Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fast Forward: San Diego California Oct 5-6, 2012

I’m sipping a diet Dr. Pepper and enjoying the view from a window seat on a 737 flying over Utah. I’ve just spent the past few days in San Diego at The American Psychological Association’s Division 42 (Psychologists in Independent Practice) Fast Forward conference.  I attended this inaugural Fast Forward meeting for several reasons.  First and foremost, I am a relatively active member in this division and it’s a good opportunity to participate in the division I consider to be my professional “home”.  Also, psychologists need to get annual continuing education to maintain our licenses to practice.  This conference provided all the CEUs I require for the coming year for my psychology licenses in Colorado and Texas.  I also specifically decided to attend Fast Forward because I was asked to be a speed mentor at an innovative workshop put together by Dr. Heather Wittenberg, a dynamic and creative psychologist lucky enough to live on Maui.  I was honored by the invitation but also delighted to have the opportunity to share my expertise with early career psychologists.  I think the workshop exceeded everyone’s expectations and I hope Dr. Wittenberg feels considerable pride in her accomplishment.

Division 42 has an active and lively list serve that is a professional perk of membership.  Many prominent psychologists make frequent postings.  It’s ironic to feel like you know a colleague well when you’ve never actually met them in person.  This meeting was also appealing because it gave me the chance to get to know some of these delightful people face to face.  What a pleasure it was and, of course, the chance to network is always a nice benefit of attending a professional gathering. 

Over the past few days, I’ve listened to presentations that both inspired and sobered me.  I’ve discussed complex ethical issues and features of online and office based practice.  I was privy to fascinating dialogs regarding professional development and ways to think “outside the box” about the practice of psychology.  As a result, I’m contemplating new directions and strategies for my own practice.

I even won a great book in a raffle held during yesterday evening’s social hour: “Financial Success in Mental Health Practice” by Steve Walfish (who graciously autographed my copy) and Jeff Barnett.   That’s the second raffle prize I’ve won in the past few months.  It’s also the second raffle prize I’ve won in my whole life!  And both prizes were something that I could use and really wanted.  Lucky me! 

The food and fellowship were fantastic and the weather was perfect.  The meeting was held at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, which turned out to be an idyllic Southern California venue.   So far, our planes have been on time, our rental car was ready, there was little traffic and my iPhone’s navigation system guided us efficiently where ever we needed to go.    

On a personal note, my sister lives in the San Diego area, so not only did I get to attend Fast Forward, I got to spend several delightful days in her company.  It was also a chance for a whirlwind getaway with my husband who came along so we could enjoy some time together, visit with my sister, relax in sunny San Diego and meet some new friends.  We even got to do a little shopping, which is no longer as easy as it used to be, since we’ve left the “big city” of San Antonio and relocated to the small Colorado town of Eagle.  We are hoping our teenaged daughter will be delighted when we return home this evening with a lovely dress for her to wear to her first homecoming dance.

All in all, an extremely satisfactory few days, wouldn’t you say?

One of the most amusing things I learned at one of the presentations I attended at Fast Forward is that my cat, Pepper, is a "digital native."  Thanks Dr. Ofer Zur (http://www.zurinstitute.comfor the insight!

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