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Announcements

Recognition of Group as a Specialty: Approaching the Finish Line

Nina Brown, Ed.D., LPC, NCC, FAGPA
Nina Brown, Ed.D., LPC, NCC, FAGPA President, Group Specialty Council

It was our pleasure in April 2018 to let you know that CRSPPP was recommending recognition of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy as a specialty for psychology doctoral, internship and postdoctoral training programs.  While this is certainly wonderful news after the many submissions of petitions for recognition that was not the finish line as the APA Council has to provide the final vote which is scheduled to occur at the convention in August.  We are not able to publicize the specialty until we receive the official notification about COR’s action.  However, there is enough reason now to celebrate the CRSPPP recommendation for recognition and to feel hopeful that the outcome of the vote in August will be positive.

The journey to now has taken a long time and lots of effort from many of the Society’s volunteers as well as the contributions from compensated personnel.  A short recap of the journey begins with the submission in 2010 authored by Sally Barlow and others.  That petition was not approved by CRSPPP and the effort to gain recognition languished until the reformation of the Group Specialty Council in 2014 under the revised standards set by CRSPPP that specified that Councils should be composed or organizations, agencies and the like.  The reformation continued with the election of the Council’s president (Nina Brown) and secretary (Eleanor Counselman), and the development of Council Bylaws which are posted on the Society’s website.

The new Group Specialty Council created and submitted new proposals in 2015 and 2016, which were also rejected by CRSPPP.  It was in 2015 that the Council decided to use a professional writer as the major criticism of the petition was that it appeared to be the work of a committee which was accurate.  A committee had created the proposal.  With the help of funding from The Society, the American Group Psychotherapy Association, the American Board of Group in Professional Psychology, and the International Registry of Group Psychotherapists,  a professional writer was hired and a new petition submitted in 2016.  That petition was rejected because we only described training at the doctoral and internship levels and CRSPPP asked for us to provide how specialty training could occur at the postdoctoral and post-licensure levels.  In addition, APA’s Commission on Accreditation asked for the competencies needed for the specialty at the postdoctoral level as they would align with the new Standards of Accreditation.  (We started this process before CoA developed the SoA so we had to try to align the specialty with two different sets of accreditation standards.)  CRSPPP did not want us to submit a totally new petition, they only wanted the guidelines and other documentation for the postdoctoral and post licensure levels. The latest petition submitted in 2017 and approved by them in 2018 had all of the requested information.

As noted before, many people participated in development of the successful petition and their efforts and contributions are appreciated.  Following are the names of volunteers (in alphabetical order) who were involved in the many different aspects of preparing the petition.

Sally Barlow                                       Marsha Block                                      Richard Billow

Misha Bogomaz                                  Loretta Braxton                                   Gary Burlingame

Eleanor Counselman                           Joel Frost                                            Robert Gleaves

Les Greene                                          Joshua Gross                                      Samuel James

Noelle LaForge                                   *Nicole Millman-Falk                         Tony Shepard

Allen Sherman                                    *Staci Smith                                        Kathy Ulman

Martyn Whittingham                           * Professional writer, contributor

My special thanks are extended to Eleanor, Marsha, Josh and Noelle for their sustained efforts and support through all of these iterations of the petition.  Thanks are also due to Craig Parks and George Tasca as Presidents of The Society who provided support for requested funding, and other actions to support the petition.

I hope to have a celebratory message in September.

We will arrive!

Categories
Committee Reports Other Information

Group Specialty

Nina Brown, Ed.D., LPC, NCC, FAGPA
Nina Brown, Ed.D., LPC, NCC, FAGPA

Dear Division 49 Members,

We are actively working towards getting “Group” recognized as a specialty by the Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Psychology (CRSPPP). The more or us to register positive comments about this application, the more likely it will be accepted. This would be an important recognition of group work and would have important implications for education, training, recognition and funding. Please take a few moments to register your comments at the link provided below.

Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology (CRSPPP)

The APA’s CRSPPP is accepting comments for specialty and proficiency petitions via the Education Directorate’s Public Comment website (http://apaoutside.apa.org/EducCSS/public/). Closing deadline for comments is 5:00PM EST, 6th March 2018. Please contact Dr. Antoinette Minniti (aminniti@apa.org) if you have any questions.

Categories
Committee Reports

Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy Specialty Council

Nina Brown, Ed.D., LPC, NCC, FAGPA
Nina Brown, Ed.D., LPC, NCC, FAGPA

Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy Specialty Council

Group Specialty Council President

    The major task for the Group Specialty Council for 2017 began in April with the receipt of the letter from CRSPPP requesting that we supply more information for the petition to include postdoctoral training and, achievement of the specialty at post-licensure.  The Council was also asked by CoA to develop a set of competencies for postdoctoral residency programs reviewed for accreditation.

    A model postdoctoral program was developed under the leadership of Sally Barlow in 2003 but that model was based on what was in effect at that time on the doctoral level for group competencies and experiences.  Doctoral programs had scant training in group psychology and group psychotherapy which was the impetus for the Society trying to gain CRSPPP approval for a specialty.  It was felt that the 2017 version call for significant changes for a model program that would incorporate the proposed doctoral and internship specialty work as having been achieved  and that  the postdoctoral residency would build on the doctoral level work.   

Some of the major changes were to consider the doctoral/internship as the entry level and to describe the training for the postdoctoral at the advanced level.  CoA had requested competencies for the specialty so that site visitors and accreditation reviewers would be able to judge if the postdoctoral program was consistent with established competencies.  

A workgroup composed of Noelle LeForge, Josh Gross and Nina Brown was formed and developed the competencies for postdoctoral and post-licensure programs for the group specialty.  Some examples of major competencies and tasks to be included in postdoctoral programs include the following: that the resident would have an opportunity to lead two different types of groups, to act as a leader not just as a co-leader, their work would be more narrowly focused on specific populations and conditions, there would be broader applications of techniques and procedures such as group process commentary, and residents would gain a more extensive understanding of cultural and diversity characteristics and how they affect the group.  A full list of nine post-doctoral program competencies were created, reviewed by Specialty Council members and by CoS, revised in line with suggested changes, and submitted to CoA.  The competencies were incorporated into the creation of the Education and Training Guidelines for Postdoctoral programs.  In addition, the workgroup developed the process for achieving the group specialty at the post-licensure level that is consistent with ABGP guidelines and standards.

The revisions for the petition are underway with the intent that the resubmission of the petition be no later than mid-December.  Prior to that time, the revisions will be sent to the members of The Society for their review and comment.

Categories
Committee Reports

Group Specialty Council

Group Specialty Council

The petition to have Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy recognized as a specialty was submitted in December 2016, and the public comment period ended on March 10, 2017.  There were more than 140 comments submitted and all were positive.  While the majority of the comments were from individuals, several were from other groups such as the AGPA Science to Service Task Force, the American Board of Group Psychology, The Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health, the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy, the International Board for the Certification of Group Psychotherapists, AGPA, APA Division 49, APA Committee on Aging, APA Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, the Hawaiian Islands Group Psychotherapy Society, and Samaritan Health & Living Center.  We extend our thanks to all the individuals and groups that provided comments as this shows the level of interest the petition holds. CRSPPP will hold its meeting on        , and their response is expected 30 days after the meeting.  Members of The Society and Council will be notified immediately after the decision is communicated to us.

The Council was contacted by CoS in response to a request from CoA to develop specialty competencies for residents in post-doctoral psychology programs.  There are 16 areas where 2 – 3 advanced competencies are needed.  The Council is in the process of developing competencies and welcomes any ideas to facilitate that process.  Following are the 16 competency domains based upon ABPP competencies and inclusive of APA- CoA competencies:

Integration of science and practice ( note: an APA-CoA required competency)

    1. Ethical and Legal Standards/Policy
    2. Individual and Cultural Diversity
    3. Professionalism (professional values attitudes and behavior)
    4. Reflective practice/self-assessment, self-care
    5. Scientific knowledge and methods
    6. Interdisciplinary Systems
    7. Relationships
    8. Evidence-based Practice
    9. Assessment
    10. Intervention
    11. Consultation
    12. Research/Evaluation
    13. Supervision
    14. Teaching
    15. Management/ Administration
    16. Advocacy

The competency domains Integration of Science and Practice, Ethical and Legal Standards, and Individual and Cultural Diversity are required for all postdoctoral residencies regardless of specialty.

