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Authority, Leadership, Role, and Task

Bringing Mind and Body to Work

Thursday 16th May 2019 - Sunday 19th May 2019

Roosevelt University, Il, USA Roosevelt University, Il, USA

Roosevelt University, Department of Psychology (Host)
AK Rice Institute for the Study of Groups and Social Systems

Primary Task
Role of Staff
Info & Fees
Payment Terms
Web Sites


An experiential conference in the Tavistock tradition offering a unique opportunity to study group dynamics
by integrating group challenge events into the traditional GRC conference structure.

THIS CONFERENCE is designed for individuals who wish to study the exercise of authority in groups and
understand more about their own responses to exercising and encountering authority. The Conference is organized
as a sequence of group and inter-group interactions. Events include experiences in:

•SMALL STUDY GROUP— examines the life of an eight to twelve member group
as it unfolds. A consultant assists the group with its task.

•LARGE STUDY GROUP— consists of all conference members with a team of
consultants and meets to study its own behavior in the here-and-now. This
simulates processes and dynamics of larger social systems as they struggle with
the problems of formation, transition and rapid change.

•INSTITUTIONAL EVENT — members form their own groups to interact with other
member groups and with staff. The primary task of the Institutional Event is to study
authority, leadership, and overt/covert processes as groups evolve and interact in
the here-and-now and dynamic understating of the institution as a whole.

•GROUP CHALLENGE EVENTS — members will engage in a series of concrete problem-solving initiatives in small
and large group configurations. These events will offer an opportunity to explore how roles may shift as
a group focuses on accomplishing physical tasks.

•REVIEW/APPLICATION GROUP — consists of five to seven members with one or two consultants; provides
opportunities for members to further reflect on their experiences and roles in the different conference events and relate
them to their work roles in community and institutional settings.

•INDIVIDUAL CONSULTATION —An opportunity to sign up for one-to-one consultation with a specific staff
member will be provided on the last day of the conference. These sessions may be open to observation by other
conference members

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Conference Aims and Primary Task

The Group Relations Conference is an educational event whose primary task is to provide opportunities to study the exercise of authority through interpersonal, intergroup, and institutional relations that develop within the conference itself as a temporary educational social system.

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This conference is sponsored by Roosevelt University, Department of
Psychology; and co-sponsored by Adventure Forward Therapy; the A.K.
Rice Institute Chicago Center for the Study of Groups and Organizations;
Chicago Center for the Study of Groups and Organizations; ChinaAmerica Society for the Study of Groups and Organizations; Corporate
Learning Institute; Four Corners Group Psychotherapy Society; Illinois
Group Psychotherapy Society; Insight for Community Impact;
International Association of Social Work with Groups; Midwest Group
Relations Center; International Society for Psychoanalytic Study of
Organizations; Mind Body Co-op, and Working Sobriety Chicago.
The principles and methods of this conference originated at the Center
for Applied Social Research, Tavistock Institute of Human Relations,
London, England under the leadership of the late A.K. Rice. The
Washington School of Psychiatry and the Department of Psychiatry of
Yale University Medical School introduced conferences using these
principles and methods to the United States in 1965. The
A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems, a not-for-profit
organization, was established in 1970 to advance knowledge of the
dynamics of groups, organizations and social systems.

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Effective leadership and the meaningful exercise of authority require more than intellectual and technical
understanding. The Group Relations model in the Tavistock tradition provides a well-defined context within which
to examine group-level forces and dynamics as they occur in the here-and-now. As people work in groups, families
and other social systems, their participation takes on many different meanings — influencing thoughts, feelings and
action. The confluence of individual meanings and unconscious phenomena powerfully affects the identities, roles
and authority we take on in groups, schools, organizations, institutions, communities, and society.

•How people join and engage in group work, delegate and resist authority, and develop roles and reputations.
•How people contribute to and obstruct getting the group’s work accomplished.
•How members of a group exercise authority, power and influence in meaningful and appropriate ways — both as
leaders and as followers.
•Group collusion in the creation and enabling of maladaptive roles.
•Group cooperation in the creation and enabling of adaptive roles.

