ARTICLE I – NAME
The name of the organization shall be the Houston Group Psychotherapy Society. The Society is a Local Affiliate Society of the American Group Psychotherapy Association.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE
The purpose of the organization shall be:
- To promote interest and knowledge about group psychotherapy among its memebers and in the community,
- To provide a forum for the exchange of information, ideas, and experiences about group psychotherapy,
- To promote training and high standards in the qualifications and practices of group psychotherapy,
- To encourage and to promote research in group psychotherapy,
- To promote social interaction and communication among group psychtherapists,
- To engage in all activities necessary, useful and expedient, through operative measures, to promote and to further the interests of group psychotherapy,
- To engage and promote diversity in its membership and programs.
ARTICLE III – GEOGRAPHIC BOUNDARIES
Boundaries of the Society shall include the metropolitan Houston sphere of influence, roughly defined to be a radius of 100 miles. Qualified professionals living outside of the area will not be excluded, but the Society does not purport to be a representative of other areas.
ARTICLE IV – MEMEBERSHIP
Section 1. Membership Categories
A. Clinical Members
- Rights and privileges: Clinical members in good standing may participate fully in the affairs of the Society by such activities as voting, serving on committees as member or chair, and holding office.
- Qualifications: Clinical membership in the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA).
B. Affiliate Members
- Rights and privileges: Affiliate members in good standing may participate fully in the affairs of the Society, may vote, serve as member or chair of a committee, and hold office with the exception of President and First Vice President.
- Qualifications: At least Master’s level clinical professional in a mental health field, or, licensed or certified by the State of Texas in a mental health field who, although not a member of AGPA, are interested in the practice and development of group psychotherapy.
C. Student Members
- Rights and privileges: Student members in good standing may participate fully in the affairs of the Society, including such activities as serving on committees, but may not vote, hold office, or serve as chair of a committee.
- Qualifications: Individual matriculated in recognized graduate degree programs or in residency programs in the mental health professions that will satisfy the educational qualifications for Clinical membership in the Socity may, as long as they remain in those programs including a leave of absence of not more than one (1) year, qualify as student members. This membership is held on a year-to-year basis, pending the conferring of a degree or completion of a residency program in the mental health professions and requires substantiation of student status annually.
D. Honorary Members
- Rights and privileges: No rights or privileges.
- Qualifications: This membership category is reserved for the HGPS executive committee to honor individuals who have made a significant contribution to the field of group psychotherapy.
- Rights and privileges: Friends in good standing may participate in the Society by serving on committees as a member, but may neither serve as committee chair, not vote nor hold office.
- Qualification: Licensed or certified in a non-mental health profession, who use group techniques or who work regularly with groups in the pursuit of their profession.
Section 2. Termination and Reinstatement of Membership
A. Membership will automatically terminate when dues are in arrears for six (6) months, at the request of the Executive Committee for cause, or as defined in this section. Cause is hereby defined as illegal conduct or conduct which violates the member’s professional organization’s Code of Ethics.
B. Reinstatement of members who have been suspended or expelled by the Executive Committee. Members terminated for other reasons such as failure to pay dues, etc., must reapply for membership to the Membership Committee.
C. Automatic suspension/termination of membership:
- When the Society has notice that a member’s license or certification to practice has been revoked; or upon notice that a member has been convicted of a felony, membership will automatically terminate.
- When the Society has notice that a member’s license or certification has been suspended, membership in the Society will automatically be suspended for the same period.
- No appeal exists for suspension/termination under this section.
Section 3. Procedure for Admission
A. Applicants shall submit to the Membership Committee an application provided by the Society with payment of dues.
B. Membership applications shall be screened and processed by the Membership Committee to determine the applicant’s qualifications.
C. Applicant will be presented to the Board of Directors by the Membership Committee.
D. The applicant shall become a member upon recommendation by the Membership Committee and a majority vote of the Board of Directors.
E. The applicants shall be presented to the Board no less often than two (2) times a year.
F. Applicants, who do not receive the recommendation of the Membership Committee, may appeal directly to the Board for consideration of membership.
