Psychiatrist wants to replicate the results of our video study

A friend and colleague is very enthusiastic about the video we shall produce with the help of our many donors. He is a psychiatrist and he wants to form and lead a group like the group we shall conduct and capture on the video, “Group Dynamics and the New Heroism.”  He is excited to think he can replicate the results of our process research, looking specifically at our method of teaching group members to act nonviolently and heroically even at personal risk to themselves.  It will be an opportunity for him to follow what will be a pioneering study.

Many studies have been made researching how to get people to obey authority–but next to nothing until now has been spent researching conditions which allow people to obey their conscience.

May this be the beginning of a new worldwide trend.

Bill Roller

We are now live with our INDIEGOGO crowd funder, GROUP DYNAMICS AND THE NEW HEROISM

Phil Zimbardo and I will create a new social psychology experiment that we’ll make into a video called, “Group Dynamics and the New Heroism.”  The video will show us co-leading a group of young people–encouraging them to take courageous nonviolent action in defense of their ethical principles.

It’s something that’s never been done before.

Although governments have spent a lot of money researching how to get people to obey authority–next to nothing has been spent researching the conditions which allow people to obey their conscience.

Our video will help individuals practice civil obedience to the values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the laws of the United States.

Today, we went “live” on our Indiegogo crowd funder, GROUP DYNAMICS AND THE NEW HEROISM.

Keep your eye on my blog for frequent undates on the progress of our crowd funder, including events and parties you can attend to support our cause.

And please keep your donations to our crowd funder coming!

MY Sincere Thanks,

Bill Roller

Group Dynamics and the New Heroism


Philip Zimbardo and  I are  excited to be creating a new social psychology experiment  that will challenge a group of  young people to take courageous nonviolent action in defense of ethical principles they hold dear.

Professor Zimbardo, creator of the Stanford Prison Experiment, has spent his career studying how people can be induced to behave badly.  In this project, we’ll be encouraging people to behave admirably and ethically. The Heroic Imagination Project and the Berkeley Group Education Foundation intend to produce a video series, Group Dynamics and the New Heroism. In that video we shall help young leaders become attuned to the new heroism that is sociocentric and not egocentric, focusing on the cooperation of many and not the idealization of one.  It is not the lone figure acting in isolation that epitomizes the hero but the individual who can effectively enlist the help of others in accomplishing a task of ethical importance.  And the action a person takes may involve considerable personal risk and may not offer any tangible reward.

We shall be looking for the social forces and contexts which allow ordinary human beings to act in extraordinary ways in the service of other human beings and the support of ethical causes.  How can our group members transform themselves and create a social network that mutually supports courageous actions?  Philip  Zimbardo and I will model for the group members the key to heroism—a willingness to take calculated risks and to spontaneously act in situations you have never faced before. As co-leaders, we will stitch together the edited segments of the videos with commentary that anticipates developments in the group process,  building expectations for the viewers to keep them watching.

We shall gather ten aspiring young leaders, ages 18 to 25 years, and meet for 10 hours across two successive Saturdays to teach the skills of ethical leadership. The group will be unscripted, spontaneous and will be captured by state of the art video and sound stage equipment.  The video footage will be edited to produce a  four hour video series, for sale and dissemination to high schools and colleges.

We are appealing to the public to support our video project.

Look for us soon on Indiegogo, the crowd funding website.

Bill Roller

Philip Zimbardo


Second Edition, Promise of Group Therapy, Now On Line

Dear Readers,

I am happy to announce that the Second Edition of my book— THE PROMISE OF GROUP THERAPY: HOW TO BUILD A VIGOROUS TRAINING AND ORGANIZATIONAL BASE FOR GROUP THERAPY IN MANAGED BEHAVIORAL HEALTHCARE—is now available for free on-line for the common good and the benefit of all.

Click here to read all the Chapters

I look forward to hearing your comments about my work.


Bill Roller

The Second Edition of The Promise of Group Therapy will appear on-line

The Second Edition of the text The Promise of Group Therapy: How to Build  a Vigorous Training Base for Group Therapy in Managed Behavioral Healthcare will be published on-line by THERAVIVE, a well known directory of therapists and their practices. The book will be re-published sequentially, one chapter at a time.  It will have a new introduction that I give below.

