I joined Illinois Group Psychotherapy Society (renamed Great Lakes Group Psychotherapy Society in 2020) in the Spring of 2016, while still a graduate student in Clinical Psychology. I joined after attending an All-Institute conference at the recommendation of my graduate program’s Group Counseling professor and a fellow student on a committee at the time. I gladly signed up for the All-Institute because I was going to get the chance to participate in a group psychotherapy experience, with seasoned clinicians, and the theme of our group was Mindfulness led by James O’Keefe and Sarah Kallick. What an honor that I had the opportunity to be in their group as my first exposure to then IGPS. In addition to joining, my fellow student was about to leave her position on the Programming & Training Committee (P&T) and recommended me as her replacement. How fortuitous to not only be able to join the organization, but also be considered for a position on a committee to get involved contributing right away.

I joined P&T in 2016 and have enjoyed arranging the in-person and now virtual conferences knowing we are helping out those long-time society members and new attendees by introducing various group facilitation ideas to keep our knowledge base fresh. I have enjoyed making new friends and meeting other clinicians in the mental health community knowing I would not have had the opportunity to meet these individuals without having GLGPS’s programming. I am now involved on GLGPS’s Board and have enjoyed collaborating with some amazing, intelligent, compassionate group clinicians. I feel as a Board we are making the best decisions we possibly can in the interest of trying to move the organization towards a future that includes more racial and ethnic diversity, more inclusivity of sexual and gender identities, attempting to include the mid-west region in our programming, while expanding our vision to how group psychotherapy can help all difference kinds of communities in need.

Katherine Evans, Social Committee Chair