Categories
Welcome

President’s Column

Lee Gillis, PhD
Lee Gillis, Ph.D.

Lee Gillis, Ph.D.
President

As this is the preconvention column I’d like to begin by highlighting a few important events. We hope all of you will join us for the Arthur Teicher Group Psychologist of the Year address to be given by Dr. Les Greene. That event will take place on Saturday, August 9 at noon in the Convention Center. Dr. Green joins an illustrious group of previous winners and we’re looking forward to hearing his remarks.

We also have an invited address by Dr. Ruth Ellen Josselson that will take place on Thursday, August 7 at 2:00 in the Convention Center.

  • Numerous students and other division members will be presenting posters on Thursday at 1:00 in the Convention Center. We hope you can join us in this session as well as the other skills sessions and symposia that will presented at the annual convention. Dr. Jill Paquin and Dr. Joe Miles have done an exceptional job of putting together this year’s program.
  • Least I forget, the business meeting of the Society will be Friday afternoon at 3:00 in the Convention Center and our Annual Social will take place on Saturday 6:00-9:00 in the Division’s Suite. We have been confirmed for a suite in the Grand Hyatt Hotel. As in past years, the room number of the suite will be available at the convention.

Let me say how much I appreciate the work of your elected board members, our journal and newsletter editors, and the program chairs for the convention. This is been quite an active group for the past six months. They are serving you well!

Here is a short update on several of the initiatives that are taking place this year.

  • Firstly, working in collaboration with Sean Woodland, student representative; Rosamond Smith, student member; and Dr. Leann Diederich, membership chair. A survey was sent to Directors of Training in both clinical and counseling psychology programs to ascertain the importance placed on group. So far we have received 54 responses. Sixty three percent of those responding reported to provide a group specific class. Eighty one percent of those group classes were experiential; 60% involved rotating leadership, 52% utilized peer leadership. When asked about the value placed on various therapy modalities using a 10 point scale, individual therapy received a 9.65 compared with the group with a 5.84, family with a 5.7, and couples with a 4.95. These are all preliminary numbers. We plan to have a more complete report in the next TGP along with a listing those graduate programs that gave us permission to do so.
  • Secondly, at the Midwinter meeting the Board voted to support our secretary, Dr. Jennifer Alonso, to increase our visibility on social networking sites. She was authorized to oversee someone who would make regular postings to our Facebook group in order to increase the visibility of the society, especially among early career professionals and students. Anyone who “likes” the Facebook group for Society has seen a substantial uptick in daily postings! These postings are supplemented by “Wisdom on Wednesdays”, a project of our ECP group. Current plans are to expand posting to Google+, LinkedIn, and to use our Twitter account during the convention to keep members who wish to follow us abreast of events in the moment.
  • Thirdly, many of you responded to the survey requests asking your opinion of beginning a second journal. An ad hoc committee led by Dr. Joe Powers is conducting this work. This group is examining the results of the survey and will make a recommendation to the Board at the August meeting.
  • Again, I want to encourage interested members to explore the APA communities, the membership-only website, where we are storing current and archival information about the Division, including our current Bylaws, Policy manual, minutes, and budgets. There are other features on the site that may or may not be used in the future; for now it serves as excellent cloud storage for materials that heretofore have been stored on various board members computers or in storage boxes.

I do hope everyone’s summer is going well and I look forward to seeing all of you at the Convention in Washington or online. Do not hesitate to contact me at lee.gillis@gcsu.edu or 478-445-0865.

Categories
Welcome

President’s Column

Lee Gillis, PhD
Lee Gillis, PhD

Lee Gillis, PhD
President

The theme of my presidential year is connecting to the group experience. Connecting as I view it will occur on multiple levels. First, the face of our society will embrace and utilize social networking connections to promote our next publications and our website such that we increase our visibility within APA and beyond.

For membership I would like to see a connection between the people who publish and read our journal and those who present at the convention and write for the newsletter. I would like to see a stronger connection between group psychology and group psychotherapy.

