by Todd Rising, Psy.D.
Happy New Year! I hope rest, rejuvenation, and time for reflection has been part of the shorter days and longer nights of this unusually dis/connected season for you. I’ve often noticed as I enter into a new year, the allure of its potential can be a generative draw on hope and optimism, inviting wishful dreams and plans for creative actions.
While I think this offers the glimmer of vitality towards growth in the year to come, I’m aware of the continued need to reflect on the longstanding and emerging problems that were highlighted this past year: the many convolutions and interpenetrations of the social, cultural, political, and environmental. Important, as we move forward, is the need to keep speaking to what has happened with the accumulative traumas sustained among so many strata of our world and community. I am glad that we do this together within our organization of thoughtful individuals, as well as with the continued involvement of active members and affiliated folks from our broader community, offering up your voices when so moved.
The new year also brings endings, beginnings, and the attendant transitions. Along with many of our sister organizations in the Bay Area, NCSPP continues to invest in a transitional process, re-considering our organizational structures while thinking about our relationship to, and how we center ourselves as an organization within, our broader community. In the spirit of transparency, we will continue to communicate the ongoings of this work via sundry emails, online posts, and communications via our monthly newsletter, Impulse, as we invite you to follow along with and chime in regarding our developing processes. So, please stay tuned and stay involved.
As we share our gratitude for and bid our farewells to a number of dedicated and creative individuals who have been stellar contributors to our ongoing processes, we also welcome a number of new officers and board members in joining us this year! As a result of our annual elections and tallied ballots as submitted from among our membership, NCSPP has recently welcomed Robert Deady, Molly Russo, and Tanisha Stewart into various roles within our organization’s Executive Committee: Robert will be stepping into the role of our Program Division Chair; Molly will stay on as our Director of Continuing Education while also taking up our elected Division 39 Representative; and, Tanisha will be continuing on in her role as Treasurer this year, while also stepping into the leadership position of President-Elect! Stephanie King will be returning this year in the role of (Past) Past-President and we are grateful for her continued guidance and leadership. We warmly welcome these four dedicated, thoughtful, and creative individuals to these essential roles! To read more about our newly-nominated officers, please return to the NCSPP ballots that were sent to our membership’s email addresses on November 18th.
In addition to these Executive Committee officers and with equal excitement and gratitude, we also welcome to the Board as appointed members: Suzanne Mungalez and Maya Florsheim as Co-Chairs of the Pre-licensed Committee; Lilananda Tschappat as Chair of the Intensive Study Group (ISG) Committee; June Lin-Arlow as Chair of the Impulse Committee; Clara Brandt as Chair of the Education Committee; and Rebekah Tinker as Co-Chair of the Digital Media and Technology Committee, alongside Michele McGuinness. Welcome, all! We look forward to beginning the new year with your collective wisdom, integrative thinking, and unique perspectives contributing to our ongoing evolutions as an organization and within our larger community.
Last but certainly not least, I am excited to announce the winner of our annual Community Service Award, as determined by NCSPP’s Board. After considering the nominations made by members of our community, the Board collectively voted to recognize the contributions of The Frontline Workers Counseling Project (FWCP) and its founders, Drs. Elizabeth Rawson and Michael Levin. We would like to recognize Drs. Elizabeth Rawson and Michael Levin for offering their prescient, timely, and dynamic support in the emergence of critical need during the unpredictable global and local COVID-19 pandemic. Their commitment to socially-just and equitable access to mental health care for frontline workers has underscored the forward thinking and innovation needed for so many in our intimate and larger communities. Their tireless work has brought relief, recognition, and essential support to a growing number of healthcare workers who might have otherwise faced profound risk, trauma, and personal loss alone or with minimal resources. NCSPP remains grateful for their taking an intrepid lead in offering such essential pro-bono services to a range of like-minded, devoted, and deeply invested caregivers both in our community and beyond. For demonstrating their innovative, compassionate, and invested commitment to serving our community without barriers to access, we applaud Drs. Rawson and Levin and the many contributors to FWCP’s efforts! Thank you!