Nina Brown, Ed.D., LPC, NCC, FAGPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eleanor F. Counselman, Ed.D., ABPP, CGP, LFAGPA

 

Categories
Committee Reports

Group Specialty Council

The petition to have Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy recognized as a specialty was submitted in December 2016, and the public comment period ended on March 10, 2017.  There were more than 140 comments submitted and all were positive.  While the majority of the comments were from individuals, several were from other groups such as the AGPA Science to Service Task Force, the American Board of Group Psychology, The Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health, the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy, the International Board for the Certification of Group Psychotherapists, AGPA, APA Division 49, APA Committee on Aging, APA Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, the Hawaiian Islands Group Psychotherapy Society, and Samaritan Health & Living Center.  We extend our thanks to all the individuals and groups that provided comments as this shows the level of interest the petition holds. CRSPPP will hold its meeting on        , and their response is expected 30 days after the meeting.  Members of The Society and Council will be notified immediately after the decision is communicated to us.

The Council was contacted by CoS in response to a request from CoA to develop specialty competencies for residents in post-doctoral psychology programs.  There are 16 areas where 2 – 3 advanced competencies are needed.  The Council is in the process of developing competencies and welcomes any ideas to facilitate that process.  Following are the 16 competency domains based upon ABPP competencies and inclusive of APA- CoA competencies:

Integration of science and practice ( note: an APA-CoA required competency)

  1. Ethical and Legal Standards/Policy
  2. Individual and Cultural Diversity
  3. Professionalism (professional values attitudes and behavior)
  4. Reflective practice/self-assessment, self-care
  5. Scientific knowledge and methods
  6. Interdisciplinary Systems
  7. Relationships
  8. Evidence-based Practice
  9. Assessment
  10. Intervention
  11. Consultation
  12. Research/Evaluation
  13. Supervision
  14. Teaching
  15. Management/ Administration
  16. Advocacy

The competency domains Integration of Science and Practice, Ethical and Legal Standards, and Individual and Cultural Diversity are required for all postdoctoral residencies regardless of specialty.

Nina Brown, Ed.D., LPC, NCC, FAGPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

President

Eleanor F. Counselman, Ed.D., ABPP, CGP, LFAGPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secretary

Categories
Brief Articles

Group Specialty Council: Promoting Group Psychology and Psychotherapy

Promoting Group Psychology and Psychotherapy

Nina Brown, Ed.D., LPC, NCC, FAGPA
Nina Brown, Ed.D., LPC, NCC, FAGPA
Eleanor F. Counselman, Ed.D., ABPP, CGP, LFAGPA
Eleanor F. Counselman, Ed.D., ABPP, CGP, LFAGPA

The Group Specialty Council, with members from Division 49, the American Board of Group Psychology (ABGP), the International Board for Certification of Group Psychotherapists, and the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) is hard at work preparing a new petition to have group psychology and psychotherapy approved as an APA specialty.

As part of the petition we must show four model programs that demonstrate group specialty training. Finding such programs has been a challenge and has awakened us to the need to have group psychotherapy training better publicized.  Group training programs are not well publicized or visible so that prospective students, the general public, and regulating bodies such as CRSPPP, can easily determine that such training programs are available in a doctoral program, or an internship, or a post-doctoral residency.

There are over 200 APA accredited doctoral and internship programs in the United States, all of which are supposed to have education and training program information on their websites, but our review of these websites did not reveal any group psychology and group psychotherapy training programs.  The absence of visible programs is a major hindrance for the current petition to gain recognition for group as a specialty in training programs.

