President's Message

Martyn Whittingham, PhD Welcome to the website for Div. 49 (Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy). If you have arrived here, then you are likely someone interested in group therapy, group dynamics or any of the myriad ways in which groups can manifest themselves. Joining our Society will connect you to a community of academics and practitioners who share your fascination with group work and see a place to learn, interact and develop shared interests. We are home to wide variety of group people – social psychologists, group therapists, team and organizational dynamics experts. Our journal, Group Dynamics, provides an academic home for researchers from diverse fields, all whom share a commitment to excellence in studying group phenomenon. We are also pleased to announce that as of 2018 we are now designated a specialty through APA's Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology (CRSPPP). This recognition is an important step in communicating to stakeholders that group therapy has its own techniques, processes and knowledge base, separate from those connected to the theories it employs. In other words, it is more than just a delivery mechanism for therapies, but rather has its own mechanisms of change in and of itself.

We would love for you to join us. Whether at the beginning of your career and looking for a home or later in your career and seeking to branch out, we practice what we preach – that groups are powerful means to connect to each other and find community and meaning. We host convention programming every year at APA, but we also work together year-round to network, share findings and interests and to generate new knowledge. Whether you are a practitioner looking for guidance on group therapy or a teamwork researcher looking for new ways of looking at old problems, we have folks in the division who speak your language and can be a help.

Join our Society and you will receive our newsletter, the Group Psychologist and our journal, Group Dynamics. We would also encourage you to reach out to us in person and send us an email letting us know who you are. We can then let you know about upcoming meetings and events at the APA convention and other opportunities for networking, training and publishing or consuming research.

Right now, groups are under increasing scrutiny, as loneliness research (Mushtaq et al 2014) shows links between social isolation and serious illness, higher rates of mortality, problems with mental health and ability to function as a part of a team. Consider joining the Society and become part of this lively and exciting discussion around how groups and group behavior impact individuals, small and large groups and society as a whole.

You can become a member of Div. 49 online. We look forward to meeting you.

Martyn Whittingham, PhD, CPG, FAGPA

President, Div. 49

References

Mushtaq, R., Shoib, S., Shah, T., Mushtaq, S.(2014), Relationship Between Loneliness, Psychiatric Disorders and Physical Health ? A Review on the Psychological Aspects of Loneliness. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. Vol-8(9): WE01-WE04.