LACPA's 2017 Presidential Theme

Reaching for the Future — at LACPA and Beyond 
Beth Leedham, Ph.D. 

Photo of Dr. Beth LeedhamJanuary is right around the corner — the season of goals and resolutions, of calendars and plans. As a gardener, this has always struck me as a particularly hopeful time of year here in Southern California. We turn our soil to plant peas and lettuce, prune our roses to ensure spring bloom, welcome rain at long last, and hang wads of cotton from tree branches, in hopes that local hummingbirds might use it to nest. Outside, the air is soft. It smells like wonderful things are about to happen. 

That optimism sometimes eludes us in our professional lives. Over my 20 years as a psychologist, I have become increasingly aware of growing strains of worry and pessimism that surface in conversations about the future of psychology. We are dismayed about managed care, and we are chagrinned by the failures of our leadership. We worry about professional competition, and we feel overwhelmed by the demands of changing technology. We are distraught by the unfailingly stupid depictions of psychologists in the media, and we are exasperated by the public’s perennial confusion as to how smart and useful we really are. Sometimes it can feel, to quote the great Yogi Berra, that “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

But wonderful things are about to happen, if we want to reach for them. Reaching for the future means embracing change, and if we open ourselves up in this way, the coming year, and the years beyond, can be full of good things.  

As always, LACPA will continue to provide members with opportunities to reach for the future, in both small individual ways and large collective ones. For example, our 2017 programming will include Continuing Education presentations on innovative research, new practice models, and professional best practices. Our Local Advocacy Network will provide members with opportunities to experience political advocacy, for example by leading a delegation to Sacramento in early March for the Leadership and Advocacy Conference and Lobbying Day in Sacramento. LACPA will continue to reach into our community of psychologists and the larger community, through networking and social activities, public education efforts, community events, and programming that spans the entire Los Angeles County geographical area, from Santa Clarita to the South Bay. And LACPA’s Special Task Force on Leadership will present a one-day conference in May, aimed at cultivating the leadership talent we need to move our organization and our field forward into the future. 

During 2017, I will happily take a turn serving as the Association’s President, after nearly a decade of involvement with LACPA. I am grateful and fortunate to work with a wise group of Officers, including our wonderful Past-President Lisa Osborn, and with a terrific Board of Directors comprised of devoted veterans and new talent. “Reaching for the Future” is my 2017 Presidential theme. I hope you’ll join me for an exciting and transformative year, at LACPA and beyond. 

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