February 12, 2018

Happy New Year!

What, its February 12?  What’s all this “Happy New Year” stuff?

Well, today is the first day of the new programming year for SCP.  But before we look forward, let’s look back.  

This past weekend, we wrapped up last year in wonderful fashion with our Defying Gravity-themed conference focused on “creating synergy during unpredictable times!”  

And it was (predictably) terrific!  

Thank you to our co-chairs, Cristina Filippo and Layla Bokhari and their incredible teams for putting on a conference with amazing keynotes and concurrent sessions, countless opportunities for meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones, and making it just so much fun!  As a side note, one of our goals is for our members and conference attendees to feel that SCP is an Inspired Community.  Well, given the flood of messages we have been receiving after the conference, I’d say we are living out our intention! 

At the conference, we also acknowledged incredible contributions from many of our members. The recipients of our four major awards were:

  • RHR International Award for Excellence in Consultation:  Karol M. Wasylyshyn, PsyD 
  • LWF Award for Excellence in Developing Consulting Psychologists:  Judith Blanton, PhD
  • SCP Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Consulting: Greg Pennington, PhD
  • SCP Award for Early Career Innovation in Consulting Psychology: Jonathan Kirschner, PsyD

And we got the opportunity to thank and acknowledge the Outgoing Leadership Council Members: 

  • Officers: Greg Pennington, Carolyn Humphrey, Brian Buford
  • Domain Leaders: Ken Nowack, Bill Berman, Melanie Kinser
  • APA Council: Amy Owen
  • Committee Chairs: Adam Feiner, Bernardo Ferdman, Jennifer McDonald

And we got to welcome Incoming Members of the Leadership Council: 

  • President: Dale Thompson
  • President-elect:  Bill Berman
  • Secretary: Jane Floyd
  • Treasurer: Brynn Freeman
  • Doman Leaders: Carolyn Humphrey, Scott Serviss, Larry Norton
  • APA Council Rep: Vicki Vandeveer
  • Committee Chairs: Julia Corcoran, Colleen Bastian, Brittany Joslyn, Stefanie Putter

Now, as we look forward, let me say thank you for allowing me to support you and the mission of SCP as your President.  As I take on that role, let me briefly share a few things on my mind.  

First, my overall theme for the coming year is, “Increasing Relevance in a World in Need of Change.”  I don’t know about you, but as I look around these days, I am not very pleased with the state of things, especially here in the United States.  I believe those of us in SCP can, and SHOULD, play a much bigger role in standing up for what is good, what is right, and in being intolerant of so much of what we see out there today (If you were at the conference and heard Christine Porath’s keynote -- she would certainly suggest that we need more “civility!” for starters.)

To take us this direction, I am focusing on three things:  

First, I am telling myself, “Don’t screw it up!”  We are an amazing group, that has come a very long, and very good way in the past few years!  When I look at our Leadership Development Initiative (that has, in less than two years, placed at least seven early career members in important leadership roles), or our Journal, CPJ, (and its increasingly cutting edge and high-profile articles), and the more than 40 amazingly talented members in key leadership roles, it is clear that we are heading the right direction! So, let’s not screw this momentum up. (And I know we won’t!.) 

Second, we need to take our completed and brilliant Branding and Member Experience work to the next level by undertaking a powerful Strategic Planning Process.  And, in fact, that process began SUNDAY!  You can expect to hear much more about this in the future (but it is clear that the earlier work has already fueled many things - like the design of our just-completed conference.)

And third, we will be re-emphasizing the role of science and broad collaboration in our work.  In this space, the most immediate thing we are doing is something you should have already seen. We have announced that SCP will be partnering up with The Society of Psychologists in Management next year to host a joint mid-winter conference.  Even more importantly, the conference will be challenging and equipping us to Lead the Way by leveraging psychological science to improve the workplace!  

In summary, those of you at the conference may have heard me say, “There’s a lot in the world that s#@^s right now.”  And frankly, I’m pretty angry about it!  But don’t be confused by my anger.  I am profoundly optimistic that we can, and more importantly, SHOULD, play our part in changing the world, now! That’s one reason we call ourselves, The Catalyst Division.

Stay tuned for much more on these topics and more over the course of the coming year.  In the meantime: Happy New Year!


A. Dale Thompson, PhD, President
Society of Consulting Psychology
Division 13 – American Psychological Association
[email protected]