Viva L'APA! "The networking this year was incredible! There was an energy about this conference that led to great excitement about being there and taking away as much as possible.".
Article Type: Conference news
Subject: Medical societies (Conferences, meetings and seminars)
Psychotherapy (Conferences, meetings and seminars)
Author: Reidenberg, Daniel J.
Pub Date: 12/22/2009
Publication: Name: Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association Publisher: American Psychotherapy Association Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 American Psychotherapy Association ISSN: 1535-4075
Issue: Date: Winter, 2009 Source Volume: 12 Source Issue: 4
Product: Product Code: 8622000 Medical Associations NAICS Code: 81392 Professional Organizations SIC Code: 8621 Professional organizations
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 216961296
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"What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." Not so, say I, not so! Where does one begin to sum up our annual conference held in October in sunny and warm Las Vegas? The amazing hotel with a 51st-story observation deck that hosted many APA/ACFEI/ AAIM staff?. The innumerable buffets along the Strip? I'm sure some would also reference the southwestern scenery all around us, but I would be remiss if I did not mention that it was yet another amazing APA conference!

First, I haven't seen a room filled with vendors of products and services like the one we saw this year. We saw a variety of authors and publishing companies who shared works on grief, brain imagery, police and chaplain work, and homeopathic remedies. Second, although to some it seemed like we were light on "meaty presentations" for the APA this year, I sat through many presentations on Friday that had some of our 80 APA members in attendance learning about everything from business and ethics to relationships and stress. Other presentations on grief, geriatric issues, compulsive behaviors, and trauma were equally well received.

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Yet another highlight of this meeting was the keynote addresses by Frank Abagnale and Brigitte Gabriel, which left people in awe and asking for more! I spoke with Ms. Gabriel briefly after her presentation, and she couldn't sign her books fast enough for the people who wanted them. Then there was Peter Probst, the keynote speaker at the annual banquet. If you missed this, you missed a lot. After several decades with the federal government and hundreds of private consulting roles, Peter Probst knows one thing for sure: we must be more careful. Speaking about terrorism from a unique and full-lived professional perspective, Mr. Probst gave a frightening, real, and important address to the 600 or more guests at the dinner. I left knowing that there is more going on than meets the eye, and that we all must be watchful about what we do and say at all times. The consequences are far too severe for us not to.

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Finally, there truly must be something about Las Vegas that brings people to it. We had more people in attendance for the APA conference than ever before. We also had the greatest number of people attend the annual Advisory Board meeting than ! have seen since the last time we were in Sin City in the 1990s. Nine leaders of this great organization sat around a table talking about priorities, programs, recruitment, retention of members, and the next generation of psychotherapists. I am honored to see several new members who have joined the Advisory Board this year, including Stephen Lankton, who is well known for his work with Milton Erickson. Wayne Tasker said that professionals with master's degrees must be heard and supported. John Catlett shared insights on the importance of us helping members deal with ethics, liability issues, and he suggested that we should consider expanding our liability offerings to other areas. Several other members discussed issues of certification, working with clergy, and reaching out to students through a scholarship program.

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I want to thank everyone who attended the conference, those who presented, and all of the board members who came or shared input from a distance. We are a strong organization that is growing with more credibility, positive repute, and national recognition than at any time in our history. I also want to thank Dr. O'Block for his continued leadership, vision, and inspiration. The work of each of these organizations is important and would not be happening without his intense drive to see them be successful and helpful to all of us as members. Viva Las Vegas and Viva L'APA! Mark your calendars for Orlando, 2010!

By Dan Reidenberg, PsyD, FAPA, DAPA, CRS, MTAPA

Daniel J. Reidenberg, PsyD, FAPA, DAPA, CRS, MTAPA, is the chair of the American Psychotherapy Association's Executive Advisory Board and has been a member since 1997. He is a Fellow and Master Therapist of the American Psychotherapy Association, the chair of the Certified Relationship Specialist. CRS. Advisory Board. and executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Contact him with your thoughts at dreidenberg@save.org.
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