Dear Colleagues: I am grateful and humbled by the responsibility of being the president of NYSPA in 2017. We are in a period of great change, both externally and internally, and the stakes have never been greater.
Your former president, Roy Aranda, is a remarkable professional, savvy, generous and indefatigable. He's a very hard act to follow. I will try to build on what he’s done and craft my own course, as well.
I have been active in NYSPA governance since 1999, in regions, in divisions, in Committees and Task Forces and most of all on NYSPA Council and the Executive Committee. I have been repeatedly impressed by the unceasing hard work and dedication shown by our many volunteers, sometimes for decades. I have seen conflict and reconciliation, hard feelings mellowed by common purpose and I am strangely optimistic about our future.
NYSPA often gets a bad rap. I’ve heard it said often that NYSPA members go to professional psychology events and hear that NYSPA is a problem: “it’s dysfunctional,” “nothing gets done,” or “all people do is argue.” Some people are put off by dissension and disagreement. But in my view, argument is life. Could you imagine an organization in which everyone is moving in lockstep? Sometimes conflict can be paralyzing, but more often it can lead to sensible compromise. People outside, and even inside the organization, don’t always understand the energy and excitement that can be generated by negotiation and compromise and then NYSPA gets a bad rap. I’d like to set a task for those of you who care about this organization. In the future, when you hear people criticizing NYSPA, remind them that we are the only ones standing up for all psychologists in NYS. We are the ones representing their interests in the legislature. And remind them that THEY are not paying for it. Remind them that we are providing some of the best training and programing in NYS. Remind them what they are missing out on. And remind them, that if NYSPA membership doubled to 5000 members (a little under a third of psychologists in NYS) we could actually REDUCE dues for everyone. Lets give NYSPA a great rap!
I have many ideas which I will share over the next few weeks. But I want to start out this year with us all on a positive note. A Happy 2017 to everyone.