Section 4. Membership dues
Membership dues for the membership categories shall be established by the Executive Committee with concurrence of the Board of Directors. Dues are payable July 1 of each year. A fee shall be charged for late payment if dues are not paid within two months of the due date.
Section 5. Retirement
A. Rights and privileges: Retired members of all categories shall have the rights and privileges of their category.
B. Qualifications: To be determined by the Executive Committee.
C. Dues: May be excused from paying dues by the Executive Committee.
Section 6. Grandfather Clause
Any current member (2009), who will be excluded by the new bylaw membership categories, will be grandfathered in as an Affiliate Member for the current year (2009-2010).
ARTICLE V – OFFICERS
Section 1. The Officers of the Society shall be:
A. President. The President shall preside at meetings, be the executive office of the Society and of the Board of Directors, provide leadership and perform all duties usually pertaining to the office.
B. First Vice President: The First Vice President shall fulfill the duties of the President in the absence of the President and shall be responsible for all education and training functions of the Society, and shall supervise the functions of the Training and Education Committee, Institute Committee and Continuing Education Committee. The First Vice President shall assume the office of the President at the end of the President’s tenure.
C. Second Vice President. The Second Vice President shall be responsible for internal operations of the society, including the following committees: Membership, Nominating, Special Interest Group (SIG), and ad hoc committees as designated by the Executive Committee. The Second Vice President shall fulfill the duties of the office of President in the absence of the President and First Vice President.
D. Third Vice President. The Third Vice President shall be responsible for all external affairs of the society, including but not limited to supervision of the Community Outreach Committee, as well as ad hoc committees such as governmental or legislative affairs, or other such tasks as the President may direct. The Third Vice President shall fulfill the duties of the office of President in the absence of the President, First and Second Vice Presidents.
E. Secretary. The Secretary shall keep the records of the Society including minutes of meetings, correspondence of the Society and records of meetings and reports to the membership, and shall be responsible for the dissemination of information to members. The Secretary or designee shall take charge of the Society mail box and dispense incoming mail.
F. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall have custody of all funds of the Society and shall maintain a bank account in the Society’s name. The name of the Treasurer and the President shall be maintained on the account. The Treasurer shall collect dues from the membership, funds from Institutes, workshops, etc. The Treasurer shall have custody of all property of the Society subject to the authority of the President. The Treasurer is responsible for the oversight of, or shall keep records of finances, make financial reports to the membership and is the fiscal officer of the Society.
G. Parliamentarian. The Parliamentarian shall:
- Rule on points of parliamentary procedure,
- Be the historian of the Society and keep records of the Society of historical information to the Society,
- Be the custodian of the Bylaws, study proposed modifications of the Bylaws, recommend bylaw changes to the Society and Board of Directors when needed and periodically review the Bylaws for recommended changes,
- Be the keeper of the Codes of Ethics of the various professional societies and licensure groups of the members.
H. Delegation of functions. The Executive Committee may delegate such duties of officers as may be deemed necessary to an administrator in the employ of HGPS.
I. Requirements for officers. Candidates for the office of President or First Vice President shall be clinical members of the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA).
Section 2. Election of Officers
A. The Nominating Committee shall form a slate of nominees for each office for presentation to the membership. Nominations shall be received from the membership, either from the floor when elections are held in a business meeting or by post or electonic mail when elections are held by mail ballot.
B. Election of officers shall be held every other year at the business meeting held at the time of the Annual Institute or by post or electronic mail ballot during the same month. The membership must be notified of meetings where officers are to be elected at least 30 days in advance. When an election is held by post or electronic mail ballot it shall be conducted by the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall solicit nominations from the membership by mail to be included on the post or electronic mail ballot.
C. Officers shall be elected by (1) a majority of the members voting providing a quarum (Article VI, Section 3) is present, or (2) a majority vote of returned post or electronic mail ballots. In the event that no one has received a majority, there shall be a run-off election between the two leading candidates.
