Plenary Presentations

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Plenary Presentations


Institute Opening Plenary - Tuesday, March 7, 8:00-9:00 AM ET

Finding Your Self in Group

Ronnie Levine, PhD, ABPP, CGP, AGPA-F

For many years I have been studying love and hate and how to become comfortable with uncomfortable feelings with varying degrees of success in myself and with others. What I have learned is this: it is vital to develop an in tune, stable self, not only for our own sense of well-being, but for the sake of our relationships, for our clinical work, and for a healthy society. In the Institute Opening Plenary, I will underline the value of experiencing, expressing, and becoming comfortable with a range of feelings, including uncomfortable ones.

Ronnie Levine received her BS at Cornell University and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the Derner Institute, Adelphi University. She is a clinical psychologist and an individual and group psychoanalyst. She has been a long time member of AGPA and has presented many times at AGPA Connect. She was a Harvard Fellow at Mclean Hospital and a graduate of the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. Dr. Levine has been practicing for over 35 years in individual, couples and group psychotherapy and individual and group supervision. She has been influenced by Lou Ormont, Modern Psychoanalysis, Object Relations and Relational theories. She enjoys teaching and has been on a number of medical schools and group training program faculties and was the Director of the Psychology Internship at Rockland Psychiatric Center for 10 years. In 2004, Dr. Levine was awarded Fellow of AGPA. In 2011, Dr. Levine was honored by the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society for her outstanding contributions to the field of group psychotherapy. Her group articles include, “ Treating Idealized Hope and Hopelessness” (2007) ; Modern Psychoanalysis and Leslie Rosenthal ( 2008); Progressing While Regressing in Relationships (2011) ; A Modern Psychoanalytic Perspective on Group Therapy (2017) all published in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy (IJGP).

Conference Opening Plenary - Thursday, March 9, 8:15-9:30 AM ET

Embracing the Other: The Fundamental Work of a Working Group

Rev. Ronald Hopson, PhD

This presentation is focused upon the resistance to diversity manifest in "othering." The denial of death is offered as a means for understanding the persistence of “othering” and the possibilities for overcoming “othering.” Perspectives are offered on the costs of "othering" and how embracing the other, though portending death of the familiar well bounded self, may both support vitality (Bion: passion), and protect against the self/other destructiveness, and despair at the root of much scapegoating, "othering" and bigotry.

Dr. Ronald E. Hopson is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. He is a graduate of Indiana University and Michigan State University. He completed the pre-doctoral internship at Northwestern University Medical School and attended Garrett-Evangelical Theological seminary at Northwestern University. He currently holds a joint faculty appointment in the School of Divinity and the Department of Psychology at Howard University. He has served as Interim Associate Dean in the School of Divinity, and as Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology. He teaches courses on Group and Individual Psychotherapy, the Psychology of Religion, Pastoral Care, and Sexuality and Race. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and has served in pastoral positions in churches in the Washington, D.C. area. Dr. Hopson received training in Tavistock model group relations at Northwestern University. He also worked extensively with M. Scott Peck and the Foundation for Community Encouragement, conducting large and small groups on diversity, inclusion, conflict management and resolution, and intergroup relations. He is currently on the Group faculty of the Washington School of Psychiatry and a member of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Culture at the Washington School. Dr. Hopson has presented his professional work at national and international conferences. Dr. Hopson has published in the areas of Psychotherapy, Alcoholism, Christian Fundamentalism, Pastoral Care, Sexuality and the Black church, and Theology and Race. He is completing a book with two colleagues on theology and sexuality. His most current research is on the psychological implications of atonement theology.