A Letter from AGPS President, Dave Kaplowitz

Dear Colleagues,

As we leave the summer behind and enter into fall, I am thinking about change and transition. The days are getting shorter and hopefully cooler. This time of year, I tend to think back to my youth growing up in New England. The air would get brisk, I would get new clothes, and a new school year would begin along with the excitement and anxiety of new classes, teachers, and classmates. This time of year is bringing some changes to AGPS programming and we have some exciting events planned. Before I get into new programming, I’d like to review our accomplishments from the past few months.

Joseph Acosta led our Spring Workshop on Friday, May 19th entitled Finding Words for Our Neurobiological Responses: Establishing the Foundations of Emotional Connection in Group. This workshop drew double the attendance of recent workshops. As most of you know, the A/C went out, and we certainly appreciate everyone’s willingness to persevere and stay for the whole event in spite of the heat. We promise to do our best to have the A/C up and running for our next events!

John Cooper led our first Friday Night Conversation of the year, White Privilege, Reaching Out, Diversity, and AGPS: The Conversation Continues, on June 23. Jason Sugg was gracious enough to host the conversation at his home. John is the chair of our Diversity Committee and you can read more about what the committee is up to in his article in this issue of The Voice.

This time of year is bringing some changes to AGPS programming and we have some exciting events planned.

Jay Erwin-Grotsky led an Institute on Sept 9-10 entitled Working with Resistance in Group. This institute was open to beginning through intermediate-level practitioners and filled up with a waiting list. Make sure you register early for future institutes; these are very in-demand intimate opportunities to learn from senior therapists in our community.

And now onto our upcoming events. The highlight of our fall programming will be our first annual 2-day conference on October 20-21 and consultation group on Oct 22 with Molyn Leszcz, MD, FRCPC, CGP, DFAGPA, entitled Developing and Sustaining Successful Group Leadership Practices. In our new conference format, all participants will be exposed to internationally acclaimed group therapist Dr. Molyn Leszcz as well as participate in a small group experience throughout the two days with a senior group leader from Austin. Please go to the event page to register and for more information. Organizing this event has been a big undertaking and I appreciate all of the effort that the conference committee, led by Katie Griffin and with support from other AGPS committees, has been putting in to make this happen. We are really excited about the new conference format and hope to see you there.

On Nov 11-12, Jev Sikes, PhD is going to lead an institute entitled Dependency and Counter-Dependency in Group. This institute will be open to all levels. Registration for this event will open on Tuesday, Sept 26, so be sure to get on it early if you’d like to secure a space.

We will have two more Friday Night Conversations this year and will be sending out more information soon. Please mark your calendars for our annual holiday party that will be held on the evening of Saturday, December 2nd. Gianna Viola has graciously offered her warm and inviting home for this event. Stay tuned for more details in the near future.

Please note that we have completely revamped our Google Group as a resource for the Austin Group Therapy community. The group is open to all who are interested and will serve as a resource for finding groups as well as publicizing new groups and group-related activities. The board has been working on this for the past few years and Gianna Viola has developed a great set of guidelines for the group. Everyone from the previous listserv will automatically be added, and information about how to join was sent out. If you would like to be added to the group you can register here.

And finally, a quick reminder to log on to austingroups.org, check to see whether your membership is up to date, and renew or join if not. And, while you are at it, please take a look at your profile and group listings to make sure that they are up-to-date. I hope to see everyone soon at  one of our upcoming events!

Dave Kaplowitz, LMFT, CGP


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