Presidential Update April 2024


headshot of Dr. BeemanTime is interesting. I checked my IPA profile recently, and it seems I joined IPA on 5/1/1991. That was 33 years ago. It does not seem that long ago that I was green to IPA. Other (more notable) events that year included the first US-Iraqi war (Desert Storm), the beating of Rodney King, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. While it seems those things are a long time ago, sadly they seem to have an ongoing echo today. And yet time passes, and it seems inconceivable that I am slipping into the old guard. Given that time seems to compress as we age (at least as long as we are “with it” enough to perceive time), so perhaps I can use that as my explanation for why my first blog post is appearing in April rather than in
February or March. Or not. 

Let me introduce myself. I am an Iowan born and raised, leaving for stints for undergraduate school at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and internship at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Minneapolis. I attended graduate school at Iowa State University, where interestingly I had also lived from ages 2-5 when my father was in school there. I joined IPA while on internship and looking for employment opportunities to return to Iowa. While I typically prefer to vacation elsewhere, Iowa is clearly my home. 

Home is such an important concept. It is where we feel safe, connected, contented. In the Compassion Focused Therapy model, it resides in the “soothing system” part of the emotional regulation system. It corresponds to the affiliative aspects of ourselves. We generally consider our family, our house, and our neighborhood to be home, but in many respects other systems, large and small, can also be home. As I said, for me Iowa is home. I have always strived to have the places I work feel like home also, growing connections with others I respect, enjoy, and trust. And I have always seen IPA as a professional home as well. Over the years, I have met colleagues that have turned into friends, and experienced places not
only of learning but also of safety. This is what I hope IPA can be to all its members. Not simply a place to gain CEUs and learn what is afoot in psychology, but a place to genuinely be. At this year’s spring conference, Dr. Benge Tallman, after being awarded the Phil Laughlin Meritorious Achievement Award, exemplified in the spirit of his response a clear sense of home among his fellow state psychologists. I wish for everyone the ability to find in IPA what is most needed in a professional organization.

To that end, I want to echo the many calls to step into leadership in whatever ways seem to fit. I have been in and out of leadership a couple of times in IPA. I put off the presidency until I was older, for my own reasons. Others are relatively new to the field when they step into that role. Some people serve by taking leadership positions in the executive council, others join committees, or take a role in special projects. Whatever seems to fit your expertise and interest, there is a role for you at the time you are ready to fill it. I encourage you to get involved. Let us all be home to one another. We need volunteers to fill many needs. Currently, we are looking to fill the roles of IPA President-Elect, State Advocacy Coordinator, Treasurer, and IPA Representative for next year. And nearly every committee has room for additional members to assist with furthering their goals.

Thus far this year, we have had several things happen. We have already had our Spring Conference (and the accompanying annual business meeting). This year’s spring conference taught us the nuances of OCD and its treatment. The presenters were excellent, and the facility was quite good as well. We’ve already had 2 online/virtual presentations (on Cultural Humility and Ketamine treatment). The year isn't even half over and there has already been the opportunity for 15 CEUs. Dr. David Drustrup will present an online conference, “Addressing Whiteness in Psychotherapy Clinical & System Approaches,” on June 7. The Fall Conference will also be online this year. On September 27, Dr. Yossef Ben-Porath will present on the MMPI-3. And of course there are the ongoing online psychopharmacology trainings by NMSU.

For those who were not at the spring conference, Dr. Jenna Paternostro did the big reveal for IPA’s new logo. It will be put into use in the near future. She and other members of the rebranding workgroup are collaborating with consultants for the final pieces to accompany the logo redesign. In addition, we will be redesigning the IPA webpage. Hopefully, it will be both more up-to-date looking and more user-friendly. Look for more to come on those topics in the near future.

Perhaps less interesting, on the “nuts and bolts” side of the organization, there has been ongoing work to shape the strategic goals of the organization for the coming year, and there is some ongoing work on the policies and procedures of the association as well. This year, we were awarded $15,000 from the APA’s Small State Operational Grant to support the salary of our Executive Director and our ongoing efforts to improve our mission. And on the disappointing side of things, despite considerable efforts by the organization, we were unable to stop the Governor’s plan to combine the mental health licensing boards. We will now be overseen by a board comprised of psychologists, social workers, licensed mental
health therapists, licensed marriage & family therapists, and an Applied Behavioral Analyst.

So, finally, back to the age thing. I don’t actually feel as old as some people seem to think I am. But I am older than the grandparents of some of the teenagers with whom I work. One called me a relic not long ago (I responded I hoped I was the sacred kind). Yet, my own kids are just in the getting-ready-to-launch stage. Time is said to provide us with perspective, but our perspectives at any time of our life are inherently valuable no matter the age. Interestingly, though my perspective on IPA has become more nuanced (and deep) over time, it remains largely unchanged. I hope it can be, and remain, home for all of you as well.

*Begin paid content*
ad for The Trust insurance
Share this post:

Comments on "Presidential Update April 2024"

Comments 0-5 of 1

Sarah Fetter - Sunday, May 19, 2024

Thank you for your service, Dave!

Please login to comment