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Candidate Statement: Secretary, Joe Miles

Joe Miles, Ph.D.
Joe Miles, Ph.D.

I am pleased to run for Secretary of the Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy. I have had a many experiences that have fueled my excitement about the Society, and my desire to pursue a leadership position. I served as Co-Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee for Early Career Psychologists, helping offer conference calls designed to share expertise, foster relationships across diverse group interests, and connect ECPs to others in later career stages. I also serve on the Society’s Diversity Committee, and have helped develop diversity-related programming at recent Conventions.

I served as Program Co-Chair and Chair for the 2014 and 2015 APA Conventions, respectively. As Chair, I solicited, reviewed, and scheduled regular programming, while developing relationships and programming across divisions through APA’s Collaborative Programming initiative. This helped highlight the potential for collaborations across many divisions, and the importance of groups across all of psychology. These positions required enthusiasm, attention to detail, and a passion for group work, which I would also bring to the position of Secretary.

Groups are also at the heart of my research and teaching. My primary interest is the process and outcome of intergroup dialogue, a group intervention that brings together individuals from social identity groups with a history of tension between them for sustained, face-to-face communication. This work gives me a strong appreciation for the power of groups, and the work of the Society.

The Society is my professional home. I am passionate about groups, and dedicated to the Society. I would be honored to share this passion and dedication as Secretary. Thank you for your consideration.

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Candidate Statement: President Elect, Leann Diederich

Leann Diederich, Ph.D.
Leann Diederich, Ph.D.

Groups: comforting, thought provoking, intimidating, powerful, wondrous, and complex. Groups fascinate me. This led to my specialty in groups during graduate school and I have continued a passion for groups in my career. As I’ve transitioned from being a staff psychologist and Group Therapy Coordinator at Pennsylvania State University’s counseling center, to working independently in private practice, groups have remained a specialty of mine.

My knowledge and love for groups has been fostered through my involvement in the Society. In December 2015 I completed a rotation as Member-at-Large on the Board. In my time working with the Board over the past 10 years, I have served as Chair of the Student Committee, Membership Chair, and currently Co-Chair of the Early Career Psychologist Task Force. I am currently the Associate Editor of The Group Psychologist and liaison to APA’s Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice. As you can see, I’ve worn many hats with the Society and have come to know it well.

Continuing to serve the needs of Early Career Psychologists (ECPs) would be my focus as President-elect. Our Society’s future is in our students and ECPS and those are the connections I want to nurture. Several recent initiatives I have worked on with the ECP Task Force are evidence of this, including our popular conference calls, short-term mentoring groups, and a newly develop Webinar Series that is coming up.

I have a strong passion to serve the Society and the broader field of group psychology and group psychotherapy. My professional home has been firmly housed in the group world since the beginning of my graduate study with Dr. Rex Stockton. I can’t think of a better way to integrate my passion for groups and my dedication to service than through this Society. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments about my candidacy for this position, at Leann.Diederich@gmail.com.

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Candidate Statement: President Elect, Giorgio Tasca

Giorgio A. Tasca, Ph.D.
Giorgio A. Tasca, Ph.D.

I am deeply honored to be nominated to run for president of APA Division 49, Society for Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy. I have been a member of the Society for a number of years and have always felt a close connection with the Division and its membership. Most recently, I was an Associate Editor of Group Dynamics and will be editing a special issue on statistical methods in group psychology and psychotherapy this coming year. I have been a group therapist for over 30 years, and I have been an active group researcher for the past 15 years. I am proud of the fact that I was a full time group practitioner well before becoming a researcher, as I think it gives me a unique perspective on researching groups. My practice is primarily focused on group treatment of eating disorders, especially binge-eating disorder. I supervise residents in psychology and psychiatry in group work, and I continue to research new approaches to group treatments. If elected president I would like to focus on supporting students within the Division, including efforts to increase student membership through greater visibility of trainees at the convention by providing small awards, recognitions, and scholarships. In keeping with my dual identity as a clinician-researcher I would like to find ways to increase a dialogue between group practitioners and group researchers so that practice is more consistently influenced by the evidence, and so that research is more specifically informed by the experiences of practitioners and clients.

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Candidate Statement: Secretary, Bryan Bonner

Bryan Bonner, Ph.D.
Bryan Bonner, Ph.D.

Dr. Bonner is currently a professor of management at the University of Utah in the David Eccles School of Business. Prior to his current position, he served as an assistant professor of psychology at Williams College.

I am honored to have the potential opportunity to serve Division 49 of the APA in the role of secretary. I am committed to doing my utmost to support our division and the association more broadly. I served as Associate Editor of the division’s journal, Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, for a one-year term that lasted five years (2010-2015). It was through this activity that I was introduced to the true breadth of research related to “Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy,” which spans methodologies and paradigms, but, at its core, has a unifying curiosity about the most central question of social psychology: how does the group affect the individual? This research spans from the lab to the sports field and from the clinical office to the working organization. I am personally a member of the “small groups research” academic community, publishing in our journal, Group Dynamics, as well as other outlets including APA’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. If given the opportunity, I will work to preserve the strong interdisciplinary focus of Division 49.

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Candidate Statement: Council Representative, Sally Barlow

Sally Barlow, Ph.D.
Sally Barlow, Ph.D.

Serving on the Council of Representatives has been an eye-opening experience. Three years is barely enough time to understand what is going on. Hard-working council members debate tough issues, based on lengthy background reports, insight into the finer points of the argument, strategic planning to represent ones constituency, and presence of mind to stand at the microphone and talk to a packed room of representatives, staff members, and often the press. If you’ll have me for a second term I would be honored.

