President-Elect: Martyn Wittingham
Treasurer: Amy Nitza
At-large, Diversity: Nikki Coleman
At-large, Group Psychotherapy: Jen Alonso
At-large, Group Psychology: Verlin Hinsz
President-Elect: Martyn Wittingham
Treasurer: Amy Nitza
At-large, Diversity: Nikki Coleman
At-large, Group Psychotherapy: Jen Alonso
At-large, Group Psychology: Verlin Hinsz
Hello Division 49 Student Members!
Are you looking for a way to try out organizational leadership in a low-key, laid back group? Do you want to build your CV with some extra experience? Have you been considering getting more involved in Division 49?
Now’s your chance!
We are currently accepting applications for the 2017-2018 Student Committee for Division 49. See below for more details.
Duration: One year (August 2017-July 2018)
Time commitment: Varies, depending on what tasks you would like to be involved in! The time commitment varies depending on the current needs of the committee, but typically requires a few hours a month (or less).
Duties: Meet approximately bimonthly via video chat, contribute to on-going projects (examples listed below), weigh-in on decisions regarding the student membership of Division 49, advocate for the division internally and externally by providing a welcoming presence to current members and recruiting new members.
Examples of recent and on-going projects: Improving recruitment of and service to a diverse student membership, creating and maintaining the student listserv, creating and maintaining an online resource drive, creating recruitment flyers for students and program directors/PIs/supervisors, contributing content for the division Facebook page, and more!
Qualifications: No special qualifications required. We are interested in students of all levels and from any programs associated with group research AND/OR practice! We want dedicated students who are passionate about group and want to get involved! Previous student committee members are welcome to apply.
If you are interested in joining our student committee, you can request an application from Keri Frantell (email@example.com). Applications should be returned to Keri no later than 5 pm Eastern Time, July 20, 2017.
Please let me know if you have any questions – we look forward to hearing from you soon!
Call for Nominations for Journal Editor of Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice
The Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy (Division 49) of the American Psychological Association has opened nominations for the Editorship of the Division’s journal, Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice for the term of January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2023.
Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice (GDN) is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal that publishes original empirical articles, theoretical analyses, literature reviews, and brief reports dealing with basic and applied topics in the field of group research and application. The editors construe the phrase group dynamics in the broadest sense—the scientific study of all aspects of groups—and publish work by investigators in such fields as psychology, psychiatry, sociology, education, communication, and business.
The journal publishes articles examining groups in a range of contexts, including ad hoc groups in experimental settings, therapy groups, naturally forming friendship groups and cliques, organizational units, self-help groups, and learning groups. Theoretically driven empirical studies of hypotheses that have implications for understanding and improving groups in organizational, educational, and therapeutic settings are particularly encouraged.
Candidates should be available to start receiving manuscripts as the Incoming Editor on January 1, 2018 to prepare for issues published in 2019. David K. Marcus, Ph.D. is the incumbent editor, whose term ends on December 31, 2018.
Please note that Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy encourages participation by members of underrepresented groups in the publication process and would particularly welcome such nominees. Self-nominations are also encouraged.
Joseph R. Miles, Ph.D., will chair the search. To nominate a candidate (or yourself), please send the candidate’s name and contact information to Joseph Miles at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will follow up with all nominees to assess interest and request additional materials.
Deadline for accepting nominations is July 1, 2017, when reviews will begin.
Call for Submissions
Group Dynamics and Race
The International Journal of Group Psychotherapy will publish a special issue on group dynamics and race in 2018. We are interested in receiving original theoretical, clinical, or research-based articles, including literature reviews, relevant to the problems of, and innovative solutions to, race relations.
Below are examples of interest for this special issue:
:Racial bias, implicit or explicit, systemic or individual, and the facilitation of group psychotherapy in various settings.
:Scholarly articles relevant to race that address institutional group phenomena, such as (but not limited to) business, government, education, and criminal justice.
:Implications for our profession, such as preparation for clinical intervention in a racially mixed society.
:Current challenges, domestic or international, such as denial of historical facts or promotion of racial myths by advocacy groups.
:Analysis of the role of social media in drawing the isolate into online group identity based on racial bias.
We seek articles showing knowledge of group theory, clinical psychology, education, sociology, etc., with professional emphasis on the impact of racism on society. Potential contributors are invited to submit proposals by April 1, 2017, via email in abstract or summary form (500-700 words) to the editor, Dominick Grundy, Ph.D., email@example.com. Those invited will be expected to submit within four months of notification. Manuscripts are submitted via Scholar One and peer-reviewed.
Articles are normally 25 double-spaced pages (including tables and references) and Brief Reports under 10 pages. Authors are held responsible for following APA style. For more information about the submission process, go online to the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, then select the publisher’s website (Taylor & Francis online). For Instructions for Authors, use this link: http://www.agpa.org/home/practice-resources/international-journal-of-group-psychotherapy#tab1. Send email queries to the editor, Dominick Grundy, Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org.
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)
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.
