Candidate statements for president-elect

Review the member statements for this position from Scott Conkright, PsyD and H.L. “Lee” Gillis, PhD

Scott Conkright, PsyD

It has been a real pleasure to serve as Secretary on the Division 49 board this past year and I look forward to the next two years of my term. I would love the opportunity to continue on afterwards as president. I have been especially excited and rejuvenated by the creative ways we continue to make this division an important place for group practitioners and researchers to come together for both intellectual and relational sustenance. Group folks need groups too, and Division 49 needs to be one of the primary places that they go to for replenishment.

I had the good fortune at Drake University, during my master’s training, to be required to receive fairly extensive group training, both experientially and didactically. After getting my doctorate and moving to Atlanta, I got deeply  involved in the local American Group Psychotherapy Association affiliate and started to present workshops for them as well as serve on their board. For the past ten years I have presented nationally on various group themes, more recently on applying Lacanian theories to group practice. In addition to my talks, I have also published several articles on the topic and am currently fi nishing a book that I hope to have published soon.

My goals as president would be to help Division 49 continue to sustain the growing impact of our publications, as well as to harness the power and vitality of the new social media resources that are now at our disposal. Training about group theory and practice is now available via podcast and YouTube and we need to be the leader in this domain. We also need to fi nd ways of attracting the new generation of practitioners and researchers by these same means.

H.L. “Lee” Gillis, PhD

I am honored and humbled by the nomination of president-elect. If, elected, I will serve with passion for the present and a vision for the future of our society.

My career thus far prepares me to lead our Society for Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy. I have trained psychology undergraduates for graduate work for the past 25 years, and chaired a department of psychology for the past six years.

As a member at large of the board of the Division 49 for three years and manager of the web presence and email list, I have more fully understood the challenges and strength of our organization – something I was unaware of as a division member who attended the convention and read the newsletter.

During last year’s celebration of the founding of the society, I was amazed at the breadth and depth of knowledge and experience our long-standing members had. I wish to connect early career and later career members together in ways that strengthen the whole. As our membership increases, we insure 49’s legacy. We still have much work to do in order to make Group a recognized and understood specialty within psychology. The Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy has  the potential to have a tremendous impact on our profession.

I am the current chair of psychological science at Georgia College in Milledgeville. I have been here since earning my PhD in counseling psychology at The University of Georgia in 1986. I cut my teeth with a research and practice agenda in group dynamics and in adventure therapy primarily with groups of adjudicated youth in residential treatment; I currently maintain a small private practice as a licensed psychologist. My personal mission within Division 49 is to educate psychologists on the power of adventure-based and active experiential approaches to group psychotherapy.

My goal as president-elect is to harness social networking and face-to-face encounters for Division 49 to link young professionals to the wisdom of the elder states-men and women of the Society. Our membership demographics require that we attract and retain doctoral students and early career professionals for the Society. Greater web-based presence will help in attaining increased membership. I am prepared to continue the fiscal responsibility of previous years, promote evidence-based group work and continue recognizing current members via fellow status.

If, elected, I will serve you with humility and a vision for the sustainability of our Society.