Continuous Online Group (COG)

AGPA is pleased to announce a Continuous Online Group to be held in conjunction with AGPA Connect 2023.

Transmodal Continuous Online Group (COG)

AGPA is pleased to announce its Continuous Online Group (COG) to be held in conjunction with AGPA Connect 2023. The task of this group is to provide experience with and learning about online large group dynamics. The COG interactions will be across three modalities: "asynchronous" online text on Slack, online video on Zoom, and in person at the Sheraton New York Times Square. For Slack and Zoom, participants may use computers or smartphones from anywhere in the world.‎ Pseudonyms are an option. The online community runs from March 2-17. As indicated by its name, it will stay open "24/7" for electronic interaction. In the COG as in life, participants may not be present for every aspect. 6 CE credits.‎ 

This event will consist of four phases:

  • Orientation Phase: March 2
  • Experiential Phase: March 3 - 14
  • Reflection Phase: March 15 - 16
  • Departure Phase: March 17

The Continuous Online Group will start on Slack, which is 24/7 ("continuous"), with an orientation phase. An experiential phase adds three Zoom meetings and one in-person meeting. The group will finish as it began, on Slack, with reflection and departure phases. Participants are required to complete the online evaluation, which will be emailed at the completion of the event, and will be awarded six CE credits.  

Zoom Meeting Schedule: 

  • Saturday, March 4 from 7:15 - 8:15 AM Eastern
  • Thursday, March 9 from 7:15 - 8:15 AM Eastern
  • Monday, March 13 from 7:15 - 8:15 AM Eastern

In-Person Meeting Schedule:

  • Friday, March 10 from 2:30 - 4:00 PM Eastern

Learning Objectives:
The attendee will be able to:

  1. Describe the experience of being a member of a continuous online group.
  2. Describe the effects of interacting asynchronously rather than in "real" time.
  3. Describe the effects of communicating in writing rather than by speaking.
  4. Describe the effects of having a transcript available.
  5. Describe the effects of combining synchronous and asynchronous modalities.
  6. Describe the effects of signifiers of social identity not being visible.
  7. Describe the effects of the use of pseudonyms.
  8. List ways a continuous online group is more and less accessible than an in-person group.
  9. List ways a continuous online group is like a small in-person group.
  10. List ways a continuous online group is like a large in-person group.


Course References:

  1. Bernard, HS, West, KL, Agazarian, YM, Carter, FB, Carr, W, Gabelnick, F, & Lawrence, WG. (1993 Dec). Special issue: The large group. Group, 17 (4), 195-266.
  2. Griffiths, K. M., Mackinnon, A. J., Crisp, D. A., Christensen, H., Bennett, K., & Farrer, L. (2012). The effectiveness of an online support group for members of the community with depression: A randomised controlled trial. PLoS ONE, 7 (12), e53244.
  3. Hsiung, RC. (2000 Dec). The best of both worlds: An online self-help group hosted by a mental health professional. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 3 (6), 935-950.
  4. Nimrod, G. (2012). The membership life cycle in online support groups. International Journal of Communication, 6, 1245-1261.
  5. Weinberg, H. (2001 Jul). Group process and group phenomena on the Internet. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 51 (3), 361-378.

To register, click here. Registrants for AGPA Connect 2023 will not be charged. For those not attending the 2023 Meeting, the registration fee for the COG is $90 for members and $180 for non-members.

The co-leaders will be:
Robert Hsiung, MD, psychiatrist in private practice; Chicago; chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fund Advisory Committee and member of the Board of Directors, Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health; associate of the American Psychoanalytic Association; co-founder and past president of the International Society for Mental Health Online; founder of Psycho-Babble, a large public online peer support group; editor of E-therapy: Case Studies, Guiding Principles, and the Clinical Potential of the Internet (Norton, 2002); a "brilliant and reticent Web mastermind" (NY Times, 2010); 2nd-generation Asian American.

Jeffrey D. Roth, MD, CGP, FAGPA, Addiction psychiatrist; medical director of; director of Group Relations Conferences in Chicago and China for the A.K. Rice Institute and past director of Virtual Large Study Groups for an international consortium of group relations organizations; past president of the Chicago Center for the Study of Groups and Organizations; and past editor of the Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery.

Joseph E. Wise, MD, CGP, Certified group psychotherapist and board-certified psychiatrist practicing in Brooklyn, NY; consultant for Group Relations Conferences, including the Teachers College Fall Conference 2014-16 and 2019; Army psychiatrist for a decade, including deploying to Iraq as a psychiatrist in 2010; past Chief of Behavioral Health at a military community hospital; author and presenter on psychodynamic and interpersonal group therapy approaches to working with people in the military and Veterans and treating combat PTSD; and co-editor of Gay Mental Healthcare: Providers and Patients in the Military (Springer, 2018).

Anne F. Lindhardt, MD, Psychiatrist and group analyst in private practice; chair of the board of the Mental Health Foundation, Denmark; chair of the Analytic Group Section and board member of the International Association for Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes; past board member of the Group Analytic Society International; conductor of training programs in group analysis in China and Ramallah (Palestine); author of Etik og værdier i psykiatrien [Values and ethics in psychiatry] (Psykiatrifondens Forlag, 2011); co-editor of Matrix - Nordisk Tidsskrift for Psykoterapi [Nordic Journal of Psychotherapy].

Hicham Jabrane, MSc, Multilingual (English, French, and Arabic) psychodynamic counsellor and psychotherapist in secondary school settings, the National Health Service, the charity sector, and private practice; Chair of the Executive Committee of the Birkbeck Counselling Association (BCA); and organizer of the BCA conferences Internal Racism and, online, Pandemic and Pandemonium.

Maria Puschbeck-Raetzell, Clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in a state-licenced private practice in Berlin (psychotherapy in English and German), Germany; group analyst in training (final year) and member at the Berlin Institute of Group Analysis; teacher and ombudsperson at the Alfred Adler Institute Berlin; active student member at the Group Analytic Society international; co-founder of an international trainee online group under the umbrella of European Group Analytic Training Institutions Network.

David A. Songco, Psy.D. LP CGP, Assistant Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin and serves as the Director of Behavioral Medicine at Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Family Medicine Residency Program. He is a licensed clinical psychologist in Wisconsin and Minnesota and serves as the Clinical Director of New Insights, LLC - a specialty group private psychotherapy practice located on Milwaukee’s East Side.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the International Board for Certification of Group Psychotherapists and Co-Chair of the AGPA eLearning Committee.

Groups are proliferating online, and while most online groups are not therapy groups, group therapists are likely to find this a stimulating experience. Questions about registration may be directed to AGPA at  All other questions may be directed to Dr. Hsiung at