Letter from the President
Ann Koplow, LICSW, CGP
As I’ve thought about writing this — my final letter to you as President of NSGP — my mind has naturally gone to ideas about closure. (Personally, I don’t like the word “termination,” because that sounds too final.) As I have learned from trainings and experiences at NSGP (and as I often tell people in my drop-in groups at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) a good- enough sense of closure is critical in transitions — allowing us to appreciate what we’ve shared together and also to move ahead, better equipped for future challenges.
In my open-access groups, we often discuss insufficient and disappointing closures with family members, friends, work situations, organizations, and other important aspects of our life, and how this lack of satisfying closure in important transitions can keep us stuck. During these challenging days of 2020, when we might be feeling uncomfortably stuck in contagions of different kinds, closure is especially important.
So what helps with closure? I believe good-enough closure includes:
Naming what I got from from serving as President of NSGP has to include getting to know members better, getting to know myself better, participating in all of the organization’s valuable offerings over the last two years, gaining confidence in my leadership skills, and gradually reducing my astonishment that I would ever be the President of an organization I have loved and learned so much from since the 1990’s.
What did I NOT get from being President of NSGP? I did not get:
Now, in my closure letter, I have the always valuable opportunity to consciously leave behind what is not serving me well. I would like to leave behind:
Since I am using my magic wastepaper basket to throw all those away, I wish I could throw in these things that plague any organization, including NSGP:
Wouldn’t it be great if we could just throw all those away and be done with them? As an organization, we are smart enough to know that it takes a tremendous amount of work to even recognize and especially to discard any of those. Luckily, NSGP members do not shy away from difficult and painful work. If we did, I doubt we would have chosen to be healers of personal and interpersonal trauma.
As I close this, my last letter from the NSGP President, what feels left unsaid?
Ann Koplow, LICSW, CGP