September 2022

Monday, October 10, 2022 6:59 PM | Anonymous

As I step into my new role as the Society’s President, I’m grateful for the dedication of the former President and our Board. Our recent past President, Lynn Grodski, shepherded the Society over the past two years through many challenges. During Lynn’s tenure, the Society not only survived, but thrived, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the paradigm shift it required. The Society is in excellent financial health, innovating in the way we meet for workshops, networking, and business. Though physically distant, Lynn’s leadership ensured that we remained a cohesive and collaborative body. Her dedication to the Presidency, combined with her business savvy, has had a tremendous positive impact. I am grateful and humbled to follow in her footsteps.

As I write this, I can’t help but think of my initial conversation with Lynn about running for President. “But I’ve never been on your Board,” “Who recommended me?” “Won’t it be weird to be led by someone who’s never been active?”

“That’s fine,” she said, “Many of our leaders were never active before they served.”

Still, this was a stretch. I am a mother with two young children, I have a thriving practice and not much time. As I contemplated the decision, it sat with me that the only clue I had about why I’d been selected was that it was due to my commitment to anti-racism, diversity and inclusion.

I kept returning mentally to the Society’s workshop with Dr. Ken Hardy in February 2021 and one I attended through the American Group Psychotherapy Association in February 2022. I kept hearing him say that to heal the racial wounds in America, those with privilege had to take on more.

“To whom is given, much is expected,” he said. Repeatedly.

Though by no means an expert, I am committed to anti-racism, and to applying its principles to structural decision-making. I have observed, worked with and learned from several psychotherapy organizations struggling with these changes, which often generates uncomfortable internal conflict–something I’m oddly able to tolerate.

Becoming the Society’s President, specifically with this request as my guiding star, seemed an opportunity to do what was expected. I am someone to whom much has been given. I am white, have had excellent educational and social opportunities, and am comfortably financially situated, which grants me flexibility in my practice to devote to this work.

I relay all of this for two reasons:

  1. I want you to know I take seriously what I was told about the reasons for my nomination to the position, and intend to foster, support and nurture a culture for the Board where our decisions and conversations will be filtered through a lens of racial and social justice, equity, and inclusion for those who are the most vulnerable and oppressed. I hope that the Board, and all members of the Society, will hold me accountable to this.
  2. I want to let all members know that you, too, can join the Board! No experience necessary! Clueless people welcome! And we need you! Our supportive Board members will teach and support you. The Society’s volunteers have a tremendous ability to make a positive impact on the DMV’s clinical social workers. Initiatives started by Board members include our mentoring program, our low-cost therapy program for students, and soon, we hope, a low-cost supervision program for LGSWs. Join us! I will happily email, text, call or meet with you to help you figure out which position you may be best suited for.

I have been active in the Society for only a few months, and have already been energized by our Board’s passion and commitment. My anxiety about taking on this role has quickly morphed into excitement, and I look forward to the next two years. Please consider joining us!
PO Box 711 | Garrisonville, VA  22463 | 202-478-7638 |

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