AGPA Statement Regarding Hate Crimes

The American Group Psychotherapy Association is a professional organization dedicated to the field of group psychotherapy. In light of recent hate crimes that have gathered national attention and inflicted trauma upon our communities of practice, as well as increased movement toward removing legal protections for marginalized groups, the association wishes to issue the following statement.

As an organization dedicated to disseminating knowledge of group psychotherapy principles, and with part of its mission being the provision of interventions and outreach to diverse communities nationally and internationally, our hearts go out to those directly affected by the violence, anti-Semitism, transphobia, xenophobia, and racism in our country and around the globe.  We at AGPA are deeply connected with the sadness that is directly caused by abuses of power and hate-filled rhetoric.  

Group therapists seek to promote dialogue and understanding across differences, to disrupt unhealthy uses of power and domination, to engage marginalized and voiceless members, and to move from division between “us” and “them” to a more collective, shared sense of “we.”  As an organization, we hold that the same principles that promote healing within small groups can be extended to encourage the building of stronger communities.  As such, we stand in solidarity with marginalized members, clients, and families in the face of hatred, violence, discrimination and erasure because of their ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender fluidity, political affiliation, disability, age, appearance, socioeconomic status, or other personal characteristics.  We affirm your humanity, identity, and right to live a life of equity and inclusion.  We want to honor the victims of hate crimes and attest that their lives have made a difference in this world.

We are strengthened by the diversity of our organization and welcome a broad spectrum of clinicians from a variety of racial, ethnic, national, and religious 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 the national and global community who have been marginalized.  Please know you have many standing behind you and with you.

You can access additional trauma information on the AGPA website at

This statement 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 the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force, chaired by Sophia Aguirre.

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]

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force Chair
M. Sophia Aguirre, Ph.D., CGP
[email protected]

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force Members
Eri Bentley, Ph.D., CGP
Karen Cone-Uemura, Ph.D., CGP
Mark Davis, MSW
Wendy Freedman, Ph.D., CGP
Paul Gitterman, LICSW, MSC, CGP 
Craig Haen, Ph.D., RDT, LCAT, CGP, FAGPA
Phillip Horner, LCSW, CGP
Michele Ribeiro, Ed.D., CGP
Luis Romero, Ph.D.
Ann Steiner, Ph.D., MFT, CGP, FAGPA

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