Greetings, and happy New Year! I am both excited and nervous to kick off 2015 – and my time as MAD President – with this month’s blog post. I’m excited because, as a long-time board member and passionate advocate for the profession of Marriage and Family Therapy in the State of Maryland, I see unlimited potential for growth, advocacy, and connection. I could not be more thrilled with the excellent MAD Board I’ll be serving with for the next two years, and I truly believe that we can and will accomplish great things together. I want to continue the excellent momentum established by my friend predecessor, Laurel Fay. Laurel put tremendous energy into increasing member benefit, truly working to make MAD an organization from which YOU, the members, can get what you need. We exist because of our members, and we want to work for our members in whatever way we can. We’ve got networking events, social events, and exciting Continuing Education opportunities coming up, starting with this year’s Annual Conference featuring Bill Doherty. Dr. Doherty, a seasoned couples therapist and academic with a great flair for public speaking, will spend the day teaching us about Discernment Counseling and its use with couples in which members have different ideas about whether or not to continue their relationship. Bill is a fantastic speaker, and this is going to be a can’t-miss conference – we REALLY hope to see you there on February 27th at the Turf Valley Resort. You can register online here.

My nervousness comes from one thing: this year’s vote to decide whether or not to make organization changes to the structure of AAMFT that would mean serious change for us here in Maryland, DC, and Delaware, as well as for the rest of the country. As Laurel shared with you in her last President’s Letter in the Winter issue of Connections, the Central AAMFT board has put forth a proposal to centralize and do away with Divisions altogether. At first glance, maybe this seems appealing – it’s a simpler, cleaner model, to be sure. But what we miss when we do away with Divisions is all of the excellent, state-specific, unique knowledge and energy that gets things done where they need to be – the “boots-on-the-ground” work that is essential for the successful growth and protection of our profession. This is a big, big decision, and one that each of us needs to weigh carefully. In June, you will be invited to cast a vote, either for or against the motion to restructure. My mission for the first six months of my presidency is to make sure that all 336 members of the Middle Atlantic Division are fully informed about what their vote will mean. Toward that end, I’d like to personally invite each of you to attend a members-only lunch meeting, to be held on February 27th, 2015 at Turf Valley Resort (if you’re attending the Doherty conference I mentioned above, the meeting will be during the lunch break; if you’re not attending the conference, you are still invited to the meeting). Lunch will be provided. I truly hope to see as many of you there as possible. The decision we face with our vote could not be more critical, and the Board and I have quite a lot to share with you as we each prepare to cast our votes.  You can register here for the lunch. If you’re unable to attend, I invite you to contact me directly, either by telephone (301-785-7184) or email (president@madmft.org), and I’d be happy to share my thoughts with you, as well as to answer any questions you might have.

So, excited and nervous, that about sums me up today. I hope you’ll share in my excitement about all that’s ahead for MAD this year, and that you’ll share in as much of it as possible. I look forward to seeing you all soon, and again, Happy New Year!

Credit:
Lindsey Hoskins, Ph.D., LCMFT
President, MAD-AAMFT

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