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Columns Early Career Psychologists

Becoming a Better Psychologist

Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., C.G.P.
Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., C.G.P.

“Misha, you will never be as knowledgeable as on the day you take your licensure exam” said my supervisor. We were talking about my plans to take EPPP and the amount of material I needed to know. I remember feeling overwhelmed by the study guides, notecards, reading, and memorization. There was so much information that I was expected to know! When it came to the test sections that did not relate to my work as a psychologist, I felt particularly frustrated. I know EPPP tests for general skills… but come on! Three days prior to the test, I lived and breathed the study guides. Woke up at 6:00 am for the exam at 12:00 and memorized until the last minute. I came out of the testing center barely containing my tears. My friends took me to a restaurant, bought me food and drinks, and took me to see a movie. I was convinced that I failed the test (at that time we did not get the results immediately) and continued to study for two weeks. The day I received my result, which was passing, I threw away almost everything that related to the test. It felt like I jumped over the last hoop on the road of becoming a licensed psychologist.

I first heard of Board Certified Psychologists while in graduate school. There was a faculty member that we all spoke of reverently because he was Board Certified in psychoanalytic approach. During my internship, the group coordinator was Board Certified. I utilized the Early Entry application process before finishing up my graduate degree. What drove me to do it? I wanted to be one of those people who I saw as an “expert”. I wanted to have ABPP after my name. I wanted to be one of the 4% who went above and beyond! But, when all of the prerequisites were done… the doubt crept in. I am “only” an early career psychologist. What can I possibly know? Surely not enough to be Board Certified. However, with the encouragement of my mentor and my own drive, I kept at it. My passion is anything group psychology related, so it made sense getting Board Certified as a Group Psychologist. I recorded a group session, wrote a practice sample and a professional statement. The date of my examination was set. For months, I kept reading books and articles trying to anticipate the questions. I felt most anxious about the Oral part of the exam: being assessed by three experts felt way more intimidating than answering “multiple guess” questions on EPPP. Once again, I woke up at 6:00 am the day of my exam and frantically reviewed my notes.

What a difference it was walking out of ABPP exam versus EPPP! First of all, I did not feel like crying. I felt examined, for sure, very thoroughly. The questions directed at me were meant to provoke my thinking and challenge me. I was asked to critically examine the way I prepare, think about, facilitate, train, and terminate groups. Most of it, felt like a deep conversation about group psychology. It was very collegial and the examiners were invested in not only examining me, but also making me a better group psychologist. More than the comprehensive exams in school, graduation, passing EPPP, getting a license… walking out of the exam felt like a true rite of passage. Studying for EPPP made me be the most knowledgeable on the day of the exam. Studying for ABPP exam made me a better psychologist … on any day.

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Early Career Psychologists

Early Career Group Psychologist Column

Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., C.G.P.
Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., C.G.P.

Early Career Group Psychologist Column

I’m taking a chance here. Most of these reports from the ECP Task Force have been simply a report of our activity for the past six months. When I looked at the last one, I wondered, “How many people actually read it?” And if no one reads it, why am I writing? Perhaps this reveals to you more about me than I actually intend: my worry about wasted work, energy, and for my voice to be wasted.

I’ve asked myself, “What would I want to read if I was not a part of the Division 49 ECP Task Force? What would matter to me?” During my first APA Annual Meeting, I wanted to find my place within a large organization and feel like what I did mattered. My friend and I sat on a rooftop at APA in DC and talked with a senior psychologist. She was impressive! I loved her stories about the history of APA and it seemed like she was involved through it all. She talked about APA like it was her professional home for many decades and there would be nothing that stopped her from attending annual meetings.

When asked how she got so involved, she encouraged my friend and I to show up to meetings, volunteer for a project, and deliver on that promise. This is the advice I want to pass to other ECPs who are reading this column and wondering how to fit into APA and make their voice heard. Here I must confess, my fear is for my voice to not matter or to be irrelevant. I would like to have a say, no matter how small, in the events to come. Things might not work out the way I want, but I still want to have a voice in the process.

If you share my fear or have some other internal motivation to become involved, I say to you: “Show up to that meeting, volunteer for projects, and deliver.” It’s that easy.

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Early Career Psychologists

Early Career Group Psychologist Column

Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., C.G.P.
Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., C.G.P.

Greetings from the Early Career Psychologist Task Force

In May 2017, we hosted a Community Conversation Hour event (CCH) focused on using creative interventions in group psychotherapy. We discussed using activities to increase group cohesion, address termination related issues, and deepening conversations. We continue to utilize ZOOM as our medium and record our events. If you are interested in catching up with us or listen to previous CCH events, please email us at div49group@gmail.com.

We are also looking to add two members who are interested in participating in the ECP Task Force. The main responsibility would be contributing articles for the Facebook page, helping to host Community Conversation Hours, and helping to organize the social hour at 2017 APA Annual Convention. Please don’t hesitate to contact us and check out our Facebook page!

Speaking of APA Annual Convention, our ECP group is in charge of coordinating the Division 49 social hour. We would love to hear requests on choosing the caterer or the type of food we want while in DC! Typically, the social hour features a drink that is popular to that region… email us a drink that you would love to have at the social! We’ll look forward to seeing many of you there.

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Early Career Psychologists

Early Career Psychologist Task Force

Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., C.G.P.
Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., C.G.P.

Greetings from the Early Career Psychologist Task Force!

In the past six months we hosted two Community Conversation Hour events (CCH) focused on group psychotherapy in private practice. We discussed unique challenges facing us at private practice in terms of group member selection, billing, referrals, and group structure. We continue to utilize ZOOM as our medium and record our events. If you are interested in catching up with us or listen to previous CCH events, please email us at div49group@gmail.com.

