Jeffrey Hudson, MEd, LPC, CGP, FAGPA
It's been exciting to see the impact of the Group Foundation expand over my 12 years on the Board. Three areas of our work have been especially inspiring - public education, community out reach and scholarships.
Initially, local fundraising events were held to raise awareness of the Foundation’s work and to thank our donors. Over time, these events have evolved to educate the general public about the value of group therapy, the importance of providing expert training to clinicians, and to raise scholarship funds.
In the past five years, I’ve really enjoyed participating in Foundation events in Austin, Baton Rouge, Los Angeles, and San Antonio. Two experiences were especially memorable. The first was a series of performances by Gabriela Kohen of her one-woman show, Decoding the Tablecloth. The emotional impact of her play and its message about the transgenerational transmission of trauma has been remarkable. I also remember the pleasure of leading an institute for Karen Travis’, LCSW, BCD, CGP, FAGPA, Masters Series in Baton Rouge. Karen established a series of institutes led by AGPA clinicians to raise money for the scholarship fund. This has been a great opportunity to provide training to a local community, while simultaneously raising money. For me, the local events have been emotionally rich and a great way to share both AGPA and Affiliate Societies’ commitment to group work.
My work on the Foundation Board has also allowed me to appreciate the value of AGPA community outreach. Each time a community around the country is impacted by a natural disaster or tragic event, I see the caring that emanates from AGPA. The importance of this outreach literally hit home earlier this year when Austin was traumatized by three weeks of bombings. AGPA members in Austin received emails, phones calls, and links to valuable resources to help them work with clients experiencing this trauma. It was healing for me to feel part of this extended family. I felt especially grateful that the Group Foundation raises funds to support this outreach, and for the research and development of clinical resources to assist communities impacted by trauma.
Finally, raising money for the scholarship program has been a highlight of my work on the Board. I’ve been moved to see the steady increase in the number of scholarship recipients. The recipients are enriching our organization, bringing new perspectives, and increasing the diversity of AGPA. Most return to their communities better prepared to lead groups and support the activities of their local societies.