One of my roles as the Secretary includes integrating and updating the information between the Society’s journal, online newsletter, conference programming, website and social media. Since the last newsletter, we have made updates to the Society’s APA website to ensure information is accurate and up to date. This is a helpful resource for those interested in getting in touch with the Society’s leadership and a place to identify volunteer opportunities for those interested in serving in the Society. A new addition includes the Member of the Month column which provides you a chance to get to know others in the Society. In addition, if you are interested in getting involved in the Society, consider viewing the committees offered and contacting the chair to get involved. I hope you will utilize APA’s MyCommunities site. It is a forum where members can view information related to the running of the Society. You will find business and board meetings for the recent August 2014 convention, as well as previous years, the bylaws, policy manual, and more.
Council of Representatives August 2014 Report from Sally Barlow, Ph.D.
(Thanks to Rhea Farberman, Monitor Executive Editor for sharing her summary of meeting, portions of which I use here)
1. Council continued work on Good Governance Project (GGP) and Implementation Work Group (IWG), which seeks to streamline APA’s governance system and make it more inclusive. As background, Council approved 3-year trial delegation of duties to Board of Directors (BOD) in 4 areas (finances & budget, oversight of CEO, aligning budget with strategic planning, internally focused policy development) during February meeting, and changes to APA’s board of directors to include 6 member-at-large seats to be elected by general membership, as well as a public member, student and Early Career Psychologist (ECP) and 2 more seats from the newly created Council Leadership Team (CLT) to liaise better between Council and BOD. These changes to the BOD will require a bylaws vote by general membership expected to be sent out during next year.
2. Details about these changes were hammered out (mostly hammered on ) during the August 2014 meeting regarding council’s optimal size and structure (House of Representatives vs senatorial models); that is, an apportionment vs. 1-seat-each model.
3. Council approved changes in oversight functions of Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice (CAPP), now be wholly a committee of the APA Practice Organization (APAPO), which will be responsible for day to day work including c-6 interests in legislative, legal and regulatory areas.
4. Council approved association rules (attending to issues of inclusivity) to ensure ECP representation.
5. Council adopted a resolution to stem false confessions obtained by police officers from women in the midst of domestic abuse situations as well as mentally disabled adults, both of whom may not understand their right to remain silent.
6. Council adopted as APA policy s resolution on diversity in children and adolescents to encourage greater education regarding gender and sexual orientation.
7. Council adopted resolution in support of UN Convention on Right and Dignity of Person with Disabilities. (See www.apa.org/about/policies/guidelines-supervision.pdf).
8. Council approved creation of a Div. 42 journal titled Practice Innovation
9. Council approved creation of a committee on Associate and Baccalaureate education.
10. Council adopted new policy that supports inclusion of all governance boards and committee members who have not previously served in governance.
11. Council elected a class of 111 APA Fellows—if you are not already a fellow, please consider being one!!
*As this was an altogether fractious debate, I will spare you the details. Almost all of the 1 and ½ days spent on this debate appeared to be to be highly managed from the floor by the minority of council reps who wanted to hang on to apportionment. (This is a large debate—I recommend that you review the attachments on representation that I included in the last council report if you are interested.) The debate continued several weeks on list serve exchanges after the DC meeting. I responded on the list serve as a good group person by pointing out the group dynamics impasse. Many of the minority stakeholders insisted on a council retreat (potentially costing APA $200,000) in addition to our 2 face-to-face meetings each year. I am copying one of my list serve responses, and would like you to know that a number of people responded individually to me saying emphatically that I had exactly captured what was happening. “Trying to figure out if I have read the latest raft of emails correctly. 1) the majority/minority continue to fight with each other accusing each other of even nastier politicking including hijacking the parliamentary process and 2) proposing to meet together for even more time in between now and the February 2015 Council meeting presumably because we cannot come to consensus. Wow. If we can’t accomplish our work in our 2 yearly face-to-face meetings, given all the committee work that has gone into council preparations beforehand, all the behind-the-scenes thinking, why would we want/need to meet more? Madness.