We are also looking to add two members who are interested in participating in the ECP Task Force. The main responsibility would be contributing articles for the Facebook page, helping to host Community Conversation Hours, and helping to organize the social hour at 2017 APA Annual Convention. Please don’t hesitate to contact us and check out our Facebook page!

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Early Career Psychologists

Early Career Group Psychologist Column

Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., C.G.P.
Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., C.G.P.

Greetings from the Early Career Psychologist Task Force!

In the past six months, the ECP Task Force began hosting Community Conversation Hours (CCH) with our own Dr. Barbara Greenspan (a member of the ECP Task Force). She presented on the topic of Women in Leadership. She discussed unique challenges facing all women in leadership positions in the world, as well as group psychotherapy. Sixteen attendees were present and it was a great start to this new initiative. We utilized ZOOM as our new medium and our hope is to provide a space to discuss relevant group topics three times per year. Our next one is scheduled for July 13th 2016 on the topic of supervision and training (see flyer).

ECP Task Force will host the Divisions social hour at the APA Annual Convention 2016 on August 6th at 6:00 p.m. Be sure to join us! There will be wine, cocktails, and catered food. We welcome everyone!

At APA, check out our convention programming which features various skill-building sessions as well as symposiums. Skill-building session on the basics of interpersonal processing and the symposium on evaluating group psychotherapy processes might be especially useful for any ECPs!

Finally, don’t forget to check out our Facebook page!

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Welcome

Candidate Statement: Member-At-Large, Misha Bogomaz

Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., C.G.P.
Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., C.G.P.

I truly believe, as Aristotle once said, human beings “by nature are social animals”. My love for groups was ignited while participating as a member in an experiential group for first year graduate students. After initially experiencing a great deal of anxiety, I have realized how much I have grown personally and professionally. I have made it my mission to get involved in as much as I can in the field to advocate for group psychology and psychotherapy.

As a graduate student, I wrote my dissertation on group leadership and attended numerous group conferences and trainings in Chicago, Illinois. Since graduation, I have been involved in several professional organization. I am Member-at-Large in Division 49, and serve as a co-chair of Task Force for Early Career Psychologists. I am a member of the Group Specialty Counsel and helped with the development of the petition to the Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology (CRSPPP) to have group psychotherapy/psychology designated as a specialty. I have also been involved in the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA). I am on the Workshop Committee for the 2014-2016 term; we are tasked with reviewing of workshop proposals, observing assigned program events, and providing feedback to the assigned workshop faculty. Shortly after becoming a licensed psychologist, I was certified as a group psychotherapist (C.G.P.) with AGPA. Currently I work as a group coordinator at the University of North Florida (UNF) Counseling Center, as well as part-time in a private practice. I facilitate two interpersonal process groups at UNF, and one group at the private practice.

My focus as a Member-at-Large would be to continue engagement of early career psychologists and graduate students as well as advocating for group psychology/psychotherapy. Please do not hesitate to email me if you have any questions or comments about my candidacy.

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Early Career Psychologists

Early Career Group Psychologist Column

Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., C.G.P.
Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., C.G.P.

Greetings from the Early Career Psychologist Task Force! 

In the past six months, the ECP Task Force hosted two conference calls, one on co-leadership and one on salary negotiation tips. Both call were well attended, especially the one on salary negotiation which featured Dr. King from the University of North Florida Counseling Center. Starting in 2016, the Task Force is moving away from phone conference calls and is planning to use Zoom as the new medium for conference calls. The first presentation in 2016 will be Women in Leadership and is scheduled to take place on April 15 at 12:00 Eastern Time Zone. Stay tuned for registration details!

Another new change for the past year was for the ECP Task Force to host the social hour at the 2015 Annual Convention. Different kinds of wine, a featured cocktail, and Mediterranean food created a welcoming atmosphere for all of the attendees. Be sure to check out the APA 2016 social hour in Denver.

At the mid-winter Board meeting in February, it was decided that formal ECP representation on the board is critical. The board has decided to create an ECP Member-at-Large position that is specifically focused on the needs of early career psychologists. The elected person will be leading the Early Career Task force for three years. Stay tuned for 2016 elections and be sure to cast your vote!

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Columns

Early Career Group Psychologist Column

Awards, Webinars, and New Members…Oh My

We wanted to take this time to update our membership with some of the recent highlights of activities from the Early Career Psychologist’s Task Force.

Awards

The ECP Task Force worked to create criteria and standards for a new Group Psychotherapy Practice award the Society will offer in 2016. The award will be given to recognize outstanding commitment to the practice of group psychotherapy. Our intention is to reach a broad audience, so any individual, agency, or organization that provides exemplary group services to the community will be eligible. Stay tuned for an announcement on the listserv about how to nominate a recipient for this award.

Webinars

The ECP Task Force is going to continue its tradition of providing free conference calls to anyone (not just Society members). But in 2016 stay tuned for a new addition….webinars! We are hoping to host webinars in February 2016 and September 2016, with conference calls in November 2015 and June 2016. In addition, there are plans in the works for a special series of webinars focus on research techniques for group research in 2016 as well. Good things, they are a comin’ in 2016!

New Members

Finally, we’d like to welcome two new members to our ECP Task Force, Drs. Elina Kanellopou and Barbara Greenspan. Dr. Janellopou lives in Athens, Greece and received her degree in psychology from Columbia University. She is post-doctoral fellow at the University of Athens School of Medicine and Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Unit of Sismanoglio General Hospital in addition to working in a private practice. In her personal life, she has a passion for performing arts, yoga, singing and dancing. We’ll be introducing Dr. Greenspan in a future column, so stay tuned for that.

Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., CGP
Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., CGP

ECP Task Force Co-Chair 

Leann Diederich, Ph.D.
Leann Diederich, Ph.D.

ECP Task Force Co-Chair