We held our first Board Meeting of the year on January 9, just three days after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. I wondered how it would feel to try to focus on Society business in the aftermath of this latest horrific and tragic event, especially since the assault on the Capitol felt so personal, right in our own backyard.
I was frankly so appreciative to see everyone on Zoom, and know many of us felt really glad to be together and support each other. I started the meeting with a question, asking our members: What is your WOTY-- Word of the Year -- for 2021?
I explained that each year, I choose one single word to be my focus and guidance for the upcoming new year, to help me orient my efforts, time and energy. I try to find something meaningful that will point me in the direction I want to go, a kind of internal and intentional compass, as I make decisions. What WOTY, I asked, can encourage and support you to be the best personal and professional version of yourself? This prompted a wonderful sharing of thoughts and feelings. Some of the words that our Board suggested that would help them position themselves in 2021 included: hope, walking, connection, family, hugs, cultivate, lightness, gratitude, perseverance, positive, sankofa, enjoy, and centered.
Good news: Our Treasurer reported that we are in better shape financially than we had predicted. Our active membership numbers are up. We are reversing an earlier decision so that all MSW students who register for programs can become automatic members for free, to take advantage of our list serve and be immediately active in the Society.
The good financial news means we can continue to support our lobbyists who help us with legislative and advocacy issues. Judy Gallant, Director of our Legislation and Advocacy Branch and Committee Chairs Judy Ratliff, Wayne Martin, and Margot Aronson spoke to us at the January Board meeting about the challenges in our tri-state area. In Maryland there is a proposed change to reduce the number of required hours of supervision for people to get their clinical license from 144 to 100 hours. Both Virginia and DC already have the 100-hour requirement. But this is under discussion in terms of if, supported by our Society, what other requirements should be in place.
We have some continuing education programs ready to roll out soon. We also have some exciting ideas for additional educational programs this year and are talking with nationally-known presenters who want to speak to us, via Zoom on topics of complex trauma; anxiety reduction methods during this complicated time; and how new therapists can develop the skills of clinical confidence. Watch for notices of our future online programs, a wonderful and inexpensive way to get your CEs, connect with the membership, and contribute to our ongoing clinical conversation.
As always, the Board welcomes more members to be active in the Society. We need more committee members, we appreciate those who attend events, and we appreciate all who step forward to offer their time and energy to help the Society flourish.
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