When I wrote the First Edition of this text 14 years ago, I was overly optimistic in my assumption that corporate medicine would adopt the common sense notion that a skillful combination of  1) capitation, 2) utilization of less labor intensive treatment methods (group and family therapy), and  3) highly trained clinicians would both serve a growing population of patients in need of mental health treatment and reduce medical costs.  In addition, an effective organization would develop avenues of communication and coordination between the three essential components of a health care delivery system: An administration that implements sound principles of organization development in the service of comprehensive patient care,  a staff of highly trained clinical professionals dedicated to patient education and preventive care, and a Board of consumers who advocate for patient benefits and encourage patients to take an active role in their own self care. Unfortunately and ironically, corporate medicine and its health insurance partners failed to develop the appropriate organizational structure and competent personnel in a context of ongoing professional training that would have led to such a successful operation and felicitous outcome for patients and their doctors.  Instead, the medical-health insurance industry pursued a for profit path serving the interests of their investors and highly paid management.

It did not have to come to this. In the absence of public control and in the face of rising medical costs, employers and insurance companies set about to establish a system to manage costs. But they failed to do so. The transfer of public services and consumer dollars to the administrative control and ownership of private insurance corporations have diminished the buying power of  both employers and consumers and led to the present impasse.

It is now abundantly clear that the corporate medicine-health insurance alliance must be dissolved, and the funds that keep it alive channeled to a single payer health insurance system that will adopt the skillful  and frugal policy that I describe above.  Although the cost of  technology and research are much higher in the delivery of medical treatment than mental health, the implementation of preventive care and capitation (health benefits guaranteed at a predetermined price per person) are powerful incentives to be creative and innovative in the delivery of both kinds of care. Indeed, the appropriate and timely delivery of mental health care to individuals in need can substantially reduce medical costs. The converse is also true: the appropriate and timely delivery of medical care to those in need can reduce mental suffering and expense.

The First Edition methods and recommendations for the delivery of mental health treatment of large populations still apply.  But now I am addressing a different audience.  Instead of corporate managers of  private behavioral health plans, I am now speaking to the managers of the single payer health plan that will emerge in the United States within the next generation.  I wish them well, and trust they will not ignore the common sense notion that has energized the prepaid , nonprofit health plans in the United States for nearly a century.

Look here for updates on how to access the contents of this book free of charge.

The Promise of Group Psychotherapy Blog
The Promise of Group Psychotherapy Blog

Op-Ed that Phil Zimbardo and I are trying to get published

Here’s an OP-Ed that Phil Zimbardo and I have been trying to get published for some time. It concerns the need to use group therapy ethically and effectively with
prisoners in California Corrections. With the proper planning and management, group therapy can help prisoners become integrated into society after being released from incarceration. But the group leaders must have adequate training and the program must have excellent supervision and administration.

Download to read the entire document.


Bill Roller

The Promise of Group Psychotherapy Blog
The Promise of Group Psychotherapy Blog

Here’s the link to my website

Here’s the website that is the companion to my blog. It includes video segments of spontaneous group process, descriptions of the various therapies we offer, and information about who we are. Check us out!

Bill Roller

The Promise of Group Psychotherapy Blog
The Promise of Group Psychotherapy Blog

Welcome to the Promise of Group Psychotherapy Blog

Welcome to my blog. I love to write and I will be posting my thoughts and ideas about families and couples and groups from time to time. I also love to discuss how concepts and ideas enter the general conversation in our culture. There seems to be no more misunderstood concept than therapy as it is used in common parlance today. I hope to clarify and assist people in a deeper understanding of what the therapy enterprise has been up to the past 100 or so years. Please check in from time to time, read my notes, and leave one of your own.

Bill Roller

The Promise of Group Psychotherapy Blog
The Promise of Group Psychotherapy Blog

Ready for Therapy? Or Still Unsure?

Hopefully you've checked out the site and now trust in my qualifications and expertise as a therapist. But maybe you're undecided. Which is best for you? Individual, couple's or family therapy? Give me a call and we'll discuss your options.

Mind made up, and ready to go? Great. Contact me and we'll schedule our first session together. The cost is $190 an hour. 

We are in Berkeley but can meet in Zoom so you can be anywhere.


Berkeley Family & Individual Therapist, Bill Roller
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
LMFT #14245

(510) 525-9215

Zoom Sessions Available for Your Convenience and Safety

Bill Roller, Berkeley Family & Individual Therapist
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