July 2017

The American Group Psychotherapy Association is a professional association dedicated to the field of group psychotherapy. In light of a worsening climate for women, people of color, immigrants, refugees, LGBTQ individuals, and other marginalized groups, as well as recent legislative action in Texas, the site of our upcoming Annual Meeting, the organization wishes to make the following statement.

We are an organization dedicated to disseminating knowledge of group psychotherapy principles, and with part of our mission being the provision of interventions and outreach to diverse communities nationally and internationally, AGPA draws upon those principles at the core of its organization to respond with alarm and humanitarian concern.

The group principles that define the American Group Psychotherapy Association include promoting dynamics of belonging, protecting the scapegoated, healing the wounds of exclusion, facilitating constructive dialogue, and maintaining physically/emotionally safe environments.  These principles apply for all regardless of nationality, ethnicity, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or cultural background.  Exercising these principles fosters groups that support healthy communities, reduced conflict/violence and basic human connection.

Clinical and organizational work demonstrates the power of groups to make a difference and foster healing.  Community groups, families and individuals are currently suffering from acute stress layered on top of chronic stressors due to misogyny, racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-refugee sentiments, transphobia, and homophobia. From a humanitarian and caregiver perspective, all people deserve relief from their collective suffering.  As promoters of group principles, it bears repeating that AGPA wishes to encourage actions that promote dynamics of belonging, protect the scapegoated, heal the wounds of exclusion, facilitate constructive dialogue, and maintain physically/emotionally safe environments, while also encouraging dialogue among those with differing viewpoints.

As a community of professionals, we take pride in the diversity of our membership and welcome a broad spectrum of clinicians from a variety of racial, ethnic, sexual and gender identity, and national backgrounds.  We also acknowledge a range of opinions among our members, and hold those with the knowledge that communities thrive through a balance of common core beliefs and individual differences.  We offer our support to members of all communities who have been marginalized.  Please know you have many standing behind you and with you.

You can also access additional trauma information on the AGPA website at Group Interventions for Trauma.

This statement approved by the Association was developed by the AGPA Community Outreach Task Force, chaired by Craig Haen and Suzanne Phillips, which is charged with establishing and executing community outreach programs to provide professional assistance to diverse group populations in the aftermath of traumatic events, in collaboration with: AGPA Member Siddharth Shah; the AGPA Racial and Ethnic Diversity SIG, currently tri-chaired by Karen Cone-Uemura, LaTasha Smith and Marcée M. Turner, and recent past Tri-Chair and Houston GPS President Helen Chong, and the AGPA Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender SIG, co-chaired by Rhea Pledger and Elizabeth L. Rosenblatt.

AGPA Officers
Eleanor F. Counselman, Ed.D., CGP, LFAGPA, President, [email protected]
Barry Helfmann, Psy.D., CGP, DFAGPA, President-Elect, [email protected]
Nina W. Brown, Ed.D., LPC, NCC, FAGPA, Secretary, [email protected]
Darryl L. Pure, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, FAGPA, Treasurer, [email protected]
Marsha S. Block, CAE, CFRE, Chief Executive Officer, [email protected]

Community Outreach Task Force Co-Chairs
Craig Haen, Ph.D., RDT, LCAT, CGP, FAGPA, [email protected]
Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP, CGP, FAGPA, [email protected]

Racial and Ethnic Diversity SIG Tri-Chairs:
Karen Cone-Uemura, Ph.D., CGP, [email protected]
LaTasha Smith, MSW, [email protected]
Marcée M. Turner, Ph.D., [email protected]

Helen Chong, LCSW, CGP, [email protected]
Past Tri-Chair, Racial and Ethnic Diversity SIG
President, Houston Group Psychotherapy Society

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender SIG Co-Chairs:
Rhea Pledger, LPC, CGP, [email protected]
Elizabeth L Rosenblatt, PsyD, [email protected]

Siddharth Ashvin Shah, M.D., M.P.H., [email protected] 
Greenleaf Integrative Strategies

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