For 3 days I attended my first ever Council meeting including Thursday activities for new council representatives and the regular agenda items from Friday through Saturday. It was a very packed agenda, during which I learned the “ropes” of 1) networking with other council reps who might share our society’s interests, 2) understanding how to bring questions to the floor (long lines at the microphones), 3) getting the electronic voting gizmo to work, and 4) appreciating the enormous challenge of parliamentary procedure as varied interests war on the floor. Below is a summary of action items that I noted and/or voted upon as a representative of the Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy. If you would like a more thorough report please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Council Items of Public Interest
APA adopted as policy the resolution on Gun Violence Research and Prevention.
Endorsed Multidisciplinary Competencies in the Care of Older adults at the Completion of the Entry-Level Health Professional Degree (adopted in partnership with Health in Aging).
Received the “Report of the Task Force on Trafficking of Women and Girls” in order to develop a policy that weds action with scientific research in order to stop this blight.
Impact of Affordable Care Act on Psychology and Psychologists—long discussion about this.
APA Center of Psychology and Health—a new initiative of APA to strengthen psychology in the new era of health care addressing 4 challenges: 1) workforce (ensuring well-trained psychologists of part of primary care team), 2) being included and paid, 3) image challenge—helping public and workforce see psychologists as primary care team, 4) self-image challenge—psychologists themselves often do not consider they are part of primary teams.
Gun Violence—developing an up-to-date policy on prediction and prevention of gun violence in the wake of the Newtown school shootings.
Clinical Practice Guidelines—the happy marriage between interventions and scientific evidence.
Governance—Council has been struggling to streamline governance procedures initially voted upon in 2013, being further refined and eventually implemented in 2014. Bottom line is that representation is being shifted in order to be fairer to all stakeholders. The Implementation Work Group (IWG), is made up of an impressive array of psychologists: Chair: Melba J.T. Vasquez, Ph.D.; Vice chair: Bill Strickland, Ph.D.; Mark Appelbaum, Ph.D.; Martha Banks, Ph.D.; Armand Cerbone, Ph.D.; Ayse Ciftci, Ph.D.; Helen Coons, Ph.D.; Paul Craig, Ph.D.; John Hagen, Ph.D.; Jo Johnson, Ph.D.; Linda Knauss, Ph.D.; Bonnie Markham, Ph.D., PsyD; Ali Mattu, Ph.D.; Marsha McCary, Ph.D.; Gilbert Newman, Ph.D.; Allen Omoto, Ph.D.; Vivian Oto Wang, Ph.D.; Mitch Prinstein, Ph.D.; Nancy Sidun, PsyD; Kristi Van Sickle, PsyD; Emily Voelkel, MA; and Milo Wilson, Ph.D.
Dr. Vasquez led an extremely useful discussion regarding the next step (choosing the representative structure—variously known as 7A, 7B, 7C).
Bear with me—this is complicated. The Good Governance Project (yet, another acronym—GGP) has worked diligently over several years to improve functionality of COR. A group of 175+ psychologists to run an organization of 134,000+ members is no easy thing. Principles for New Governance Structure: Consistent with overall APA structure; transparent, timely, nimble; reflects diversity; actively engages all members at all stages of their career; has appropriate checks and balances; allows for adaptation based on periodic review. There was a great deal of wrangling about this topic—I will spare you the political-jockeying details. Further refinement of this will happen at the August 2014 meeting in DC.
As a note to irony, since one of the key features of this new governance idea was a nod to better technology in order to further communication between council and APA, and Council at general membership, a proposal for a new division—Society for Technology and Psychology—was turned down. After listening to all the details regarding this new division, I have to say I thought it was a really good idea, voted for it, and watched it go down in defeat to traditionalist divisions who didn’t want their territory stomped on.
Other Council Items:
Internship Stimulus Project—addressing internship shortage problems with allotted three million dollars.
Approving multiple documents that will now be posted on APA Website: CRSPPP—update on the organization (Committee on Principles for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology)—details to follow as we go for CRSPPP approval for Group; Health Service Psychology; Competencies for Older Adults; Report re trafficking of girls and women; user-friendly resource for educators on program improvement; supporting the Center for History of Psychology at the University of Akron.
