Summer is here! For many that means a change in routines, like taking some longer weekends and traveling in the (typically) nicer weather, seeing fewer students or clients at work, or simply enjoying longer hours of daylight. For many of us, it also means an annual gathering at the APA Convention, this year in the beautiful state of California, with a return to San Francisco. Greeting old friends and welcoming newcomers in to our Society is always a highlight of the convention, and this year promises to be another great one.
The Programming Chair, Debra O’Connell, has put together a wonderful program with a range of skill building sessions and symposia. In addition to mingling with the many familiar faces of the Society at these events (and our famous hospitality suite social hour), we’ll also have an opportunity to recognize the achievements of and have a conversation hour with a well-known group psychotherapist, Dr. Irvin Yalom. This year, the Society is honoring Dr. Yalom with a Presidential Award for Lifetime Achievement. It’s likely that everyone reading this column has been influenced directly, or at the very least indirectly, by Dr. Yalom’s influential body of work. If you are not able to attend the award ceremony for Dr. Yalom, the Society will be live streaming the event, so stay tuned for further details on that through the listserv. You can read more about what reflections this Presidential Award brings up in our current President’s column.
Attending the annual convention is a great way to connect with others who firmly believe in the power of groups. The importance of groups to address societal level issues is highlighted in Dr. Martyn Whittingham’s column. One such key societal issue group psychotherapy can help combat is loneliness. As Dr. Whittingham describes, the UK has recently appointed a Minister of Loneliness, to help address the physical and mental health challenges created by loneliness. For more discussion on how social support can help buffer the stress on societies and individuals, be sure to check out Dr. Whittingham’s column.
In closing, we wish you the best this summer has to offer. May it be filled with connections with valued colleagues, creations of new memories to cherish, and adventures of whatever sort you are ready to take on!
Tom Treadwell, Ed.D., T.E.P, C.G.P.
Leann Terry Diederich, Ph.D.