Archive for January, 2017

groups as a change agent

January 20th, 2017

Tomorrow I will be fortunate enough to be part of a faculty of four very seasoned and passionate group therapists as we will be teaching a 2-day course called Principles of Group Psychotherapy. The title of the weekend may be a bit dry but the deeper implications are not.

When I was in the graduate school of social work at UCLA in the late 80′s/early 90′s I was a member of a group of 75 students with a passion for making some kind of difference. At the time I don’t think many of us knew exactly what that difference might be, and I certainly didn’t know either, but something was instilled in us that spoke to the idea of being change agents–social workers who would bring about change in others whether that be intrapsychic, interpersonal or in larger groups and systems.

I’ve chosen to devote my career to helping others learn about themselves, and as a result, hopefully bringing that growth and wisdom to others one person at a time. Group therapy holds that same principle–learning about oneself and helping others learn about themselves–as a result, it may seem like a pebble being thrown into a still pond, but I believe it has a super meaningful ripple effect one person at a time (e.g.families, friends, colleagues and loved ones).

During the unfortunate series of events these last few months, I’ve been deliberating on what to do, how to do it, when to give my time and energy, and it feels like the time is here. Whether it be giving my all in my practice every single day or showing up at a rally or donating to my favorite activist organization or signing a petition, it all counts. As a group of sane, loving, respectful and sometimes angry people, we can make a difference. Bernie Sanders said that it’s not about going into despair, it’s time to fight for equality of all kinds. And the magnitude of our majority group will prevail in spite of the speed bumps ahead.