As a graduate student, I attended my first I&C in 1980, and proceeded to fall completely in love with AAP’s amazingly personal professional home!

Having professors at Georgia State and mentors in DC who were Academy members helped me to feel a bit more comfortable in an atmosphere of perpetual risk and adventure. From there, I attended ten consecutive I&Cs, while moving to Washington for internship/work and private practice. Each AAP meeting compelled me with growthful, though at times cautionary lessons, as I was learning to be a therapist. In 1990, I finally became eligible to become a member, so I decided to take the leap and come to summer workshop for the first time.

I was never courted by a family group, however I had observed a lot over a decade of I&Cs, and I elected to join the most ‘challenging’ peer group for me. The decision was sealed when I watched two members of my future family group have a prolonged heated argument in the corner of the dining room. Their intense animation yielded a shared moment of affection. I knew that I needed to learn to argue and find resolution, as opposed to fearing conflict at the expense of connection. My intuition proved correct, and I have traveled almost three decades with my cherished peer group.