Research Press Author Mary Alvord Awarded Research Grant

Research Press Author Mary Alvord Awarded Research Grant

The Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health announced that it has awarded two research grants this year to study the effectiveness of a resilience-based group therapy program in a school setting and the benefits of group therapy for adopted children with behavioral problems and their parents.

Principal investigator Mary Alvord, Ph.D., Director of Alvord, Baker and Associates, along with Co-investigator Brendan Rich, Ph.D., has been funded for "Effectiveness of a Resilience-Based Group Therapy Program in a School Setting." Children with resilience skills demonstrate fewer behavior problems, better peer relationships and greater academic success. This project will implement the evidence-based Resilience Builder Program® (RBP), a group psychotherapy program, in urban school settings and study its feasibility and effectiveness in building resilience skills in low-SES youth, resulting in improved psychosocial functioning.

Principal investigator Sue Bratton, Ph.D., LPC-S, RPT-S, Professor of Counseling and Director of the Center for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas has been funded for "Efficacy of a Therapeutic Group Parenting Model on Adopted Children's Behavior Problems, Stress in the Parent-Child Relationship, and Parent`s Empathic/ Attachment Behavior with Their Children." There is agreement in the field that interventions that fully involve parents in the therapeutic process and target the parent-child relationship are critical to the long-term welfare of at-risk adopted children. This study will address the effectiveness of Child Parent Relationship Training (CPRT), a group parenting model, in reducing adoptive children's problem behaviors stemming from early life attachment challenges, stress within the parent-child relationship and increasing parental empathy in adoptive families that are struggling to connect and create a new family.

"The Group Foundation, as part of its mission to help change lives through group psychotherapy, is pleased to be able to support these valuable research studies by Drs. Alvord and Bratton," said Phyllis Cohen, Ph.D., Psy.D., CGP, LFAGPA, Chairwoman of the Group Foundation. "They have tremendous potential to demonstrate ways to improve day to day living for at risk children and adolescents."

The Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health annually supports research projects designed to broaden the available body of knowledge in evidence-based group psychotherapy clinical practice. For more information on research projects supported by the Group Foundation and grant opportunities, please contact Diane Feirman, CAE, at (212) 477-2677 or via e-mail at

About AGPA and the Group Foundation

The American Group Psychotherapy Association is the foremost professional association dedicated to the field of group psychotherapy, operating through a tri-partite structure: AGPA, a professional and educational organization; the Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health, its philanthropic arm; and the International Board for Certification of Group Psychotherapists, a standard setting and certifying body. This multidisciplinary association has approximately 2,500 members, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, clinical mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, pastoral counselors and creative arts therapists, many of whom have been recognized as specialists through the Certified Group Psychotherapist credential. The association has 26 local and regional societies located across the country. Its members are experienced mental health professionals who lead psychotherapy groups and various non-clinical groups. Many are organizational specialists who work with businesses, not-for-profit organizations, communities and other "natural" groups to help them improve their functioning.

The Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health is a philanthropic organization that is committed to the fact that "Groups Change Lives" and believes in the power of group interventions to improve people's quality of life. The Group Foundation supports group psychotherapy education, research, training, and information dissemination for the benefit of the public and professional communities. Among the Foundation's most vital roles is the recognition of excellence, promise, and vision by honoring those individuals and groups who have demonstrated these qualities with awards and scholarships.