I’m committed to promoting early career psychologists (ECPs) throughout our division. It only takes a brief look at the demographics of our division to see that we need to attract and retain ECPs as well as student members to support the midcareer and later career psychologist who make up the bulk of our membership.

As I listed in my president-elect columns I am committed to helping undergraduates connect to both group psychology and group psychotherapy graduate programs. As mentioned before, I would also like to help those doctoral students seeking internships that emphasize group work to be able to identify them more easily.

Our membership committee, under the leadership of the Dr. Leann Diederich, and assisted in ECP initiatives by Dr. Joe Miles, have provided a number of ways that members can connect on telephone conversations that focus on professional issues related to teaching group and practicing group. I know these will continue under their leadership. I also know that their work on the Facebook group and with Google+ Hangouts will continue. The hangout that we did at the 2013 Convention was quite a hit. We’ve learned much from that experience and hope to continue this method of delivering information to members throughout the year.

I want to encourage interested members to explore the APA communities, a membership-only site where we are storing current and archival information about the division, including our current bylaws, policy manuals, and budgets.

While it might sound a bit wonky, I would like to continue the work that Nina Brown oversaw and ensure that our policy manual is an accurate representation of what we as a board actually do. The previous efforts on the policy manual have been invaluable to me as an officer of this society and I hope with help from board members and membership that the policy manual will be as accurate as possible and serve as a guide for current and future leadership.

We will continue to make connections among like-minded divisions within APA. We identified many divisions that utilize a group format but are perhaps not aware of what our members do and how they might benefit from joining us and learning about what we do. I have made a decision along with the executive committee to appoint liaisons to APA groups and committees where our voices will be heard – or at least listened to.

Finally, I want to give a strong shout out to Drs. Jill Paquin and Joe Miles for their work on our APA convention program. Due to some unforeseeable events, Jill agreed in August to chair the program committee and Joe Miles was willing to assist her this year and chair this position next year. They have put together an excellent program and have collaborated with a number of other divisions within APA. This type of collaboration and connection must continue in all the work we do for us to be able to survive and to thrive.

Categories
Welcome

President-Elect Column

Dennnis M. Kivlighan , Jr., PhD
Dennnis M. Kivlighan , Jr., PhD

Dennis M. Kivlighan, Jr., PhD
President-Elect

I just returned from the mid-winter meeting, where we were conducting the business of our society. It was a productive, fun, and thought-provoking meeting. As you would expect when a meeting is run by someone with extensive group experience, we paid appropriate attention to both the task and social aspect of group process; thanks, Lee Gillis. The members of the board are smart, hard-working, and they care about and want to enhance our society and research and practice in group psychology and about group therapy. I feel honored to be working with such a great group of people. If any of you are thinking about getting more involved with the society, either by running for an office or a board position or by participating in one of our committees, I can guarantee that your involvement will be rewarding both professionally and personally.

In his column Lee addresses the theme of his presidential year. It may seem early, but our bylaws ask me to already be thinking about the theme for my presidential year. It is important to me that the theme that I choose both support and build on the theme that Lee has articulated, “connecting to the group experience.” I especially want to further his desire to “see a stronger connection between group psychology and group psychotherapy.” Simply put, my theme will be AND.

Our society is the Society of Group Psychology AND Group Psychotherapy. I love the aspirational goal implied in this name; to bring together all people interested in, working with, and examining groups and group processes, regardless of disciplinary subspecialty, to advance our understanding of and our practice with groups. I know that my research on and thinking about psychotherapy and training groups has been greatly influenced by and benefited from theory and research from social, organizational, and sports psychologists studying small groups. Unfortunately, our society seems to act more like the Society of Group Psychology OR Group Psychotherapy.

