About Division 49
Division 49 is an organization that welcomes all psychologists interested in the study and application of group dynamics. The purpose of Division 49, Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy, shall be to promote the development and advancement of the field of group psychology and the modality of group psychotherapy through research, teaching and education, and clinical practice and to further the general objectives of the APA.
The division sponsors a journal, Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice. Division members also receive a newsletter, The Group Psychologist.
In the early 1980's, special sections of people interested in group psychotherapy formed in several divisions of the APA. This occurred first in Division 29 (Psychotherapy), and then in Divisions 12 (Clinical Psychology) & 17 (Counseling Psychology). An Interdisciplinary Council on Group Psychotherapy was created in 1989 to coordinate the activities (e.g., workshops and convention programs) of these special sections. As that group developed, its members realized the value of creating a new APA division devoted entirely to group psychology and group psychotherapy.
Creating the new division was not easy; several obstacles had to be overcome. These obstacles included identifying the requisite number (over 600) of potential members, and navigating the political currents within APA at that time. But thanks to the efforts of Dr. Art Teicher and others, Division 49 was approved by APA's Council of Representatives in February of 1991. Later that year, the Division offered its first official program of convention activities in San Francisco.
Much has happened since then, but rather than try to summarize it here, we urge you to read a paper by Dr. Michael Andronico that recounts the history of Division 49 in much more detail. That paper appears in a book entitled Unification Through Division: Histories of the Divisions of the APA (Volume 3), edited by Dr. Donald Drewsbury and published by APA. It makes for fascinating reading...
Join Division 49 and become a part of the Division's history.
Developing and testing new theories about group processes;
applying knowledge about group processes to help solve psychological and social problems;
expanding the training of graduate students to include group dynamics; and,
educating the public about the value of group dynamics and the benefits of group psychotherapy.
Division 49 provides two publications to members:
The Division 49 Bylaws (PDF, 76KB), revised September 2012