by Melany Morrison, LMFT, LPC, CGP
A big congratulations to the 2012 Annual Institute Co-Chairs, Jean Dixon, LPC, Joanne Carlson, LCSW, and the committee members, too, for putting together a terrific meeting this spring. A lot of behind the scenes activity happens to put together an event of this quality. Kudos is due to Jean Dixon, LPC. Jean served as Committee Chair for the first time, a role in which she excelled. This busy woman is building her private practice and has established a wildly successful monthly networking group in the Woodlands. She amazingly has agreed to chair next year’s Institute committee, and we look forward to another great meeting.
We had numerous presenters, group leaders, and a special ethics presentation Thursday evening. The highlight of the Institute was a duet of Evie Lotze, PhD and Sue Barnum, LPCC. We were honored to have them share with us their experiences in their long careers and then lead the volunteers in an experiential presentation of how to incorporate fairy tales into psychodrama. I’m not sure which was more fun, participating or watching! Everyone seemed to be having a good time.
A slate of workshops were offered, including a mentalizing seminar by the folks at Menninger Clinic. Also offered were topics on healing in a cancer support group, Jungian group therapy, lucid body exploration, dancing, yoga, kiddie psychodrama, traumatic attachment, and mindfulness-based interventions.
One of the hallmarks of the institute is the ever-popular process groups. If you have never done this, or this is your 50th group, there is something to be gained by sitting in a new mix of fellow colleagues processing “what comes up” and keeping the “here and now” in the group. I want to especially thank the group leaders, some of whom lead these groups year after year.
Of course, this Institute would not be what it is without our dynamic administrative assistant, Caryn Botes, and Travis Courville and his team of volunteers, and also too the consultants Beth Knight and Bob White who keep us on track with AGPA standards.
Thank you to our sponsors, Menninger, Memorial Hermann Parc, Sante, Right Step, Sierra Tucson, Merridell Achievement Center and the Arbor. It was especially fun to see Abi Williams, PhD, again. She was instrumental in securing the Council as our meeting location and is a former Institute Co-Chair. A big THANK YOU to the Council of Alcohol and Drugs for hosting our event and allowing us to meet at such a beautiful facility.
So many people are involved in making this event happen. I hope I have not left anyone out, because you are appreciated. Several scholarships were handed out making it possible for students and new professionals to attend. I especially enjoyed seeing some old faces, including a few of my professors from graduate school and the many therapists and supervisors I have had along the way.