Dr. Coché Awarded for Excellence in Group Psychotherapy

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THE HAROLD BERNARD AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN TRAINING IN GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY GIVEN BY THE AMERICAN GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY ASSOCIATION, THE MAJOR GLOBAL PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR EXCELLENCE IN GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY


This award was established in 2001 and is given annually to an individual or organization whose work in group training and/or education contributes to excellence in the practice of group psychotherapy. It was renamed through a legacy gift provided to the Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health by Dr. Harold Bernard for the purpose of endowing the award. Throughout his lifetime, training in group psychotherapy was near and dear to Dr. Bernard’s heart. His legacy bequest and this award insure that individuals and programs meeting a high standard of training quality be identified and honored for their contributions to the field in developing the next generation of clinicians who use group psychotherapy to help people. Dr. Judith Coché is being recognized with this award due to her significant contributions to the training and supervision of group psychotherapists throughout her career (often on a pro bono basis). At the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania  she has embedded standards of excellence in group dynamics and group psychotherapy in over 150 of tomorrow’s leaders in psychiatry. Dr. Coché convinced the Department of Psychiatry to require that each faculty member teaching group therapy attain the Certified Group Psychotherapy  credential. By creating and expanding the group psychotherapy program (The Power of Groups Program) for Psychiatric Residents at Penn,  and through programs offered nationally and internationally,  Dr. Coché has consistently provided opportunities for psychiatrists, psychologists and other professionals to become educated, deeply skilled and certified in the practice of group psychotherapy. As part of her academic prowess she has developed a two-year pro bono mentoring program in which a student co-leads a therapy group with her and receives clinical supervision. Dr. Coché has instilled her prowess in her trainees,  who have developed group psychotherapy training programs worldwide. Her original clincal model for excellence in  group therapy for couples has been the focus of numerous widely distributed books and training DVDs. She is a prolific writer authoring four books, and over forty journal articles and invited chapters. She has long championed certification as a necessary statement of ethical and professional expertise in group therapy “Dr. Coché is a respected and generous teacher whose dedication to supporting and growing the field of group psychotherapy personifies this award,” said Tony L. Sheppard, Psy.D., CGP, FAGPA, Certification Board Chairman. “Her work has had an impact on innumerable trainees and practitioners, benefitting the profession and the public.” 

Norris Clark