Welcome to GLGPS!

The Great Lakes Group Psychotherapy Society is the local affiliate of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, the premier professional organization of group therapy practitioners, researchers, and educators in the United States. We would love to have you join us. You will be a member of a community of group psychotherapists dedicated to collegiality, continuing education opportunities, and more. Join Today! 


Our hearts barely have time to mend before there is another news story about an acute tragedy, a prolonged massacre against a targeted population or life-changing decisions made by a powerful few. And these are only when such events make it into the news.

The board of GLGPS shares in the shock (not surprise), fear, grief and anger of our Highland Park colleagues and friends following the gun murder and wounding of nearly 40 residents of your town during what was supposed to be a celebratory event. Mass shootings are all too common across our country, but this one hit us at home. For those of you living in that community, especially those who were at the parade, you will likely move through life differently now. The impact of this assault on your sense of safety will forever be with you in a new way. While there are many organizations offering free therapy and other resources, we want to remind you that we, too, are here to support you.

We also acknowledge that the Highland Park shooting is highly visible because of the community where it occurred. We recognize that gun violence and the absence of safety is a part of everyday life for many communities in our membership area including Chicago, Rockford, Milwaukee, Racine, Gary, South Bend and Indianapolis.

Furthermore, the board feels the fear, anger and grief at the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the law protecting reproductive choice for child-bearing people. As is often the case, people of color and low-income individuals will be impacted the most by this removal of access to the full range of medical care. Illinois is the only state in our membership area that will continue to allow the same access to abortion, contraceptives and medication such as Plans B and C granted by the original ruling in Roe vs. Wade. As such, those of us based here will step up to the responsibility to assist those in our neighboring states whose access has just been blocked.

A cornerstone of our organization is the belief that coming together in groups is one of the most healing things we can do as a species. Given the trauma and disempowerment of much of what has been happening in our world in recent (and not so recent) years, we want to remind you that GLGPS is here. Connection in shared pain brings comfort, decreases isolation, eases intolerable feelings and can even energize and re-empower people, leading to change on a bigger scale. If you, your practices, agencies or communities are in need, reach out here. A board member will get back to you and determine how we might be of service.

Our national organization, the American Group Psychotherapy Association, has also offered many resources to its membership and affiliate societies. You can view an email detailing those resources here.

We are with you. Together we will get through.

Bruce Aaron, President
Christine Carpenter, President-Elect
Marvin Evans, Treasurer
Shawn Flynn, Membership Chair
Kevin Newhall, Programming and Training Chair
Katherine Evans, Social Chair


PROMOTE your groups on our website, in our newsletter, on our socials and at GLGPS events GROW professionally and personally through our Great Lakes Symposia conferences, workshops and consultation/networking opportunities BELONG to a group of dedicated people who value group process in service of healing and promoting well-being 

NETWORK with professionals across multiple disciplines and skill levels, especially as we broaden our reach to the neighboring states of Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin 

LEARN about relevant non-GLGPS trainings, current topics in group process and new skills to bring to your own group work

CONNECT with like-minded folks by becoming involved. Join a committee and bring your voice and ideas to help shape the new direction of the organization. 

QUALIFY for generous scholarships to both GLGPS events and to the annual conference of AGPA, the national group therapy organization, of which GLGPS is an affiliate.

In addition to our basic membership perks, you will receive:

  • A referral bonus for bringing in new members
  • Opportunities to present to the membership
  • Access to the Member’s-Only Facebook Group
  • Market non-group services and needs such as job opportunities or sublet opportunities 

I’m not very good at dates or time spans, but I think I probably came to my first event hosted by IGPS (as GLGPS was called at the time) close to 20 years ago.  What sticks out in my mind about that first conference was meeting the then president, Connie Vitale, and being confounded at how friendly she was.  I couldn’t understand why such an important person seemed so welcoming of and interested in this newbie, as I then saw myself.  I was similarly surprised when about a year later the then chair of the Program and Training Committee, Jeffrey Roth, asked me to join the committee he was in the process of forming.  Though I didn’t remember meeting him at a prior event, and was intrigued he even knew who I was, I decided to attend that first committee meeting.  The experience must not have been all that bad as I remained a member of that committee for a decade and a half (including becoming its chair!), until a couple of years ago when I elected to the role of president of the Society.

Being involved in GLGPS, as a conference participant, program presenter, and volunteer for the organization has become an important aspect of my life.  One of the jewels resulting from my affiliation which I cherish, is the consultation group I joined well over 15 years ago, consisting of fellow IGPS members.  It remains a steady beacon of support when the wildness of this work gets to feeling like it’s too much.

The opportunities for broadening my understanding of the power of groups and ways to enhance participants’ growth in my own groups has been profoundly expanded due to my continued contact with the organization.  What I learn both professionally and personally continues to enrich and enliven my life.  And the colleagues that I have remained in contact with over the years have become a major source of personal encouragement and clinical support, which is vital for maintaining a healthy clinical practice.  My life would be much poorer than it is today had I not invested myself in GLGPS. I hope you will consider involving yourself as well. As president, it is my great honor to continue Connie’s legacy by offering to others the same warm welcome she extended to me, all those years ago.

Bruce Aaron, MSW, LCSW

GLGPS President