President’s Column

Dennis Kivlighan, Ph.D.
Dennis Kivlighan, Ph.D.

As I write this column I am looking forward to the APA convention in Toronto; where we will meet again to conduct the business of our society, have the opportunity to learn about the cutting edge research and practice in group psychology and group psychotherapy, and have the opportunity to renew old friendships and make new acquaintances.  As always it will be a productive, fun and thought provoking meeting. As you will see elsewhere in this newsletter Drs. Joe Miles, Jill Paquin and Norah Slone have put together a wonderful program. Below I want to highlight three of the many significant programs that the Division is sponsoring.

One of the many wonderful opportunities that the division president has is the chance to ask a prominent group psychologist or group psychotherapist to present an invited address at the convention. I am very excited that Dr. Molyn Leszcz, MD, FRCPC has agreed to give an Invited Address titled: Achieving and Sustaining Group Therapist Effectiveness (1:00pm, in Room 201B of the Convention Center). In addition Dr. Leszcz will participate in a Conversation Hour, which will start at approximately 2:15 PM in the Division Suite. As many of you know Dr. Yalom and Lesczc’s book, The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy is the “bible” for group theorists, researchers and practitioners. I have gotten to know Dr. Leszcz over the years through his impressive theoretical writings and empirical research. Last year, however, I had the opportunity to visit Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and observe Dr. Leszcz co-leading a therapy group. Not only is Dr. Leszcz a wonderful writer and researcher but he is also an astute group therapists and marvelous teacher. I know that those in attendance will be informed, challenged and inspired by Dr. Lesczc’s address.

I am also pleased that Dr. Zipora Shechtman is this year’s recipient of the Arthur Teicher Group Psychologist the Year Award. Her address titled: Lessons Learned from Research on Outcomes and Processes of Children/Adolescence Group Psychotherapy” will be delivered on Thursday August 6th from 2:00 PM – 2:50 PM in the Convention Centre Room 705. I first became aware of Dr. Shechtman’s work when I was editor of Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice and she submitted a brilliant manuscript examining therapeutic factors in groups for aggressive boys. Since that first article, Dr. Schechtman has gone on to be one of the most prolific contributors to Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice. Dr. Shechtman is clearly the leading researcher on child and adolescent group therapy. I am looking forward to learning from her wealth of empirical and clinical experience in this area.

If you read my column in the last newsletter, you already know that we are having our first ever Fellow’s Addresses. We will have total of four newly elected Fellows and previously elected Fellows giving their addresses. These talks will be videotaped and archived by the division. Over time we will accumulate a series of talks from Fellows who are at the forefront of research and practice in Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy. I am very excited about this new Divisional tradition and I hope that a lot of you will attend this inaugural event.