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Role of Staff

•Act collectively as management
•Take responsibility and authority to provide the boundary conditions to engage in the primary task of the conference
•Play specific directorial, administrative and consultant roles
•Offer interpretations and working hypotheses about what is happening during the here-and-now events
•Contribute in whatever ways they believe will advance the work
The way staff exercise their authority and roles is explicitly available for study by Conference participants

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Barney Straus  LCSW, CGP, FAGPA
Founder, Adventure Forward Therapy; Private Practice, Chicago, IL; Adjunct Faculty,
Loyola University Chicago, School of Social Work and Roosevelt University, Chicago and Schaumburg, IL; Member, Association
for Experiential Education; Member, CCSGO and the Midwest Center; Associate, AKRI.

Associate Director
Dannielle Kennedy  LICSW, PhD
Principal, WORKLAB, Organizational and Leadership Consulting; Psychotherapist, Private
Practice, Cambridge, MA; Former President and Board Member, Center of the Study of Groups and Social Systems, Boston;
Associate, AKRI.

Assistant Director for Administration
Olga Konyakova  LSW, CADC
Clinical Social Worker, LSW, CADC, IPRY, CABISAM certified; Psychotherapist at Couch
Clarity; Teambuilding facilitator, Chicago area; Member AKRI, CCSGO, IASWG, NASW.

Consultants will be drawn from the following (and the Director/Associate Director)
Seth Harkins  EdD
Principal, Harkins Educational Consulting and Advocacy; Adjunct Professor, National Louis University, Chicago;
Researcher; Board of Directors, A.K. Rice Institute; Past President and Member CCSGO; Vice President and Board Member, Midwest
Group Relations Center; President Board of Directors Illinois Community and Residential Services Authority; Board of Directors Chicago
Virtual Charter School; Executive Director and Board Member Serenity Academy Chicago; Board Member, AKRI.

Mark Kiel  PsyD, ABPP, CGP
Dean of Counseling, Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, IL; Private Practice in
Clinical Psychology, TMS and Associates, Hinsdale, IL; Private Practice in Group and Organizational Psychology,
Kiel Consulting, Chicago, IL; Clinical Lecturer, Northwestern University; Member AKRI; President CCSGO, Chicago, IL

Xiaohua Lu  PhD (Consulting Candidate)
Associate Professor, Counseling Center of Beijing Jiaotong University; Secretary
General of The Division of Group Counseling and Group Therapy, China Association of Mental Health; Consultant in training by
Division of Group Counseling and Group Therapy, China Association of Mental Health and A.K. Rice Institute.

Mo Sook Park  M.Ed: Harvard Graduate School of Education
Founder and Consultant, i-D Leadership Consulting, Chicago, IL;
"Immunity-to-Change Exercise" Certified Facilitator; Member of CCSGO, AKRI, CSGSS; Training and Consultant Candidate, AKRI.

Isabelle Reiniger  LCSW
Psychotherapy and Consulting Practice, Evanston and Chicago, IL; Adjunct Faculty, Loyola
University, Chicago; Associate, AKRI; Associate Member and Secretary, CCSGO, Chicago, IL.

Jeffrey D. Roth  MD, FAGPA, FASAM, FAKRI
Lecturer, Psychiatry, University of Chicago Medical Center; Adjunct Faculty,
Psychiatry, Rush University Medical Center; Medical Director, Working Sobriety; Private Practice; Member and Past President,
CCSGO; Fellow, AKRI.

Barbara Williams  MSW, MSc, EdD (Consulting Candidate)
Director of Bureau Kensington Consulting, Toronto, Canada;
Guest & Faculty at Toronto Psychoanalytic Society; Member ISPSO and OPUS; Advisory Editor for the Journal of Organizational
and Social Dynamics; Co-ordinator of Insight for Community Impact.

Administrative Team (including Olga Konyakova)
Thomas Favale  DVM, MSW
Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in treating behavior problems; Pending
Certification in Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics; Speaker on experiential mindfulness; Member of AGPA, AKRI, NASW.

