A Note from the Secretary

Dear ABGP members,

This past Friday and Saturday your ABGP board convened for its annual face-to-face meeting in Chicago. We are a small membership of nearly fifty members. As many of you may know, our existence within ABPP has been questioned at times. With the stewardship of our president, Dr. Joel Frost and the past president Dr. Sally Barlow, ABPP now sees us as small but powerful. We continue our mission of working as gatekeepers in the field of group psychology. We strive to preserve the quality of care that public receives in terms of group psychotherapy, currently the most popular modality in the United States.

Nonetheless, if we cannot improve our recruitment our existence in ABPP may be compromised. The board worked, tirelessly (no, I am not being dramatic) with the mission of trying to recruit new members who would qualify for ABGP. A vision of broadening our net to bring in other group therapists besides our psychodynamic brothers and sisters was proposed. We will reach out to AGPA, drama therapists, and Division 49 to expand our membership. As with all of ABPP, we are also reaching out to early career psychologists (ECP’s). Expanding our membership will help us in promoting and preserving the quality of group psychology in the United States.

As many of you know, group psychotherapy was denied specialty status in APA for the fourth time. We will join forces with other organizations in hiring a professional technical writer familiar with navigating these proposals. If group psychotherapy does not gain specialty status with APA, insurance companies may stop reimbursing for services. We are confident that our proposal will be accepted once the bureaucratic waters are properly navigated. ABGP will be giving $5000 toward this effort. This contribution will help to hire the writer.

The Group Academy has been re-established with Drs. Andy Eig and Tom Lowry as officers. After many years of serving on the board, Tom will be stepping down at year’s end and Dr. Sally Barlow will be joining Andy as an officer. The Academy’s primary objective is to educate the field and the public about group psychology. We have established a website for these purposes.
If you have an announcement about your recent publications or presentations, please e-mail me and I will post it on the website. We are always looking for brief articles or blog posts about group. Please consider submitting them as well.

Treasurer Dr. Joel Frost reports that ABGP is in excellent financial health. We have had two new exams this year (with one more to go). This is a 200 per cent increase. We have also trimmed our expenses significantly. Instead of having an expensive steak dinner at our board meeting, we have a working dinner with pizza and wine. Despite being a die hard New Yorker, I have found the Chicago style pizza and the warmth of the company to be quite enjoyable.

The board also planned our Annual dinner in Manhattan. We have found a less costly ($30 per person) and more personable solution. Stay tuned for the invitation to my home in downtown Manhattan (West 20th Street). This is a chance for us to get together with friends and colleagues and to welcome potential members in an authentic Manhattan loft. Please bring a friend or two who may be interested in joining ABPP. Even if they are have no interest in joining bring them anyway! All potential members will dine for free.

To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, here is the part where one needs to ask not what ABGP can do for you but what you can do for ABGP. We are all Group certified because of our dedication to the group modality. As an extremely small membership, we all need to use whatever resources we have. Professional and personal responsibilities pull us all from ABGP. What may seem like a small gesture can make a huge impact on ABGP. Do you know of someone who would be a good addition to ABPP? Bring him or her to the ABGP dinner in Manhattan. Can you write a 500 word blog post? We are always looking for people to sit on an oral exam.

I look forward to hearing from all of you soon.

Best Regards,

Andy Eig, Ph.D. ABPP
Secretary, Academy Officer