Psychotherapy Bulletin

Psychotherapy Bulletin

2023 President’s Column 58(4)

As I have been reflecting on having had the privilege of serving as the president of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy this year and preparing to write my last Bulletin column while in this role, I have become even more grateful for this organization and its members than I ever have been before. SAP has been my primary professional home for about 20 years, and I have made dear friends among my colleagues, many of whom stepped up and helped me with my presidential initiative. These generous and hard-working colleagues have included but not been limited to Clara Hill, Jennifer Callahan, Stewart Cooper, Barbara Thompson, Melissa Jones, Joshua Swift, Tony Rousmaniere, Jean Carter, Linda Campbell, Amy Ellis, and of course, Tracey Martin. 

My goal during my presidential year has been to give back to SAP by reviewing and improving the structure and the functions of the organization to improve communication, role descriptions, collaboration, and maintenance of governance activities over time. Colleagues joined in this endeavor by serving on Task Forces, clarifying governance roles, and preparing processes to improve communication and facilitate collaboration among domains. While the initiative is still a work in progress and will continue until the February 2024 SAP Board Meeting, much has been accomplished already. The Publications and Communications Board has begun revamping its structure and functions under the leadership of the current chair, Amy Ellis, and exciting changes to the SAP Website are coming. We’re very fortunate that Amy is taking this on because she created our original website and knows how to improve it better than anyone. After last year’s success in offering two free CE programs to our members, the Chair of the Education and Training Committee, Melissa Jones, created a streamlined three-step process for creating and offering more programs in the future. If you are interested in proposing a program that you would like to offer through SAP, you can find the description of the process for proposing programs and accompanying forms on our website. As I noted in my column in the last issue of the Bulletin, programs can be offered with or without Continuing Education credit, but we would really like to see more continuing education programs. 

The Board gave approval in August to my Task Force to proceed with development of other recommendations for implementation, so a second task force, the Implementation Task Force, was created. It has been co-chaired by Jean Carter and Linda Campbell, and they have prepared a report to be presented at the November 17 Board Meeting. Recommendations include adoption of specific, clearer descriptions of the roles of Domain Representatives and Committee Chairs, an improved process for Onboarding new governance members, support for providing resources for upgrading our Website, and resumption of the role of an archivist/historian for SAP. Following the Boards’ decisions regarding the report, the Implementation Task Force will continue its work and present its final report in February. I will write a summary for the Bulletin upon our completion and after the February Board Meeting, when I am Past-President. I’m very happy with what we have been able to do for SAP. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as President and to move us forward! 

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Cite This Article

Birbilis, J. M. (2023). 2023 president’s column 58(4). Psychotherapy Bulletin, 58(4), 2-3.

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