D. Vacancies. The Executive Committee shall fill unexpired terms of office in the Society until the next business meeting when the office shall be filled by a duly-elected officer upon a majority vote of members present and voting. Whenever the office of President is vacant, the First Vice President shall immediately assume office. If this occurs, leaving the office for First Vice President potentially vacant for over one year, a special election will be held as early as practical by post or electronic mail ballot in accord with this section.
E. Term of office. Elected officers shall take office immediately following their election. Elected officers shall hold office for a period of two (2) years.
F. Electronic ballot. The Executive Committee may authorize an electronic ballot on such terms as it may deem necessary, provided that such ballot is not otherwise in conflict with any provision of these Bylaws.
Section 3. Removal of Directors or Officers.
Any one of the Directors or Officers may be removed for cause by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Board members present and voting at a regular or special meeting of the Board of Directors. Cause is hereby defined to be flagrant violation of the Code of Ethics of various professional associations or licensing boards or certifying boards kept on file by the Parliamentarian.
ARTICLE VI – BUSINESS
Section 1. The Business of the Society shall be conducted by:
A. The general membership, meeting at regular business meetings, at least one of which is to be held annually at the time and place to be designated by the Executive Committee.
B. The Executive Committee sitting in the interim between business meetings. The Executive Committee shall have the powers possessed by the Society itself, to execute policy determined by the Board of Directors to disperse the funds of the Society and to adopt such rules and regulations for the conduct of its business as shall be deemed advisable.
C. Special meeting may be called by the President or Board of Directors.
Section 2. Board of Directors
A. There shall be a Board of Directors charged with the responsibility to provide policy and planning for the Society including offering recommendations to the Executive Committee for action.
B. The Board of Directors shall meet no less than three times annually.
C. Members of the Board shall have only one vote. The composition of the Board of Directors shall be:
- The Executive Committee which is constituted by the duly elected officers of the Society and the immediate Past President.
- The standing committee chairpersons who are appointed by the President for terms of two (2) years.
- The Advisory Committee which shall consist of nine (9) members for terms of three (3) years. Each year a class of two (2) shall be elected by the general membership and one (1) appointed by the President. The two elected Advisory Committee officers are elected. The President’s appointment shall coincide with the election. Likewise, a class shall retire each year.
D. The Board of Directors may veto any action of the Executive Committee by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of voting members present at any regular or called meeting of the Board.
Section 3. Quorum
Twenty percent (20%) of the voting membership shall constitute a quorum at any business meeting of the entire membership. A quorum at any meeting of the Executive Committee or Board of Directors shall consist of sixty percent (60%) of the members eligible to vote.
Section 4. Resignation
Any officer, member of the Board of Directors or member may resign at any time by giving written notice to the President of the Society. Such resignation shall take effect at the time specified therein, or, if no time is specified, at the time of acceptance as determined by the President of the Society.
ARTICLE VII – COMMITTEES
Section 1. Standing committees
There shall be eleven (11) standing committees. The President will appoint the chairs of all committees with the exception of the Nominating Committee and the Institute Committee. The President will appoint the Nominating committee with the concurrence of the Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee members will select their own chairperson. The First Vice President will, in a timely manner, appoint the Institute Committee Chairperson who will serve during the First Vice President’s tenure as President.
A. Membership Committee. The Membership Committee shall develop and maintain membership qualifications as approved by the Society. The committee shall generally promote membership in the Society, prepare and apply the criteria of membership to applicants and submit nominees to the Board of Directors for recommendation to the Executive Committee.
B. Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall prepare a slate of nominees for the election of officers at the time of the Annual Institute of every other year. The Nominating Committee shall prepare a slate of nominee(s) for vacancies in office when instructed to do so by the President. The committee shall conduct post or electronic mail ballots when authorized by the President and supervised by the President. It shall be the responsibility of the Nominating Committee to be active in seeking potential leadership within the Society and to ensure slates of officers who are both qualified for and enthusiastic about fulfilling the duties of office in the Society.
C. Training and Education Committee. The Training and Education Committee shall be responsible for training which includes both the training of members and educational programs offered to the larger community. The committee shall formulate and implement, with the advice of the Board of Directors, programs for the purpose of training and developing members, qualifying professional persons in the practice and teaching of group psychotherapy, and provide for other training needs of the Society. This Committee will keep the Institute Committee apprised of all training needs of the Society which may be fulfilled by an Institute meeting.
