President-Elect’s Column

Robert Gleave, Ph.D., ABGP, CGP
Robert Gleave, Ph.D., ABGP, CGP

I wish to declare again, as I have written before, that group psychotherapy is very important to me. When I agreed to run for president-elect of division 49, I had energy and desire to make a difference in moving group psychotherapy toward increasing prominence. It seemed like a natural next step flowing from my research and affiliations with other professional associations. It felt like a good way to give back to a community that had been supportive throughout my career. I was aware of some of the national issues and had a few ideas about how to contribute.

Following the election, yet prior to the January 1, 2016 beginning of the President-elect year, I was diagnosed with ALS which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. At the time, the progression of the disease was unknown. I chose to proceed with an expectation that the progression of the disease would be slower and that I might still be able to contribute.  As time has passed, it is now apparent that I will not have sufficient strength or energy to fulfill the duties of President. It is with disappointment that I must step aside at this time. After consulting the by-laws, Craig and Dennis have each graciously agreed to stay for another year. I want to thank them both for their kindness as I have wrestled with this challenge. They, and the rest of the board, have been very helpful and supportive.

I feel that I have had a good career and am happy about the things that got done. While there are always “next projects”, my Division 49 service is one of only a few things that feels unfinished.  Overall, I am ready to let the next generation make their mark.

My religious beliefs are strong and I’m comforted by my relationship with the Savior.  He is sustaining me and giving meaning to this part of my life experience, just as He has consistently over the decades.  My predominant feeling is a willingness to learn these next lessons and a sense of peace.

I want to express thanks to many of you that I count as my friends and to all of you who keep the cause of group psychotherapy alive.