Division 49 new Board Members

Ronn Johnson  Domain Representative group psychology

My vision for Division 49 is to work to achieve four strategic initiatives. 1. To reduce the disparities that exist between group psychology and group psychotherapy to advance our shared professional interests 2. To expand the visibility of group psychology with APA and health care as a whole 3. To create guidance that can be used in structured ways to embed several advanced graduate courses and supervised clinical practice experiences for group 4. To introduce strategies integrating Diversity, Inclusion, and a Sense of Belonging in all academic, clinical, and professional settings where group work occurs.

Joe Miles President Elect

When I entered graduate school, I hadn’t sought to be a “group person,” having only vague interests in “multicultural issues” and educational settings. Fortunately, my advisor, Dennis Kivlighan, had a passion for group research and practice. He helped me see the fascinating complexity of groups and steered me into intergroup dialogue work, where the bulk of my research and practice has since resided. As a small group intervention and form of critical multicultural education, I found intergroup dialogue bridged my passion for diversity and social justice with my new-found excitement for group. I now teach an intergroup dialogue facilitation course as part of our scientist-practitioner-advocate training model at the University of Tennessee, aiming to build on students group competencies with an eye how group can be used to foster social justice. This work has made me a firm believer in the power of group research and practice to bridge divides and create positive social change. I bring this belief to my candidacy for President-Elect of Division 49. If elected, my term would focus on emphasizing the power of group research and practice to create a more just and equitable society. I believe both group psychology and group psychotherapy are essential to these ends, so I would also focus on further building bridges between these parts of the discipline, as well as between the basic and applied “group people.” I will continue the work of the many leaders who have aimed to raise the profile and awareness of group in psychology. 

Jill Paquin Domain Representative Group Psychotherapy

I am a fulltime Professor in the graduate programs of counseling psychology at Chatham University, a group therapist, and an APA Fellow of Divisions 49 and 17 and I am running for the position of Member-at-large (group psychotherapy) for Division 49. I served on the Division 49 Board from 2014-2017, as the APA Program Co-Chair for Division 49 from 2013-2015 and am finishing my term as outgoing Editor of the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy for the American Group Psychotherapy Association.  These service experiences have been both intellectually rewarding and fun. I have been an active member of Division 49 since I began doing group research and clinical work in a women’s prison as a graduate student in 2007. My main research and practice interests are in the areas of group dynamics, the active ingredients of change across different types of group therapies, group therapy service delivery to populations marginalized by systems of oppression, social justice approaches to psychotherapy research, and studying the career experiences of therapists.  I am passionate about training group clinicians to be multiculturally oriented local clinical scientists and bridging the gap between the group clinical and empirical literatures. I have facilitated all kinds of groups in a variety of settings, and I am currently working towards starting a small independent group therapy practice in Pittsburgh. I believe my continued involvement in clinical, scholarly, teaching and advocacy work bring a valuable synergy to my professional service and I would be honored to bring that synergy to the role of Division 49 member at large.

David Songco Domain Representative for Diversity Equity Inclusion Belonging (DEIB)

My name is David Songco, pronounced song – co. My first name was given to me after my late grandfather on my mother’s side. My family name is Filipino from the province of Pampanga, derived from the clans who immigrated from province of Hainan in China. I currently live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with my partner and two daughters. Professionally, I am an Assistant Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin and serve as the Director of Behavioral Medicine within the Department of Family and Community Medicine at two of our Family Medicine Residency Training Programs. I am humbled and honored to be your Domain Representative for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging for Division 49. 

I have many strategic priorities for our division to help increase and promote the values of the DEIB Committee and to establish an inclusive and equitable space for our membership and community.  Details are available in the DEIB column.

Stacy Graves membership chair:  I’m so excited for the opportunity to join and serve on the Div. 49 board. As membership chair, I aim to support membership growth through continued collaboration on established board initiatives and contributing to new ideas and projects. A priority of mine will be building upon the foundation and spreading awareness to members of the invaluable opportunities offered by the Div. 49 Institute. In addition, I hope to create opportunities to further collect and assess data for how to best meet the needs of our growing membership. I am also invested in exploring ways to broaden the division’s reach through various forms of media that foster education, support and connection within the group psychotherapy community and beyond. Mission to further develop Division 49’s Institute along with monitoring membership.

Early Career Psychologist

With all the challenges and uncertainties that have unfolded and continue to unfold globally, the importance of group therapy becomes increasingly pronounced. It’s a space that allows individuals to feel heard, understood, and connected. Navigating the complexities of group dynamics and individual needs within a therapeutic setting can be challenging, yet it is within these challenges that the transformative power of group therapy becomes salient.  

As an early professional in the field of group therapy, I am committed to an ongoing journey of learning and growth. I am thrilled to serve as the Early Professional Representative for the APA Division 49. I am passionate to facilitate connections, insights, and foster a sense of community among those who, like me, are navigating the early stages of their professional journey. As the Early Professional Representative, I would also like to foster an inclusive environment where diverse voices are heard, and the next generation of group psychologists feels empowered and supported. 

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