GPALA’s 2016 Annual Conference: An Open Letter from Keith Rand, LMFT, CGP, FAGPA


Keith Rand, LMFT, CGP, FAGPA

Dear Colleagues,

I’m writing to encourage you to attend the GPALA Annual Spring Conference on Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21, starting in early afternoon on Friday.   The guest presenter will be Stewart Aledort, MD, a group therapist and psychiatrist from Washington, DC.

I’ve been a group therapist for 25 years and, for the last fifteen, have exposed myself to and studied different approaches to group leadership — including interpersonal, existential, relational, psychoanalytic, modern analytic, and other psychodynamic modalities.  I’ve developed my leadership style through learning from various experienced clinicians, spending years in weekly supervision, full training programs, and innumerable workshops.

Along the way, I’ve met and seen work the top group therapists in the country.  I consider myself lucky in that regard.  Notably, no one has captured my attention the way Stu Aledort has.  He has developed his own style of working and his own theory for group therapy that is partly psychodynamic but in a way that no one else has replicated.  It incorporates a developmental model put forth by Margaret Mahler and incorporates ideas from attachment theory.  To some, it is startling to watch, even controversial, but his style is certainly unique and compelling.  He’ll talk about the place of shame in our psychological lives and he’ll teach us the notion of our “passionate bad fits,” and how both keep us from being who we want to be.

It is likely to be a stimulating 15 hours spent together, emotionally rich and intellectually strong.  Every Annual Conference seems to be a powerful experience for those who attend.  This one will be no different.  I already know people who are coming to LA from places as far as New York, Indiana, and Northern California.  Clearly I’m not alone in thinking that it’s going to be a memorable training experience.

If GPALA’s tuition is too steep to handle, consider applying to the Scholarship Fund for assistance.  And if you can reach more deeply into your pocket, please add $10 or $50 to your tuition (or any other amount) to help out someone else.  We are a better organization when we take care of our own.

I hope to see you there.



Keith Rand is a California-licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), a supervisor, group faculty, regular conference presenter, and on the boards of various group therapy organizations.  His extensive training, including at the two-year National Group Therapy Institute, and his experience running psychotherapy groups have qualified him as a Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP) since 2001.  Keith was made a Fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association (FAGPA) in 2011. For more information or to contact Keith: