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My Road to Increasing Community Engagement

My Road to Increasing Community Engagement

I’ve recently joined the Elections Committee, which is a group of MAMFT members responsible for vetting and recruiting for our board. In hoping to energize others to consider becoming engaged with the board or a committee, I thought I’d share a bit about my own process toward joining the Elections Committee.

Two years ago a co-worker told me about an open position on the MAMFT Elections Committee. At the time, other obligations, combined with little involvement in MAMFT activities, kept me from running for a position. This year, everything lined up so when I again learned of an open position I decided to take on the three-year commitment for a few different reasons.

The first reason has to do with connecting with like-minded and supportive peers. When I was in my MFT training program at St. Mary’s I learned from some of my teachers, who had been in the field for many years, that throughout their careers they’d met with the same set of colleagues in a peer consultation group. In this group, they grew as clinicians through mutual support and shared knowledge. I always appreciated this approach and I’ve learned to seek peer support and consultation on my own. Joining the MAMFT elections committee was partly out of my desire to continue broadening my connections in the field.

Another reason I decided to run is because I believe in sustaining our professional community. I’ve learned that in Minnesota we have one of the largest state associations. I appreciate and recognize our good fortune at having a large and vibrant MAMFT community. Joining the elections committee helps me to engage and support more fully.

Being on the committee also helps me feel more aware of and involved in the exciting changes since MAMFT has become independent from AAMFT. Prior to being on the committee, I took more of a passive, side-line approach to being a MAMFT member, but this is changing as I take a more active role.

Now that I’ve started my term on the Elections Committee, I have learned more about what happens on the board, including the level of commitment people have for their positions. What I’ve learned helps me to appreciate how much goes into running the board. One example of board-sponsored activities is low cost/high CEU trainings. I’ve registered for the Somatic Experiencing training in May. It’s free! Smaller and less committed boards would be unable to make these opportunities available.

For me, becoming a committee member was typical for how this process will go for future incumbents. It began with learning more about the commitment from the existing Elections Committee members who initially told me about the position and attending a board meeting. The committee then helped me through the process of writing out my elections statement by providing questions to think about. Once I had written responses to the questions, the Elections Committee helped by honing my thoughts into a cohesive statement. Finally, the statement was put on the MAMFT website, which was then released to the greater membership who later voted.

Those of us on the Elections Committee will be talking to MAMFT members in the upcoming months as we look to fill spots that are opening up both on our committee and on the board. Consider for yourself what it might be like to be part of this team!


Lucy Grantz, MA, LMFT