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SPR Newsletter September 2016: President's Message
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Meeting in Jerusalem

A heartfelt thanks to our Local Organizing Committee chaired by Local Host Gary Diamond for creating a most memorable conference that began with a beautiful carillon concert given by our very own Gaby Shefler from the tower of the YMCA and concluded with a festive Bedouin feast with traditional Arabic-Israeli music and dancing.  Further thanks to my program committee that helped organize our scientific program around the theme Spinning Threads for the Fabric of SPR.  In sum, it seemed like we wove something very special.  We had approximately 450 registrants, and I really appreciated the energy and enthusiasm I witnessed throughout the meeting.


Local Organizing Committee: Gary Diamond (Local Host), Gaby Sheffler, Orya Tishby, Hadas Wiseman, Sigal Zilcha-Mano, Dana Atzil-Slonim, Yona Teichman, Sharon Ziv-Beiman


Program Committee: Chris Muran (Program Chair), Lauren Knopf (Program Coordinator), Gary Diamond, Ulrike Dinger, Louis Castonguay, Kim de Jong, Catherine Eubanks, Christoph Flückiger, Miguel Gonçalves, Rhonda Goldman, Betty Gomez, Jeff Hayes, Jonathan Huppert, Laurie Heatherington, Mariane Krause, Shigeru Iwakabe, Ken Levy, Wolfgang Lutz, Paulo Machado, Shelly McMain, Nick Midgley, Sarah Peter, Gabby Sheffler, Orya Tishby, Hadas Wiseman, Sigal Zilcha-Mano.


During our recent meeting, we did recognize a number of our members for their significant contributions to the field of psychotherapy research.  Paul Crits-Christoph and Jeremy Safran received our Distinguished Research Career Award, and Ueli Kramer and Sigal Zilcha-Mano received our Early Career Achievement Award.  Please take time to read brief biosketches about them included in this newsletter.

Below I’m listing upcoming SPR events, including our next international to be hosted by Jeanne Watson and company in Toronto, Canada.  Mark your calendars!

10/20-22/2016:  12th Latin American Psychotherapy Research Meeting – SPR-LA
11/17-19/2016:  2016 NASPR Chapter Meeting
6/21-24/2017:  48th International Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada
9/20-22/2017:  UK & European Chapter Conference Oxford 2017

Changing leadership

Our last Executive Council meeting this past June marked some significant changes in our leadership.  We paid farewell to our Past-President Jeanne Watson and two chapter presidents Mariane Kraus (LA) and Henning Schauenburg (EU).  We are so grateful to their efforts; they will be greatly missed.  Fernanda Serralta and Stig Poulsen will be replacing Mariane and Henning respectively, and we welcome them enthusiastically.  And of course, our recent President Chris Perry (who so ably guided us this past year and honored us with a thoughtful address in Jerusalem) now steps into the role of Past-President.


We also saw the passing of the Executive Officer torch from Tracy Eells to Marna Barrett.  We are so fortunate and pleased to have Marna take on this very important role for SPR, but let me take a few words to express our sincerest appreciation for what Tracy gave to SPR over the past 10 years: Presidents come and go pretty quickly for us, and it is the EO who really drives SPR.  Tracy was incredibly steady and skilled in his stewardship: He was our Mario Andretti (check out Wiki if you don’t get my reference).  Thank you, Tracy.  And Godspeed, Marna!


Committees have been going through transitions as well.  Our communications committee ably chaired by Tali Boritz welcomes new members, including Katie Aafjes-van Doorn who takes on the responsibility of our webinars program.  Andrzej Werbart is passing the baton of chairmanship of our Small Grants Awards Committee to Andres Roussos: We are so grateful to both of them for their efforts.  Thank you to all our members who have contributed their valuable time to our committees: a special shout out to chairs Jeanne Watson (Career Awards), Andres Roussos (Student Travel), and Claudio Martinez (Poster Awards).


Please note in this newsletter the position statements for our two nominees for General Vice President.  We are grateful to Rob DeRubeis and Mariane Krause for their willingness to serve our organization.

Increasing impact

Last year marked the 25th anniversary of our journal Psychotherapy Research. This past June Thomson Reuters released the 2015 Impact Factor for our journal. It is now 2.570, a remarkable increase of 49% from 2014 when it was 1.723. The journal now ranks in the top quarter of more than 120 journals in the ‘Psychology, Clinical’ category.  According to some standards, this moves us to the category of a high impact journal (> 2 high, 1-2 middle, < 1 low impact).  There are many positive implications for this, and it is the culmination of 25 years of hard work and dedication. We also continue to see significant increases in article downloads, plus submission and acceptances rates by country.  We want to thank all our current and past editors, reviewers and authors, who have contributed to this achievement.  It is a great tribute to our community to have an international journal of such stature.  Best wishes to Wolfgang Lutz and Jeff Hayes as they steer our journal forward.  Please take a look at our editor’s report in this newsletter.


Looking forward

There are a few issues I would like us to pay particular attention to this coming year.  This first & foremost is membership, specifically with regard to growth & sustainment.   In this regard, I would like to see us not only to continue to expand our international reach, but to see a significant increase in our numbers that will be steady and stable. 

  • Of course, one way to do this is to support our students at the doctoral and postdoctoral level: At our recent EC meeting, we significantly increased funding for travel awards and small grants; we also established an Emerging Scholars Program that will be co-sponsored by Taylor & Francis and will provide travel funds and mentorship to early career researchers.
  • Another way to do this is to promote the value of remaining a member, whether you continue to conduct research or turn to exclusively practice: We could, for example, improve our website as an educational resource, which would permit members to have open access to clinical support tools for research or practice, as well as recorded plenaries or webinars.

We are moving towards 5 newsletters per year (Sep, Nov, Jan, Mar & May), so I will be reporting more on these ideas and initiatives in future issues.  Please feel free to forward any thoughts you may have concerning these or other matters.

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