Aschylus M. Robinson  LMSW
Licensed social worker with a specialization in geriatric care; Adult protective services specialist,
Catholic Charities, Chicago IL.

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Info and Fees

(Before March 1, 2019).

Faculty, employees, and members of
sponsoring organizations may register
before March 1, 2019 for $800, and
$1,000 after that.

The conference will take place at the Schaumburg campus of
Roosevelt University. The facility includes snack rooms,
outside space, and free parking.

LODGING (Recommendation)
SpringHill Suites Chicago Schaumburg/Woodfield Mall
1550 McConnor Parkway
Schaumburg, IL 60173
$99/night Book Your Room - see website below
Reservations number: (888) 236-2427 and mention the code
RGCO or the group name “Group Relations Conference”.
Spring Hill Suites is located directly opposite the Roosevelt
University Campus. It is a 5-10 minute walk and on Thursday
and Friday the hotel offers shuttle service, if desired. The shuttle
can also be taken to nearby restaurants.

The conference is also conveniently located within walking
distance of Woodfield Mall, which features a variety of
restaurants and shops.

Lunch will be provided for members on each day of the
conference. Snacks and water will be provided as
well. Hot beverages and additional snacks will be available for
purchase in a vending area on campus. Please plan

From Downtown Chicago and O’Hare: Take I-90
Westbound 9 miles past O’Hare to Exit 67, Meacham
Road. Take a left onto Meacham at the end of the
ramp. Go to the first traffic light and turn left onto
McConnor Parkway. Roosevelt University will be on
your right.

From Chicago or O’Hare: Take the blue line to
Rosemont stop; Take bus 606 at the Rosemont CTA
station; Exit on Perimeter/Middle Dr.; Walk for about 10
minutes to Roosevelt University.

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Payment Terms

Enrollment will be limited to 48 members; early registration is
advised. The Conference is offered at reduced fees for faculty,
students and employees of the host and sponsoring institutions,
for students in general and for those able to register early.

Withdrawals after April 15, 2019 will not be refunded unless the
position can be filled by someone on a waiting list. A $30.00
registration fee will be withheld to cover administrative costs in the
event of cancellation.

The conference staff is committed to meeting the needs of
physically challenged members to every extent possible. Please
advise the Assistant Director for Administration of special needs.

NOTE: No special athletic ability is required for group challenge

Experiential learning can sometimes be stressful. Therefore,
individuals who are ill or experiencing a period of significant
personal difficulty should forego attendance at this time. In
addition to the completed Conference Registration Form,
available at the conference web site, each applicant must
provide a letter of reference from someone who can vouch for his
or her capacity to participate in an intensive learning experience.
The applicant is responsible for seeing that this letter is submitted
before May 1, 2019. Letters should be sent via e-mail to the
conference email address:

LODGING (Recommendation)
SpringHill Suites Chicago Schaumburg/Woodfield Mall
1550 McConnor Parkway
Schaumburg, IL 60173
$99/night Book Your Room
Reservations number: (888) 236-2427 and mention the code
RGCO or the group name “Group Relations Conference”.
Spring Hill Suits is located directly opposite the Roosevelt
University Campus. It is a 5-10 minute walk and on Thursday
and Friday the hotel offers shuttle service, if desired. The shuttle
can also be taken to nearby restaurants.

Email addresses of members will be shared with sponsoring
organizations unless a member explicitly requests not to have his/
her email address shared.

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Reduced Fees

Students from Roosevelt University may
register for $300.00. Students from other
institutions may register for $400.00.

A $50.00 rebate will be provided per person
when three or more individuals from the same
organization register for the conference.

The fee structure has been designed to
encourage those from the same organization
attending together.

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A limited number of partial scholarships
will be available. The scholarship application
fee is $30.00. Please send a letter
of request to

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Registration should be submitted online at
(Click on Chicago). Payment may be
made by credit card or check. For
alternative payment options, please
contact us at

(Before March 1, 2019).

Faculty, employees, and members of
sponsoring organizations may register
before March 1, 2019 for $800, and
$1,000 after that.

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Web Sites

More information (click on chicago):
Lodging: http://

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