D. Institute Committee. The Institute Committee shall be responsible for conducting an instructional meeting, ordinarily on an annual basis, serving both the Society and larger public. Selection of Institute speakers will be made by the Executive Committee upon recommendation by the Institute Committee and with the advice of the Board.
E. Publications Committee. The Publications Committee shall be responsible for publishing a newsletter for the purpose of informing members of the Society, and others, of matters of interest, and for such other publications of the Society as the Executive Committee may direct. The policy of the Newsletter shall be determined by the Executive Committee with the advice of the Board.
F. Finance Committee. The Finance Committee, chaired by the Treasurer, shall be responsbile for advising the Society in matters of both short and long term financial matters.
G. Continuing Education Committee. The Continuing Education Committee shall be responsible for all matters concerning continuing education credits for programs offered by the Society.
H. Development Committee. Development Committee shall be responsible for cultivating and soliciting contributions and underwriting from Houston group members and corporate sources.
I. Leadership Development Committee. The Leadership Development Committee shall be responsible for seeking out and developing new leadership within the membership, maintaining active involvement of members, increasing involvement of senior members, and encouraging mentoring opportunities.
J. Community Outreach Committee. The Community Outreach Committee shall be responsible for promoting interest and knowledge about group psychotherapy and Houston Group Psychotherapy Society in the community.
K. Special Interest Group (SIG) Committee. The Special Interest Group (SIG) Committee shall be responsible for establishing and overseeing special interest groups (SIGs), which are groups for HGPS members who share a common interest in a specific area of group psychotherapy.
Section 2. Ad Hoc Committees
The President may from time to time appoint an Ad Hoc Committee. The President shall appoint all ad hoc committee chairpersons. Each ad hoc committee chairperson shall then appoint his/her own committee members with the advice and consent of the President.
ARTICLE VIII – GRIEVANCE/ETHICS
Section 1. Allegations of ethical and other unprofessional infractions shall be submitted to the Executive Committee in writing. The Code of Ethics of each individual member’s professional society shall be considered as the standard by which that member shall be judged. Those HGPS members who are not members of any professional society shall be assumed to follow the ethics of such as may be deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee.
Section 2. Upon receipt of the written allegations of infractions, the Executive Committee by majority vote may (1) dismiss the allegations as without merit, (2) refer the matter to an Ad Hoc Grievance/Ethics Investigation Committee, (3) refer the matter directly to another body such as the American Group Psychotherapy Association or that member’s professional society. The member will be informed of the action of the Executive Committee.
Section 3. The Ad Hoc Grievance/Ethics Investigation Committee and chairperson will be appointed by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. The committee will investigate the allegations and may hold a hearing if a majority sees fit to do so. Upon completing of their investigation they will report their finding to the Executive Committee. The member will have the opportunity to provide information in his/her behalf.
Section 4. The Executive Committee, upon receipt of the findings of the Ad Hoc Grievance/Ethics Investigation Committee will convene a special meeting of the Board of Directors. At least 2/3 of its members must be present to dispose of the matter. By 2/3 vote of Board members present a member may be censured, suspended, expelled, or have the matter referred to another appropriate authority such as AGPA or the member’s professional society. The final decision of the Board will be provided to the member.
Section 5. The member under investigation is entitled to appeal the disposition of the Board to AGPA.
ARTICLE IX – AMENDMENTS
Section 1. The Bylaws may be amended by (1) a majority of the members voting providing a quorum is present, or (2) a majority vote of returned post or electronic mail ballots.
Section 2. Amendments of the Bylaws by either mail ballot or in a business meeting shall require that notice of proposed amendment be provided to members at least thirty (30) days but not more than sixty (60) days prior to the final amendment(s).
ARTICLE X – PARLIAMENTARY ORDER
In all matters not specifically ordered by these Bylaws, the Society will be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order as revised.
**Indicates phrase from AGPA model Bylaws