabeled Use of a Commercial Product: No member of the planning committee and no member of the faculty for this event have a financial interest or other relationship with any commercial product(s) discussed in the program. The Washington School of Psychiatry is an independent non-profit organization. It is not affiliated with the government of the District of Columbia or the government of the United States. Please Note: Licensing Boards change regulations often and while we attempt to stay abreast of their most recent changes, we recommend you contact your board directly to obtain a ruling if you have questions or concerns about this course meeting your specific board’s approval.

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