Prevention Corner: Reading Orienteering Club
As of 2015, 64% of fourth grade and 66% of eighth grade students were still reading below national proficiency standards (National Center for Education Statistics, 2015). These numbers are troubling since illiteracy has been linked to lower socioeconomic status and poor health (Dugdale & Clark, 2008). The importance of learning how to read cannot be understated, and, as such, it is vital that prevention programs target reading skills in childhood. One program that aims to help children overcome difficulties with reading, as well as difficulties with interpersonal relationships, is the Reading Orienteering Club (ROC) founded by Dr. Clanton Harpine. This program combines teaching and counseling in order to maximize academic benefits in an approach known as group-centered prevention (Clanton Harpine, 2015). This format for a reading prevention group is incredibly important for two reasons. First, combining academic and therapeutic interventions in prevention programs has been linked to a higher likelihood of obtaining academic success (Baskin, Slaten, Sorenson, Glover-Russell, & Merson, 2010), and, second, research has shown that teaching in groups, especially in small groups, leads to better results than other forms of teaching instruction (National Reading Panel, 2000). Although this program originated in Ohio, it has found a home in Aiken, South Carolina, and, under the careful direction of Dr. Clanton Harpine, has experienced great success in improving children’s reading abilities and interpersonal skills for many years. Even though Dr. Clanton Harpine is retiring this year, the ROC will continue under the guidance of Collytte Cederstrom, a former intern whom I worked with at the clinic while I was an undergraduate, as well as three additional team members, Sara Puckett, Matt Haslinger, and Ashley Conklin, and a rotation of church, community, and student volunteers. Dr. Clanton Harpine was kind enough to share her thoughts on building and continuing a sustainable student-run reading prevention program, as well as the important effects of these programs for students and the larger community.
While the ROC has typically depended on student volunteers from local undergraduate courses in order to operate fully, this proved challenging at times due to the high number of children in the program, the fluctuating number of volunteers, and the small number of permanent team members working in the clinic. This past year, Dr. Clanton Harpine sought to enlarge her team of permanent members in order to provide more stability to the program, and, did so successfully. The ROC now has four permanent team members and each member is in charge of their own room within the clinic with the children rotating throughout the workstations in each room. Having this consistent, larger student presence in the clinic has not only provided a stronger base for the program, but will also continue to provide more opportunities for students and community members to gain experience working in a prevention group setting. In addition to these permanent team members, the clinic will still rely on student volunteers, as well as community volunteers, and a rotation of church volunteers. Community involvement has always played a role in the success of the ROC, but it seems the remarkable improvement shown by students in the program these past few years has garnered even more community and financial support, which will be vital in continuing this program.
Although group prevention programs for academic purposes are often overlooked in favor of individual tutoring, for the 2016-2017 academic year, the ROC had two students move up four grade levels, three students move up three grade levels, and five students move up two grade levels. In addition to the success the program has had in improving students’ reading abilities, this program, as well as others like it, also provide an area for job growth, specifically for students graduating with bachelor’s degrees in psychology who do not wish to, or are unable to, attend graduate school (Clanton Harpine, 2016). Overall, group prevention programs represent a field that will not only benefit the participants in the programs, but also the communities they are a part of by providing more opportunities for support and job expansion.
Baskin, T. W., Slaten, C. D., Sorenson, C., Glover-Russell, J., & Merson, D. N. (2010). Does youth psychotherapy improve academically related outcomes?: A meta-analysis. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 57, 290-296.
Clanton Harpine, E. (2015). Group-Centered Prevention in Mental Health: Theory, Training, and Practice. New York: Springer.
Clanton Harpine, E. (2016). Prevention Corner: Why can’t I get a job with a four year degree in psychology. The Group Psychologist, 26(2).
Dugdale, G., & Clark, C. (2008). Literacy changes lives: An advocacy resource. London, UK: National Literacy Trust.
National Center for Education Statistics. (2015). The Nation’s Report Card: Reading 2011 (NCES 2015-457). Washington, D.C.: Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.
National Reading Panel. (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction (NIH Publication No. 00-4754).
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 email@example.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.
The Diversity Committee of the Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy is hard at work evaluating applications for our first ever Student Diversity Award. The winner will be announced at the Division 49 Business Meeting at 2:00 PM on Friday, August 4th at the 2017 APA Convention in Washington, DC. Thank you to all who nominated students for this award!
The Diversity Committee will be meeting on Friday, August 4th at 12:00 PM in the Division 49 Hospitality Suite at the 2017 APA Convention. We will be sure to wrap up the meeting in time to head to the Division 49 Presidential Address at 1 PM. If you are interested in joining the Committee, please email Joe Miles at firstname.lastname@example.org, or join us at our meeting in the Hospitality Suite on August 4th!
Finally, we would like to highlight two programs relevant to diversity and social justice in group work at this year’s convention.
We hope to see you there!
“It’s the circle of life,
And it moves us all.
Through despair and hope,
Through faith and love,
Till we find our place,
On the path unwinding;
In the circle,
The circle of life.”
