This will be my last prevention corner. My husband and I are retiring in May. I want to thank the Division 49 leadership and especially Tom and everyone who has worked on the newsletter for inviting me to write the Prevention Corner. I hope that another group preventionist will take up the challenge and continued the column. I look forward to reading the next person’s ideas.
Prevention groups play a very important role in group psychology. In Division 49, we have the opportunity to draw group prevention into the division and expand the scope of Group Psychology. As I stated in the February/March 2017 issue of the American Psychologist, “Why wasn’t prevention included?” All too often psychologist turn away and close the door on group prevention. Prevention groups could offer and expand the outreach of group psychology. There are many community organizations, schools, and health professionals seeking trained prevention group leaders (for a suggested list see Clanton Harpine, 2015). As I have stated previously in this column (see July 26, vol 26, #2), there are many undergraduates who struggle to find adequate employment with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Group prevention could provide these employment opportunities. Group prevention should be incorporated into our undergraduate psychology degree programs because group prevention could offer career opportunities for students and new outreach possibilities in psychology (Clanton Harpine, 2017). Group prevention is not a threat to group psychotherapy; therapy and prevention work with two totally different populations and needs. As a division, we need both. Yet, all too often group prevention is shoved aside. I hope as Division 49 continues to grow that the leadership will open the door and welcome group prevention as a full partner.
Thank you for my years and many friends in the division. Even in retirement, I will continue at a slower pace to work with children who are struggling to learn to read. The concern of psychologists over reading failure is growing. Reading failure continues to be a major developmental psychological problem with at-risk students. I will be continuing my reading blog for those who are interested, please feel free to contact me: www.groupcentered.com or at email@example.com
Clanton Harpine, E. (2015). Group-centered prevention in mental health: Theory, training, and practice. New York: Springer.
Clanton Harpine, E. (2017). Why wasn’t prevention included? Comment on the special issue on undergraduate education in psychology (2016). American Psychologist, 72, 171-172. doi: 10. 1037/amp 0000061