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Candidate Statement: Council Representative, Jennifer Alonso

Jennifer Alonso, Ph.D., CGP
Jennifer Alonso, Ph.D., CGP

It is my great honor to accept the Division’s nomination for APA Council of Representatives. I have had the privilege of serving as the Division’s Secretary since 2014. This has afforded me the opportunity to learn about the intricacies and governance of APA, as well as the valuable mission of Division 49 and its members. The field of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy is incredibly important given its impact on so many aspects of daily life, societal norms and interpersonal dynamics. Being an advocate for and casting my votes with the needs and interest of the Division and its members would be my priority. I am passionate about and committed to the Division, and look forward to the opportunity to continue my service here. I am a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Florida where my primary role includes coordinating the 30+ therapy groups run each semester through the Counseling and Wellness Center. Group Therapy is my passion and I enjoy teaching, supervising and presenting yearly at APA and AGPA in this area.

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Candidate Statement: Member-At-Large, Misha Bogomaz

Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., C.G.P.
Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., C.G.P.

I truly believe, as Aristotle once said, human beings “by nature are social animals”. My love for groups was ignited while participating as a member in an experiential group for first year graduate students. After initially experiencing a great deal of anxiety, I have realized how much I have grown personally and professionally. I have made it my mission to get involved in as much as I can in the field to advocate for group psychology and psychotherapy.

As a graduate student, I wrote my dissertation on group leadership and attended numerous group conferences and trainings in Chicago, Illinois. Since graduation, I have been involved in several professional organization. I am Member-at-Large in Division 49, and serve as a co-chair of Task Force for Early Career Psychologists. I am a member of the Group Specialty Counsel and helped with the development of the petition to the Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology (CRSPPP) to have group psychotherapy/psychology designated as a specialty. I have also been involved in the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA). I am on the Workshop Committee for the 2014-2016 term; we are tasked with reviewing of workshop proposals, observing assigned program events, and providing feedback to the assigned workshop faculty. Shortly after becoming a licensed psychologist, I was certified as a group psychotherapist (C.G.P.) with AGPA. Currently I work as a group coordinator at the University of North Florida (UNF) Counseling Center, as well as part-time in a private practice. I facilitate two interpersonal process groups at UNF, and one group at the private practice.

My focus as a Member-at-Large would be to continue engagement of early career psychologists and graduate students as well as advocating for group psychology/psychotherapy. Please do not hesitate to email me if you have any questions or comments about my candidacy.

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Candidate Statement: Member-at-Large, Irene Deitrich

Irene Deitrich, Ph.D.
Irene Deitrich, Ph.D.

“I Work & Play well with others”

My focus as a Member-at-Large is:

I am an energetic, enthusiastic, efficient and effective group member and leader.
Working with members can be creative and challenging. My experience with divisional leadership has always been productive. Humor and cooperation help to achieve organizational goals. Working toward those goals is a shared experience.  I welcome the opportunity to promote those goals.

My history with APA and Divisions has been a successful effort..

Yes…I do Work & Play well with others.

  • College of Staten Island, City University of NY
  • NYS Licensed Psychologist…Psychotherapist
  • Fellow , American Psychological Association
  • Past President: Society of Media Psychologists
  • Organizer of Richmond County Psychological Association ( Staten Island)
  • Recipient: Humanitarian/Service Award
  • Recipient: Staten Island Woman of Achievement ( 2007)
  • Performer/Entertainment @ APA  Conventions
  • APA:
    • Chair: Membership Committee
    • Committee on aging
    • Committee on international Affairs
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Candidate Statement: Student Representative, Keri Frantell

Keri Frantell, M.S.
Keri Frantell, M.S.

It is an honor to be nominated for Student Representative of Division 49. My passion for group work began when I was facilitating interpersonal process groups and psychoeducation groups for women with substance use disorders as part of my master’s internship. At that time, I became interested in developing psychotherapy groups. I truly found my passion when I discovered intergroup dialogues. With that discovery, I began to blend my clinical interest in groups with a passion for researching them. I currently focus on the processes and outcomes of intergroup dialogue at the University of Tennessee with Dr. Joe Miles, with hopes of developing similar initiatives for the community.

This year, I joined the Group Division’s Diversity Committee and am excited to connect with others on ways to increase membership and acknowledge diversity within our community. There are so many opportunities for integration of group work into other psychology domains, as evidenced by the diversity of specialties within the division already. I am excited to be a part of a group that is working to recruit members from varied backgrounds and highlight the strengths of our members. I would love to work with the board to develop plans for increasing membership and retention, with specific attention to increasing student membership within 49. There is a lot of exciting work being done within group psychotherapy and group psychology, and I’d love to share these developments with other students.

I am again grateful for the nomination to this position and appreciate your consideration!

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Candidate Statement: Student Representative, Rachel Bitman-Heinrichs

Rachel Bitman-Heinrichs, MA
Rachel Bitman-Heinrichs, MA

My Name is Rachel Bitman-Heinrichs and I am a 5th year student in the counseling psychology doctoral program at Iowa State University. I would be thrilled to serve as the APA  Division 49 Student representative for the 2016-2017 year.

I absolutely love groups! I find them to be dynamic, rich and incredibly powerful. I love to facilitate Yalom-style interpersonal process groups and have a strong interest in the program development aspect of group training experiences.  My research interests lie in self-stigma of help seeking as well as factors that facilitate or impeded group cohesion. In particular I am fascinated by discussions of religion and spirituality in group and ways in which these experiences lead groups to conflict or cohesion. A major goal as student representative of division 49 would be serving as a liaison between board members and students but most importantly helping student’s voices be heard.  I would also like to continue to expand group training opportunities for students and early career psychologists working closely with program developers to provide subsidized training experiences and to communicate these experiences to students. Lastly, I would like to further assist in helping students to develop mentorship relationships and spread the word about division 49 to the dynamic group of students who are not yet members of division 49 or new to APA!