Updates from the Interim Psychotherapy Commission: Communities of Practice
By Joann Heaney-Hunter, M.S., Ph.D., LMHC, NCC, Chair  |  April 8, 2019

As we move through the transition process, the interim Psychotherapy Commission is learning about many things. Most recently, we have been growing in our knowledge of how Communities of Practice (CoPs) have been integrated into ACPE, and how they might serve as a model for members from AAPC to gather and learn. Because of input from the commission and from our members, we have come to the conclusion that we need more time to explore this new model further before we can vote on the final content of our CoPs. As we continue to grapple with the number and content of these first psychotherapy-related CoPs, we must consider the value of our regional relationships, the necessity of continuing education credit hours for psychotherapist licensing, and the need for fiscal responsibility to ensure a long-term future for the work we do. The commission will seek input from former AAPC members in ACPE when we are further into this process. For now, we invite you to learn more about ACPE’s use of Communities of Practice and how they can work for our members.

When launched, the new Communities of Practice will provide contexts in which members can explore the cutting edges of psychotherapy and spiritual care. These will provide forums for the exchange of ideas, best practices, and sources of community and connection within our new professional home. Communities of Practice can convene in-person locally and at national conferences, but most often they gather through audio and video conferencing. Given their grounding in theory and practice, CoPs are well-poised to support continuing education events. ACPE staff will help Communities of Practice apply for CE credit hours for their sponsored workshops and webinars.

When you are able, I invite you to look at the definition and purpose of a Community of Practice and at Etienne Wenger’s Communities of Practice, A Brief Introduction. You might also want to browse through the directory of existing CoPs, as the majority of these are open for new members from AAPC to join as well.

Finally, I want to encourage anyone who might be concerned about the status of their membership by reiterating what I shared in my last update: ACPE staff members are processing applications and setting up membership profiles throughout the month of April. At the end of the month, you will be contacted by ACPE with your new membership details. In the meantime, continue to watch for news from the interim Psychotherapy Commission. Together with the broader membership, we seek to discern next steps for maintaining the high standards of our profession, deepening relationships locally and nationally, and envisioning the future of spiritually integrated psychotherapy through initiatives like the SIP program, Communities of Practice, and beyond.

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