By Jean Keim, PhD
Having just returned from Scandinavia and Russia, it doesn't seem possible but it is time to get together again as a group at the APA convention. During my journey, I witnessed multiple groups in action and some fascinating group dynamics all of which reminds me how interesting group psychology and group psychotherapy are. This year's convention is in Washington, DC, promises to provide lots of new information on groups. Maria Riva, Janice Delucia Waack, and the Program Committee have created a program that is strong in both science and practice. Our division suite is planned for the Grand Hyatt Washington, DC. Our focus this year is on diversity and how groups can be more inclusive.
Thursday, August 4th gets the convention started with sessions focusing on group dissent, culturally appropriate and diversity-sensitive groups for children. Our Division 49 Poster Session is also on Thursday and has many interesting topics. The day wraps up with Group Speed Mentoring.
Friday will be filled with activities. Multiple sessions will highlight the latest research findings in group. For example inclusive groupbased adventure therapy, and diversity as it relates to extant majority/ minority group processes. The afternoon will include the Presidential Address, Business Meeting (3:00–4:00 pm), and symposium. This year our social will be on Friday night from 6:00–9:00 pm celebrating 20 years as a Society/Division.
Saturday morning we will start with a Founder's Breakfast in the suite from 8:00–10:00 am for those who signed the original documents forming Division 49 and members who have been in the division since the early years. It is critical you email me (jkeim@ unm.edu) your RSVP, if you plan to attend, so food can be ordered. The board meeting follows the Founders Breakfast (10:00 am–1:00 pm). Later in the day, presentations include grant opportunities and multidisciplinary group research. The day concludes (4:00–5:00 pm) with the Arthur Teicher Group Psychologist of the Year Award. This year's recipient is Arthur "Andy" Horne, and his talk is, "Prevention group approaches to reducing mental health problems in a diverse society: some efforts that work, others we wish would work."
Sunday the convention wraps up with a symposium on facilitating experiential training groups along with presentations on groups for special populations.
Our Society has been busy with many other activities as well. The American Psychological Foundation approved the formation of our foundation. We will begin soliciting funds this summer. The foundation will provide a legacy for the advancement of group psychology and group psychotherapy. Funds will be used for awards and grants. The membership committee is working on the formation of interest groups within 49. The diversity committee is making strides under the leadership of Eric Chen. They are seeking new committee members—contact Eric for more information. APA staff is hard at work finalizing our new website under the guidance of Lee Gillis and Leann Terry. The website will be maintained and updated by APA staff.
I hope it fits in your schedule to join us for the convention and Division 49's program. The convention provides a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, network and grow professionally. See you in August!
Thank you for being part of group.