For example, several years ago my colleague Joe Miles and I did a study examining the articles published in the first five volumes of Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice. We analyzed these articles in two different ways. First, we used a language analysis program to examine the content of the articles and develop themes based on this content. Second, we developed themes among these same articles by analyzing the articles’ reference lists. When we looked at the content of the articles we came up with broad themes, like cohesion, that cut across different sub-disciplines of group researchers. When we examined references, however, the articles clumped into sup-disciplinary areas ( e.g., sport teams). We concluded that we were studying similar phenomena but were not learning from or incorporating each other’s scholarship.

I want to provide a second example of how we seem to function as the Society of Group Psychology OR Group Psychotherapy. As acknowledged by Lee, Dr. Jill Paquin and Dr. Joe Miles have put together an exciting and interesting program for the APA convention in Washington, DC (I hope you will all come and attend these Division 49 programs). We have one poster session as part of the program with a number of what look like informative and interesting posters. However, all of these posters are examining some aspect of group psychotherapy or group counseling (the program chairs are limited by what types of proposals they receive). By contrast, under Dick Moreland’s leadership and continued stewardship, Division 49 annually offers an award for the best dissertation research on small groups. This Dissertation Research Award is now entering its 15th year. I have been fortunate to be part of the review committee each year for these awards and have been privileged to see the high-quality small group research being produced. In reviewing these awards it is striking that almost none of the submissions and none of the award winners are studies examining group therapy. I am absolutely convinced that the program chairs are not biased toward accepting only group psychotherapy proposals and the Dissertation Award committee members are not biased toward only awarding organizational or social psychological research. Rather, we seem to be selectively sorting ourselves into different aspects of the division and by this selective sorting process inadvertently creating the Society of Group Psychology OR Group Psychotherapy.

Therefore, I am asking for your help in addressing my AND presidential initiative. I would like to develop a number of proposals to concretely create more AND in our Society. If you have ideas related to AND or you would like to be involved with this AND initiative when I take over as president in 2015, please contact me at dennisk@umd.edu.

Categories
Welcome

From Your Editors

Tom Treadwell, Ed.D., T.E.P, CGP
Editor

Leann Terry Diederich, Ph.D.
Associate Editor

It was nice seeing many of you at the AGPA Annual Convention in Boston and we are looking forward to APA’s Convention in Washington, DC, this August. This is an excellent way to get and stay reconnected, gain new skills and knowledge, and come together as part of a larger group to revitalize and enjoy each other’s company.

In this issue, you can read about the following:

  • President Lee Gillis is focused on helping undergraduates connect to both group psychology and group psychotherapy graduate programs. Currently Lee has developed a team of students and Early Career Psychologists (ECPs) who are constructing a survey of graduate programs to ascertain the depth and breadth of their graduate studies in-group. Additionally, he would also like to help doctoral students seeking internships emphasizing group work to be able to identify them more easily.
  • President-Elect Dennis Kivlighan, Jr. plans to focus on connecting and furthering the group experience that our current president has established to intensify a stronger connection between group psychology and group psychotherapy.

Members may recall that over the past three years a discussion regarding the format of The Group Psychologist surfaced and we elected to have the newsletter delivered as an online electronic newsletter, PDF version. Starting with this issue we have upgraded our electronic edition to an easier navigational format allowing members to traverse the pages quickly on a computer, smartphone, or tablet. We feel this is an excellent way to offer expanded content in an electronic format to our membership beyond the content on the Division website.

This issue has links to individual articles, tabs across the top and bottom of pages (for current issue, past issues, instructions to authors, link to website, about TGP/the Division, how to join the division, and a link to Facebook). Other features include a photo gallery, a way to sign-up to follow the site (e.g., get emails when it’s updated), a search feature, archives by month, and categories (types of articles). If you like one of the articles you read, be sure to comment, send it via email to a colleague, or “like” it on Facebook.

We encourage your feedback regarding this electronic format and want you to share your thoughts with us.

Articles or brief reports and news items can be emailed directly to Tom, Leann, Letitia, and Noranne at ttreadwe@mail.med.upenn.edu, as can Letters to the Editor.