Creating a uniform definition of “Early Career Psychologist” ECP—to be 10 years post-doctoral
Making APA into a data-driven organization (improving electronic reports, record-keeping etc)
Developing a centralized application service for graduate education in psychology
Money—very complicated budget. Majority voted for it as well as keeping Norm Anderson as the CEO (who makes a lot more money than any of us)
Members of Committee: Eric Chen, Ph.D.; Maria Riva, Ph.D.; Cheri Marmarosh, Ph.D.; Joe Miles, Ph.D.; Lee Gillis, Ph.D.; Brittany White, Ph.D.; Joel Miller, Ph.D.; and Jennilee Fuertes, Ph.D.
Brief Summary of Activities Undertaken:
January: Jeanne was informed of responsibilities of chair and began focusing on identifying which committee members would be returning.
February-March: The committee focused on recruiting new members. Scott Conkright and Allison Regis were not returning as committee members for 2014. We added members Brittany White, Joel Miller, and Jennilee Fuertes.
April: Chair worked with members to identify tasks for the term, which included:
1) Identify at least one new method to attract underrepresented members to the Division/Committee. Would we like to further operationalize this goal? Would anyone like to take this goal under their wing?
2) Create a formal process to engage people to nominate Diversity Award candidates. This is a major task of our committee and the Division would like us to select an award recipient by July 1. Would anyone like to take point on this goal?
3) Create diversity programming to help in diversity education for the division. We have an opportunity to have a conversation hour our other programming event at APA (Aug. 7-10 in Washington DC) this year. Would someone like to take the lead on creating a program? We need to move on this ASAP so that we can reserve a time for it. Our choices for a program/business meeting are: Thursday, Aug. 7 in the 8-5 block of time; Friday 12-1; Saturday 8-5. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend so Eric has agreed to run the business meeting portion for our committee.
April-Current: Members were asked to distribute the diversity award nomination invitations. The deadline to receive nominations was pushed back twice. The last deadline for nominations was 6/13/14.
Items Needing to be Discussed:
We have yet to receive a diversity award nomination for 2014. Not all Diversity Committee Members are responding to tasks/deadlines.
Items Needing Action:
Although the committee identified two methods of distributing the nomination information, we have yet to receive a diversity award nomination for 2014. The next action item is for the chair to check back in with the members regarding redistributing the information for a nomination. Since the second deadline was June 13, the chair will push back the deadline again with a goal of having a nomination by July 1, 2014.
Focus on our major goal of identifying diversity award nominations/ an award recipient
The 2014 proposed budget was submitted and approved by the board in January. Our projected 2014 income was $74,450 with projected expenses of $38,828, including our $12,000 contribution to the Foundation, Midwinter and Convention meeting expenses, newsletter and journal costs, and administrative services. Each year, the board attempts to budget for 80% of the project income in expenses so we are in excellent shape for 2014 with this ratio.
We decided at the Midwinter board meeting to spend $1,000 to hire a social media consultant, Tanya Dvorak, who works closely with Jen Alonso, Ph.D., CGP to put forth information for the Society. Some more positive news this year included that the Society’s royalty payment for Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice exceeded projected amounts by over $3,000 in May and totaled over $43,000 in income. Congratulations to our talented editorial staff! Midwinter meeting expenses also came in under projected costs by over $2,000. Additionally, investment assets totaled over $43,609 by the end of May, 2014. For more budget details, please see the division website.
We are currently also working to scan financial records and store them electronically. In the last year, APA brought the servicing of Division Accounting in-house and implemented a new accounting system, Serenic NAV. As they described it, “It has certainly been a bumpy road!” but progress has been made in recent months. Recently, The Division Finance team in APA filed an extension for division taxes this year so we are in process of completing tax forms for August with the manager of Division Finance and that is going well.
Division 49 ended 2013 with over $51,000 in income, including royalties from the journal at $47,812 (above the projected amount of $36,600). Dues were down significantly this year after making an intentional decision to reduce fees to be more in line with other divisions, with dues totaling $3,859 income this year (down from $6,311 but slightly above our projected amount of $3703).
