by Willow Banks, Psy.D.
Dear NCSPP community,
Happy 2023! I’m pleased to introduce myself as your President for the new year. My name is Willow Banks, and I’m a psychologist in private practice in Berkeley, CA. I’ve been involved with NCSPP in various roles since my second year in graduate school: I served on the Pre-licensed Committee from 2009 to 2014, as Secretary from 2018 to 2021, and as President-Elect in 2022. This organization has informed and supported so much of my professional development, and it is where I’ve met, and gotten closer to, many of my dearest colleagues. We have a wonderful, dedicated group of people serving on the board and committees this year, and I’m so honored to work with them and continue the work we’ve been doing together.
As you may already know from following our organization on Impulse, the board has been working on implementing the diversity, equity, and inclusion protocols we began developing in 2020. It is a commitment of mine, as President, to see that work continue, as we weave these protocols more fully into the fabric of our daily operations. Another goal of mine is to continue, as an organization, to have a larger conversation about leadership in the field of psychoanalytic psychology. It’s a topic that I’ve always been interested in, yet have encountered only a few opportunities in my career to take it up more intensively. I believe that we, as clinicians, have many skills that we bring to bear on the leadership roles we assume, yet I’m not sure how prepared we always feel to do our best work in these roles. Given that being a leader comes with important responsibilities and the potential to do harm to those we lead and represent, I think this conversation will fit together well with the DEI work we are already engaged in. I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on how we understand and practice leadership within NCSPP and to sharing the outcome of these efforts with all of you.
At the close of 2022, we said goodbye to three outgoing board members: June Lin-Arlow, Clara Brandt, and Todd Rising. For the past two years, June was at the helm of our Impulse newsletter and Clara led the Education committee. Both were skillful and dedicated in their roles, and I particularly appreciate them for their caring and forward-thinking participation in our discussions about our equity goals and the direction of NCSPP. Our Past-President, Todd Rising, also steps away from NCSPP after serving on the board for three years and after heading our organization during one of our most challenging periods of internal scrutiny. I have admired his steadfastness, and his careful attention to our process conversations as a board. These three will be sincerely missed. I would also like to appreciate Tanisha Stewart, who moves into the Past-President role this year. Her focus on taking action toward our equity goals has been motivating and her mentorship continues to be invaluable. Finally, I want to welcome Luba Palter, our new Impulse chair, and Ronna Haglili, our new Education chair, to the board. Here’s to a new year of learning in community, wishing you all good health, and much joy in 2023!