Exploring the complex realities of inter-agency working: a Virtual Group Relations Conference

Conference overview

This is an applied 4 day group relations conference exploring complexities in caring for the emotional and psychological well-being of adults, young people, children and their families within multi-disciplinary and multiagency contexts.


Due to the situation with Covid-19, we are unable to run a face to face conference so this will be a virtual GRC. This will be the third online Group Relations Conference organised by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and while we acknowledge the loss of meeting face to face, we also have confidence in the model and our previous experiences of the virtual GRC have demonstrated that it offers valuable learning experiences for members. The conference design has  been specifically  adapted to the circumstances and the learning needs of the members. We will be using Zoom as our platform which most of us with be familiar with.

This conference is for anyone who works directly with adults, young people, children and their families, or who manages or supervises this work, who also wants a better understanding of themselves and of groups and organisations in this work.

It is not a didactic conference where there will be lectures and PowerPoints but rather an experiential one which offers members the chance to understand more about group processes and how they behave in a variety of group settings. This will encompass considering areas such as leadership, followership, authority, diversity, hierarchy and power structures in a live way and how they impact on individual responses and group behaviour.

It is an opportunity to see how the dynamics of differing professional practices impact on authority and the interplay of this with individually held stereotypes, assumptions and beliefs. Members will also become more aware of the tensions in working with clients across multiple agencies and how collaboration can work but also the forces that may work against it both consciously and unconsciously.

This conference is for anyone who works directly with adults, young people, children and their families, or who manages or supervises this work, and is interested in understanding more about how organisations work and why they don't sometimes. Members may also want to discover how they are in groups and systems, what roles they take up and are given, how others experience them and they experience others. Some members will have previous experience of Group Relations and want to further their learning as well as thinking more about Group Relations as a way of learning - it's past present and future. 

This is what past participants have said about our GRCs:

'I was impressed at how much of a shift I felt despite our only tool being Zoom. We missed out on interaction in the spaces in between events (I chose not to go to the common room) but although I felt this was a shame, our limited interaction and knowledge of other participants added a different dimension to the conference. I'm assuming that in a face-to-face conference we would have learnt more about each other and the way we then related would have been different (not necessarily better or worse).'

'I thought it was very well planned and structured, and the frequent breaks made a massive difference to me so that I didn't feel overwhelmed and also that I didn't get Zoom fatigue.'

'I feel like it gave me the opportunity to develop my thinking despite the online setting, but I wonder what other elements might have played a part in the conference if it would have been in person...'

The conference fee is £650          

Tavistock staff, trainees, and students are eligible for a 20% discount.

There will be a limited number of subsidised staff places. 

For more information on fees please contact the conference administrator on 


The course dates are:

  • Monday 29th March 2021, 9.00am-5.30pm
  • Tuesday 30th March 2021, 9.30am-5.30pm
  • Wednesday 31st  March 2021, 9.30am-5.30pm
  • Thursday 1st April, 9.30am-5pm

To maximise the conference learning for you and other attendees, we ask all members to commit to attending the whole of all four days.

Conference Director                            Dr Mellini Mahadevan

Associate Director                                Carolyn Walker 

Pre-Conference Administrator         Maisam Datoo

29 March 2021 09:00 to 1 April 2021 17:00