It is important and essential that members of The Society who are faculty at university APA accredited doctoral and internship programs in clinical, counseling and school psychology work to get their group education and training programs more visible on the website and other public materials, and to get their programs to formally designate group as an emphasis, or track or concentration and to publicize this. Sometimes this is just a matter of updating an existing website. Or it might mean creating a link to new material.

We are confident that there are numerous educational and training opportunities in group psychology and group psychotherapy.  Josh Gross, the director of the Florida State University’ College Counseling Center surveyed  College Counseling Training Directors, 42 responded  and found ten that had possible group training opportunities and requirements that could be designated as a program, or an emphasis, or a track, or a concentration but had not been designated so or recognized as such in their public materials.

We need your assistance in bringing more visibility to the group psychology and group psychotherapy doctoral and internship training programs, emphases, concentrations, or tracks. We believe there will be increased demand for group therapy in the future, as it is an evidenced-based treatment for many disorders  (see the AGPA Practice Resources website) that is efficient and cost effective. However, psychologists who do not have adequate group therapy training are being asked to lead groups, and this is not good for the profession, much less the patients. Specialty status and promotion of training opportunities will help support group therapy and the training sites that offer it.

Categories
Committee Reports

Group as a Specialty

Nina Brown, Ed.D.
Nina Brown, Ed.D.

The Group Specialty Council continues to pursue recognition of group as a specialty in psychology training programs. The Council is composed of national organizations who have an interest in the education and training of group therapists/psychotherapists, in promoting the use and visibility of the effectiveness for group treatment, encouraging research on group factors that promote group members’ healing, growth and development, in describing the competencies for group leaders, and in fostering the recognition that specialized training is needed for professional and ethical practice and education by psychologists. The organizations most directly involved in this endeavor are The Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy (APA Division 49), The American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA), The American Board of Group Psychology (ABGP), and the International Board for Certification of Group Psychotherapists (IBCGP), which is part of AGPA.

When the 2014 submission of a petition for recognition of group as a specialty by the Council for Recognition of Specialists and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology (CRSPPP) was rejected in 2015, the Council reviewed the rationale provided by CRSPPP and decided to reapply in 2016 to be considered by them in 2017. This decision was made in part because that organization proscribes that there must be a year before there is a resubmission unless policy or procedure was not followed. The resubmission process is well underway thanks to the Boards of three members of the Group Specialty Council; The Society, ABPP, and AGPA; and a revised petition will be completed and resubmitted this fall. As part of the resubmission, the revised petition will be posted by CRSPPP for public comment and it is vital that our members take advantage of this opportunity to express their opinions about the viability and need for group as a specialty in psychology doctoral, internship, and post-doctoral training programs. Members will be notified via listserv when the petition is posted.

One of the difficulties in writing such a petition is the necessity that considerable time and effort be expended in gathering the materials and presenting the information to answer each of the 12 criteria. This project is analogous to preparing an accreditation report in the depth and breadth of the information required. Assistance is being provided by the Boards of The Society, AGPA and ABGP to fund a professional writer to expedite the task. The group Specialty Council developed and circulated a RFP, screened applicants and conducted interviews. They received many responses from well qualified people, and after extensive interviews with applicants and Council consultations, a writer was selected, Staci Smith. Among her many achievements we noted that she had comprehensive experience with grants research strategy and writing, experience with accreditation submissions and approval, was well versed on current behavioral and mental health research having developed and implemented numerous evidence-based programs in this area, and was able to document advanced skills with research, analysis, and creative narrative development.   She has begun the process for planning, organizing and writing the revised petition.

Although obtaining the writer was an important step and she will do much to help in the planning, organizing and writing the material, there are other tasks where informed input from group professionals is essential and volunteers are needed to accomplish these tasks. Included in these tasks are the development of Practice Guidelines led by Robert Gleave President-Elect of the Society, a search for the minimum number of model doctoral, internship and post-doctoral programs and obtaining the information needed to answer that criterion on the petition, development of competencies and the evaluation processes for these, developing processes and surveys to document the public’s need for group as a specialty, and developing group specialty education and training guidelines. Please let me know if you are willing to participate in any or all of these tasks.