– “Circle of Life” in The Lion King
Summer – The season for lounging at the beach, enjoying a few backyard barbecues, and soaking in the sun. It’s the time of year when the trials and tribulations of the other nine months fade into nothing as we enjoy the respite that we’ve been conditioned to love ever since we first wandered into a classroom as a young child.
When people ask why I work in collegiate mental health, I often joke that I’ve been in the academic world so long, I wouldn’t know how to function in any other environment. For many of us, we’re spent the majority of our lives living on the academic schedule – Classes start around September; we get about a month off in December-January, and then we grind until May; when we finally reach those magical months of summer. It’s been that way since I was a young child and it remains true to this day. Summer is the reward we get for working so hard the rest of the year.
However, for all the hotdogs and hamburgers that one may consume during this time; for all those lazy days at the pool that seem so carefree and idyllic; the reality for those of us who identify as collegiate mental health group practitioners is somewhat more complicated. The fun and enjoyment of the season remains. Our workloads are typically reduced and those many days of vacation that we could not take during the hectic fall and spring semesters get consumed with ravenous delight.
Yet, when we put on our professional hats and think about both the semester that has ended and the new semester that approaches, we are inextricably confronted with the “circle of life” that occurs in our groups. The summer may have started, but for much of June, my mind remains with the clients and groups that I facilitated in the spring. I think about the hopes, goals, and dreams of the group members that I have gotten to know so well over the course of the academic year. Many of those members will be graduating and starting a new chapter in their lives. Did they accomplish what they needed from group? Will they flourish in their next endeavors by applying their newfound knowledge and skills? Was I able to contribute meaningfully to someone making positive change?
That first month of summer is a time of reflection and introspection. How did my groups go? What changes can I make? How can I be more effective? It is humbling to think that in just one group, we likely got to learn, live, and experience the lives of 6-8 members that we did not know when the semester started. We know how these members interact with their family and friends. We know what they say to themselves when they don’t think others are listening. We have been privy to some of their darkest fears, but also some of their most illuminating accomplishments. We get to know so many people, so deeply, as a result of our work…and once summer comes, our knowledge of those people ends. We often don’t get to continue to share their journey. Group members’ graduate and transition to other phases of life. We are hopefully left with fond memories and a sense of accomplishment in our work. However, we have also suffered a loss; a spiritual death of sorts. We know we will not see or hear from some of those members ever again. While their journey has not ended, our shared experience of it has come to a close. As we have done throughout our careers, we have to wrestle with the finality of termination and try find acceptance that the remainder of those stories will forever be unknown.
However, as is often the case in life, mourning these “deaths” soon brings about a re-birth and new life. As the summer continues and the calendar flips from June to July, our thoughts often turn to Orientation and the welcoming of new students onto campus. With the emergence of the new incoming class, thoughts start to turn to life and creation. Are there new groups that one might want to develop for next year? Who will be our new group members? What stories will they share and what journeys will they take us on?
It is incredible to think that as we watch these new students arrive; filled with their hopes and dreams for their new college-life; we will get to know some of these people just as intimately as we knew our previous members. We will experience new journeys with these students, just as we did with the members that came before. We may not know exactly what the future holds, but we know that we will soon care about these new stories and new people just as much as we did before. Our groups go forward and with each iteration, we will become a little more skilled and a little more proficient. We will continue to refine our craft and be there for those who are struggling. We won’t forget the journeys of previous groups, but we will make room to experience new stories and new adventures.
The circle of life continues.
APA’s Board of Directors as the At-Large Member
After much discussion with colleagues within the division, as well as with some key people at APA, I have decided to put my name in for nomination to sit on APA’s Board of Directors as the at-large member representing mid-career psychologists and the science/research community. In my brief (300-word) nomination statement, I have emphasized not only my leadership of a division that spans the therapy and non-therapy worlds, but also my position as assistant vice provost at my university, the duties of which require me to develop solutions across a variety of constituent groups that don’t usually begin on the same page. (My nomination statement is not privileged, so if for some reason you want to see the full text, just email me.) My stated motivation for wanting to sit on the Board is to continue the work initiated by the past president, Susan McDaniel, to weld back together the research and practice sides of APA. You simply cannot have one without the other. I think both my division and professional experiences position me to help with this. Also, as you know from my past listserv postings, the groups point of view is nonexistent in Association committees. APA has rightfully pointed out to me that we have not done a good job of putting forth candidates for them to consider. This year I am working hard to rectify this, and if I’m going to ask others to stand for consideration, I need to do so too.
The Board of Directors consists of six officers and six at-large members, all elected by the general membership. It supervises APA affairs as well as the lobbying arm of the Association, drafts a budget for member approval, and works with Sally and her colleagues on the Council of Representatives to steer the professional ship. It’s a big job that APA equates to a quarter-time assignment. Happily, my boss expects all of his vice provosts to remain scholarly engaged, and he supports my pursuit of this.
I have no expectation that I will be selected as a candidate, if for no other reason than I think APA’s definition of me as mid-career is generous (though it did make my day). But, as a means of continuing to push for APA to bring our point of view into decision-making, this is minimal effort and high gain.
As always, feel free to email me with questions, concerns, or if you want to know more.