Sanie Andres, MA

Progress Notes ...
A quarterly publication of the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association of Southern California, Inc., an organization dedicated to the promotion of gay, lesbian, and bisexual psychology, by supporting and serving the mental health professionals who work within the gay, lesbian, and bisexual and transgendered community. Correspondence regarding the newsletter should be sent to:

LAGPA Progress Notes
P.O. Box 34142
Los Angeles, CA 90034

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LAGPA Lives On

by Stuart Altschuler, MFT

As Joni Mitchell (I know I am dating myself!) once wrote, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”. Well there were some of you that did not want to play that one out. Because of a few dedicated colleagues, who believed that losing LAGPA would have been a loss for the mental health community, LAGPA has a working board. The last Progress Notes made it clear that without members stepping forward to serve, we would see the end of an organization that has provided Southern California with so much for well over a decade.

Because of about eight licensed psychotherapists and interns, the board has seen a rededication to the purpose and goals of what LAGPA has stood for since our creative and dedicated colleagues formed the organization in the early 1990’s.

Because of individuals who are not using their busy schedules and other commitments to get in the way, they are serving us all. You have seen this in the presentation of an Educational Forum, by Jim Walton, PhD, at the end of May. You have seen this in the cleaning up of the directory (still in progress) and in the well-attended and successful social held at my house on June10.

You have seen this in the successful conference held on June 24. In partnership with our sponsor, The LA Gay & Lesbian Center, it was held at the Village at Ed Gould Plaza. Five workshops were presented, LA City Councilman Bill Rosendahl (while arriving late) spoke to an enthusiastic crowd, and the catered lunch was by far the best meal served up at any conference in 12 years.

While there were naysayer’s who told us there was not time enough to pull this one off, this new board came together and each taking a “piece of the action”, made it happen. We even were able to get the CEU process reset so Psychologists, MFT’s and LCSW’s alike are set to receive those precious and needed credits.

We honored one of our own with a special award presented posthumously to our friend and colleague, Brian Miller, PhD, who passed in April after many years of living with AIDS. He was a gentle soul, a good friend and an inspirational colleague.

The conference even encouraged about 3 new members to step forward and offer a commitment to serve on the board. There is still room for more if any of you are willing. We do need more women, especially.

To make up for the lack of Educational Forums over the last year, our goal is to present 3 or 4 of them during the summer months. These months are usually quiet times for LAGPA, but watch for the announcements and attend. If you have a desire to present a workshop, let us know and we can get it scheduled, if it is a fit.

Our annual membership drive is moving forward. We hope you will continue to support LAGPA, and the efforts in place at this time, by renewing your membership and encouraging colleagues to join or renew. If you have been upset with us over the last year, we ask your forgiveness and invite you to be part of the refocusing process by staying a member and keeping our numbers strong.

The board elections will also be coming your way by August, as required by our by-laws. If you want a say in the running of this organization, join the board. If you cannot do that, your membership will assure you a spot on our telephone tree. This is something that was a part of the board’s procedure when I first became a member in 1995. It stopped being used a number of years ago. The board wants you to know that there is at least one board member that belongs to you, personally. You have and will continue to get calls reminding you of events and lending you an ear to listen to your concerns and suggestions.

Also, and certainly no small item, we have Chuck Stewart back and he is getting the administrative duties cleaned up and streamlined so the board will have an easier time serving you, the membership and the community.

Finally, on behalf of the entire board, I want to thank all of you who have communicated, via email, telephone and in person, how grateful you are to see LAGPA continue. I cannot tell you how many of you wrote and apologized for not being able to attend this event or another, but thanked us for making them happen. It is important that you are not silent. Let us know what you want or need from your professional association. We need to hear from you. Like anyone else, it is always nice to know when efforts are appreciated. We want you to know how much the board appreciates your standing by us and understanding that any community based professional association is only as strong as the commitment of its membership. That means you. We thank you for your continued support, understanding, patience and friendship. •