President’s Column – Winter 2018

President’s Column Dec 2018

by Megan Oudekerk

“MAMFT- A Year in Review”

It is almost the beginning of a new year and while many people are looking ahead for what 2019 holds, we are also looking back at 2018 to see what we were able to accomplish during our first year as an independent organization.

When I was doing some reflection for this article, I found myself feeling that in some ways a lot of things have changed and in other ways, not much has changed at all.  Let me explain.

This was the first year that MAMFT was separate from AAMFT.  With that change, we were unsure what the year would look like.  We were hoping we would benefit from some greater flexibility to guide our own path as a professional association and we were pleased that turned out to be the case.  Here are some of the accomplishments of our committees and the association this year:

  • A training series was created for the Metro area and we offered more regional trainings for Greater MN (which has resulted in a Greater MN Training Series for 2019).
  • Sweatshirts and t-shirts were developed to show our pride in our association.
  • We went from 0 members on January 1st to almost 1,000 members by year end.
  • The Student Committee developed a Student Mentorship Program that will take place in 2019
  • The Social Justice Committee has been meeting to help advise the board, create training opportunities, and promote responsiveness to social justice issues in the community
  • For the first time ever, we had a formal donation system allowing members to easily donate to the organization.
  • The Membership Committee hosted some great networking events and honored one of our members with an award at one of them.
  • Manijeh Daneshpour was the speaker for our 2018 Annual Conference, which was well attended.
  • A Past President’s Council was created.
  • The Greater MN Committee worked hard to connect our Greater MN members together and to support the Greater MN trainings.

In addition to the above, there have been many more accomplishments, including, a meeting with the leaders of other states that have also separated from AAMFT.  This meeting was held in Chicago and was a valuable time to connect, share resources, offer support, and even discuss ways to keep promoting relational and systemic therapy associations (below is a picture of the group).

No one knew where we’d find ourselves at the end of this first year.  A year of new beginnings but also going back to our roots of connecting to each other relationally to support the great work we do.  I am so proud of MAMFT and the organization we have.  I am also proud of where we are headed and know that we are not perfect, nor will we ever be.  There are always things that we can change, correct, update, adjust, etc.  I so greatly appreciate the work of the volunteers that make this organization possible as well as the members who are what this association is all about.  Best wishes for continued growth and success in 2019.