The theme of this issue, change, is one that we as group therapists know well. Change is exciting but can also be terrifying, as it involves giving up the old and comfortable for the unknown, and it inevitably engenders resistance. AGPS and The Voice have been undergoing many changes over the past several years; in this issue we pause to reflect on some of the specific changes in our organization and provide a space for some of the writers in our community to reflect on what change means for them.
If you are receiving this email and have not been clicking on the links to the online issues of The Voice, I invite you to challenge your own resistance and read further. The Voice shifted from print to an online format in 2015. Personally, I had a lot of reactions to the shift to online, most of them negative. I feel a deep attachment to the art of the written word and I loved leafing through the pages of The Voice in print, reading it cover to cover. I have been hearing that many of you feel a similar sense of loss and that fewer of you are reading online issues from start to finish.
One important benefit of the online version is that we can start to have conversations together, right on the page, in the comments section of each article.
I want you to know that budgetary and environmental concerns truly do make the online format the best way to share The Voice with you all. Please consider giving this edition a try. One important benefit of the online version is that we can start to have conversations together, right on the page, in the comments section of each article. Alejandra Spector’s essay “Home of the Brave” in our Winter 2017 issue opened a lively discussion and inspired my personal essay in this issue, “Connecting Through Political Upheaval.”
Amelia Cannaly, a new Voice committee member, interviewed our Spring Workshop leader, Joseph Acosta. Their conversation gives us a glimpse into Joseph’s perspective on how understanding neurobiology and working in the language of physical sensations can help us deepen connections in our groups.
This issue’s Voice of Experience column explores the topic of secret keeping in groups, as experienced clinicians provide a variety of suggestions from their unique perspectives. Sarah Pollard, another new member of the Voice committee, is doing a wonderful job managing this column from start to finish!
If you continue reading this issue, you will find articles from two of AGPS’s emerging writers, Deborah Sharp and Blake Davis.
In her article, “Change, Liminal Zones and Groups,” Deborah Sharp traces the path of her uniquely fearless relationship to change. She walks us through the ways her ability to dive into the unknown has been her saving grace at painful times throughout her life. You will learn how she has relied on and formed groups to provide shelter in the rough waters of her own life and those of many others, and how she is embracing her professional shift into the role of AGPS President Elect.
In his article “Changing Sensations”, Blake Davis shares the story of of his shift this year into the role of father and the reverberations of this life change in his work with individuals and with groups. He invites us into his group room as a he helps a member begin to shake off a no-longer-functional coping response.
We are currently accepting submissions from authors for the Fall or Winter edition of The Voice. The submission process can begin either with an idea or with a written piece, so please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an idea for an article or essay whether or not you’ve put pen to paper!
Stacy Nakell, LCSW