We were able to reduce our newsletter costs by over 50% from 2012 by using the website for more detailed reports and shifting to an electronic version after the first edition of the year (spending over $6,200 in 2012 and only $3,020 in 2013). After contributing to the Foundation and coming in under projected budget at both conferences, our final expenses totaled just over $33,000 (compared to over $37,000 in the previous year). We remain strong in our net assets with investments totaling $43,605.
In 2014, we are expecting to bring in approximately $3,775 in dues. However, the 2014 year should provide further savings as we explore low-cost newsletter options that many divisions are using. We added a newsletter stipend of $2,000 as funds allow which began in November of 2013. We will be able to split the journal editor monies between the current Editor and Washington State (Pullman) beginning in 2014 to provide more flexibility in the release of funds. The finance committee is exploring shifting a portion of our short-term investments to funds that bring in more interest, as our balance has been stable for several years. Journal royalties are projected at $40,000 for 2014. Please see the entire projected budget for 2014 for details, which will also be placed on the website.
On January 14 2014 the ECP group of the Membership Committee hosted a conference call on “Diversity in Group Therapy.” The purpose of these calls is to provide a space for questions, dialogue, resources and support. The topic of diversity was selected given the significant impact diversity factors have on group dynamics and process. Recognizing and addressing group members and leaders values, assumptions, bias, and here-and-now reactions is important in creating a space for safety and honesty. This included at least the following aspects of diversity: culture, race, gender, sex, class, religion or spirituality, age and disability. Callers from across the United States described various ways to introduce, discuss, and deepen discussions regarding diversity characteristics present in the group. Leaders may find that creating the norm that the group will be welcoming and affirming begins during the group screening appointment. Other norms to start include: introducing early in the group’s development the idea that diversity will be discussed early on; inquiring about aspects of members’ identity they may be uncomfortable sharing or have difficulty hearing about from other members. Participants in the call shared that early in group it can be helpful to acknowledge that discussing diversity can be uncomfortable and difficult. Addressing the process may assist members in beginning to discuss diversity without realizing it. Encouraging members to reflect on their previous experiences with discussing diversity can help the leader gauge why they may initially feel unsafe or attacked in group. Work to establish a guideline that members can share their identities and that the group can experiment with using the language preferred by that group member. Afterward, a shift towards content and here-and-now reactions can continue fluidly. Similarly, callers shared that group members have valued when members or leaders of either a different or similar diversity background have dialogued with them. Given the sensitive nature of diversity discussions, normalize that strong emotions can occur. Group leaders can intervene if a group member says something that is offensive. Providing psychoeducation (e.g., microaggressions) or discussing the importance of language can assist members in being more aware of the words and language used, and the reactions it may bring up in others. Similarly, members might find that processing perceived similarities and differences can end up enhancing cohesion and safety. See below for a list of resources shared during the call:
Research by Eric Chen: Intergroup dialogue regarding multiculturalism and social justice
Research by Joe Miles: Group Climate/Intergroup dialogue
Research by Nina Brown: Book: Psychoeducational Groups: Process and Practice (2011). New York: Routledge.
Shulman, L. The Dynamics and Skills of Group Counseling (Cengage Publishers, 2011)
Shulman, L. “Learning to talk about taboo subjects: A lifelong professional task.” In R. Kurland and A. Malekoff (Eds.), Stories celebrating group work: It’s not always easy to sit on your mouth. New York: Haworth Press. (Co-published simultaneously in Social Work with Groups, 25(1)).
Shulman, L., & Clay, C. (1994). Teaching about practice and diversity: Content and process in the classroom and the field [Videotapes]. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.
Shulman, L. (2014) “Unleashing the Healing Power of the Group: The Mutual Aid Process”. In J. DeLucia-Waack, C. Kalodner & M. Riva (Ed.), The Handbook of Group Counseling and Psychotherapy (2nd edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Continue to “like” us on Facebook where you can receive the “Wisdom in Wednesdays”, a weekly group therapy tip written by the ECP members.