Members of the Group Specialty council will be assisting the writer with development and review of responses to the petition’s twelve criterions. Specific consultants to the writer are Sally Barlow and Les Greene. Please join us in preparing the resubmission.

Categories
Committee Reports

Group Speciality Report

Nina Brown, Ed.D.
Nina Brown, Ed.D.

Group Specialty Council

The Group Specialty Council is the committee charged with developing the petition to the Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology (CRSPPP) to have group psychology and group psychotherapy designated as a specialty for training programs. The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) has designated group as a specialty for individuals, but previous petitions to CRSPPP for recognition of group as a specialty or as proficiency were not successful, and the Society’s Board voted in 2012 to continue the process for developing a new specialty petition for CRSPPP. Much has changed since the initial petition including the composition of the supporting group such as the Group Specialty Council, a need for by-laws and documented regular meetings of the Group Specialty Council, and the comprehensiveness of the petition package.

The Group Specialty Council (GSC) was organized to comply with the CRSPPP requirement that the supporting group be composed of organizations interested in having group as a specialty, and who will sponsor representatives to the Council. This is a change from having the group composed of individuals who are so interested. In the initial effort to organize the GSC, invitations were sent to 20 organizations including 11 APA divisions; 8 (Social), 12 (Clinical), 14 (Industrial/Organizational), 16 (School), 17 (Counseling), 19 (Military), 29 (Psychotherapy), 39 (Psychoanalysis), 45 (Ethnic Minority), 50 (Addictions) and 53 (child and Adolescent); and other organizations such as ASGW, the Washington School of Psychiatry, the Adelphi postgraduate training program, AGPA, Northeastern Group Psychotherapy Society, Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society and Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society. Two of the 20 replied and declined, and no response was received from 16. Our present GSC is comprised of 12 members: Eleanor Counselman (AGPA President-elect), Kathy Ulman (CGP and AGPA Past President), Martyn Whittingham (Catholic Health Partners), Joss Gross ( University of Flordia), Andy Eig ( Adelphi Post Graduate Training Program) Sally Barlow (ABPP), Joel Frost (ABPP), Loretta Braxton ( Durham VA), and Cheri Marmarosh (Chair of ERT – The Society), Sam James, Miska Bogomaz, and Nina Brown (The Society’s representative to CoS).

The GSC held a meeting during the APA convention on August 9th and addressed the following items: election of officers (President – Nina Brown, Secretary – Eleanor Counselman), review of proposed By-laws, a review of the history of the petitions presented by Sally Barlow, discussion of the feasibility of submitting a petition for specialty or for proficiency, and a discussion held with Dave Corey (Police and Public Safety Specialty) who agreed to mentor us through the process. He suggested that we could expedite our petition by applying for specialty at the post-licensure level and petition for the other levels at a later time.

I consulted with the director of APA Education Directorate about the suggestion that we apply for post-licensure recognition as a specialty, but it was not clear that we could submit additional petitions for the other levels at a later date. After consultation with GSC members, we decided to create a petition for designation of group as a specialty at the Internship, Post-doc, and Post-licensure levels.

Following is an abbreviated list of the materials that need to be developed in all three petition areas.

“Criterion IV. Distinctiveness; A specialty differs from other recognized specialties in its body of specialized scientific knowledge and professional application”. We have to document how the group specialty differs and overlaps other specialties “for populations, problems, procedures and techniques for assessment, intervention, consultation, supervision, research and inquiry, public interest, continuing professional development and any relevant additional core professional practice domains.”

“Criterion V. Advanced Scientific and Theoretical Preparation” How specialty specific scientific knowledge, skills and attitudes are acquired.

“Criterion VI. Advanced Preparation in the Parameters of Practice” To encompass the parameters of populations; psychological, biological, and/or social problems; and procedures and techniques.

“Criterion VII. Structures and Models of Education and Training in the Specialty”

There is a considerable amount of work that will go into developing the petition, and the GSC needs the help of the members of The Society. I hope that you will volunteer to contribute some of your time and expertise to this project.