2011 Joel Lazar, Ph.D.
As the 2011 SDPA President, I am pleased to summarize a year we can all be proud of. The first of my two main goals focused on providing members with a myriad of services to make SDPA a a social and professional asset and increase our membership. The second goal was to increase our public profile in San Diego and what we provide to the community. I was ably assisted by our Board, which included Members-at-Large, Richard Levak and Temple Zander, in addition to our Student Rep., Michael Milad. Our Past-President, Mary Sheets, continued to provide wise counsel and a responsible financial advise. Our President-Elect, Felise Levine, was a hands-on go-getter who stepped in whenever needed, including leading our Gala efforts once again. Our Treasurer, Vic Frazao, created a responsible budget and spending strategies that helped the Board end the year with a healthy financial cushion for the first time in years. Our CPA Reps., Steve Tess, Lori Magnusson and Annette Conway strengthened our connection to CPA, and helped Bruce Sachs and myself encourage members to support the CPA-Political Action Committee with unprecedented generosity. Keny Leepier ran our office with superb professionalism and organization, and the Board was finally able to fund a permanent part-time office assistant position.
Some of our accomplishments involved a continuation of past successes. Jason Camu and Katherine Quinn continued our history of editing a top-notch Newsletter. It provided educational articles about practice building, clinical skills, and supervision, many that reflected the breadth of our expertise by addressing various psychotherapeutic schools that included psychoanalytic, cognitive and mindfulness approaches, as well as the treatment of adults, children, adolescents, couples and families. Our well-attended Spring and Fall Conferences addressed both therapeutic techniques and self-care approaches to prevent burnout. At our conferences and the Gala, the affection and camaraderie members showed towards colleagues was heart-warming and rejuvenating. We had numerous high-quality continuing education workshops each month, and were grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Relationship Training Institute much of the year. Members again judged psychology-related projects at the San Diego Science Fair, and we invited winning Middle and High School students to an event where they presented their projects and were awarded savings bonds. Our Psychology 2000 program continued to thrive, providing free therapy to those who could not afford it in exchange for clients volunteering to assist community organizations. And our student member involvement was particularly strong, encouraged by events such as speed-mentoring and an opportunity to hear experienced SDPA members present the same clinical case from four different schools of psychological theorizing.
SDPA was proud to be the local host of the 2011 CPA Convention. SDPA members attended enthusiastically, psychologists throughout the state learned more about SDPA, and we were proud to once again receive the award for Chapter Newsletter of the Year. The Board made it financially easier for retired, early career, and psychologists who do not provide private practice services to belong to SDPA. We even created a membership category for those in the community who are not psychologists but want to be aware of the work we are doing. We re- categorized our 24 committees and created a summary flyer of them and their Chairs to facilitate increased member participation. We re-started the process of offering Press Releases on SDPA activities and breaking news stories, strengthened our connection to the local media and with the help of Richard Levak created an unprecedented SDPA local TV presence this year. For the first time we provided 800 breast cancer survivors a two-sided handout at the Susan G Komen For The Cure 5K to assist them in coping with the stress of their disease and making the best of their difficult situation. We had close to 800 members, and revised our policy and procedures manual. We collaborated with the San Diego County Bar Association and co-sponsored an event for graduate students with Alliant University on the importance of leadership in political advocacy. Our accomplishments were the result of so many of our members generously giving their time and expertise that I was moved to initiate a “Kudos” column in our weekly on-line news to thank some of these members. I hope that those I failed to mention still feel appreciated and take pride in their contributions. Thanks to all for creating such an inspirational and welcoming professional home for San Diego psychologists, psychologists-in-training and other mental Health Professionals.