From the Editor

In the Networker offices, our usually frantic pace achieves new levels of mania in the early fall. Even as I sit here at my computer, we’re scrambling to finish up this issue and complete the vast jigsaw puzzle of our annual tribal gathering and Mardi Gras–the Networker Symposium, which attracts over 3,500 loyal conference goers and revelers each year. Along the way, in addition to tracking down the field’s leading innovators and luminaries to discover what new advances deserve to be highlighted each year, we also make sure to talk to as many therapists as we can to take the pulse of our rapidly changing field.

After the jolts and uncertainties of this last stretch of our collective history, the topic that’s stood out over and over in these conversations this year is how marooned and unsupported so many therapists feel in their practices. There just isn’t enough time or opportunity for discussions about issues we all care about: how to develop our effectiveness and sense of mastery, what our field can do to contribute to the enormous challenges we face as a society, and what the future might hold for our old-fashioned, face-to-face, caring profession.

Rest assured, there’ll be plenty of time to explore these questions in March at this year’s Symposium, “Breaking Through: New Possibilities in a Time of Uncertainty” (see page 15), about which you’ll be hearing a great deal in the months to come. A chance to come together and to consider the state of our field and the possibilities it offers has never been better timed. But it’s also clear that most of us need more support than we’ve ever needed before to navigate through these difficult times, connect with colleagues, enhance our craft, and find new sources of inspiration.

Fortunately, inspired ourselves by this year’s Symposium theme, we’ve made a breakthrough in discovering how to truly put the world of psychotherapy at everyone’s fingertips and add a new dimension of learning and connection to the everyday experience of being a therapist. Beginning in January, each issue of the Networker will not only offer the usual informed take on what’s noteworthy in our field, but also serve as the launchpad for an extended, coordinated conversation open to all those who are interested in taking their exploration of that issue’s theme to another level (see page 40).

A few weeks after each issue mails, I’ll host a regular series of biweekly, live video webcasts called “The Learning Curve.” Based on the stories in that issue, these webcasts will feature lively, informal interviews and down-to-earth panel discussions with the field’s most innovative contributors and thinkers that will offer additional depth and immediacy to that issue’s coverage. Of course, you’ll have ample opportunity to be part of the conversation, too.

Beyond that, a special program of Networker U distance-learning courses focused on the issue’s themes, including live telephone Case Consultation groups, will provide further opportunities to systematically explore important clinical questions and enhance your practical therapeutic skills. With all the clutter of trainings and CE offerings of mixed quality that are out there today, our goal is to provide a coherent, reliable road map for practitioners of all backgrounds, experience levels, and interests to connect with the best teachers and the clinical resources most relevant to their practice needs.

Sometimes it seems that the new communication technologies can be the enemies of the direct experience of mindfulness and connection that are at the heart of the best therapeutic work. But in inviting you to participate in this expansion of the vision of Networker U as a true Teaching/Learning Community that embraces and serves us all, we believe that we’re opening up formerly unimagined possibilities of human connection and professional development within our field. So we hope to see all of you, not only in our tribe’s luminous and exuberant gathering this March in Washington, D.C., but in all the smaller clan huddles and spin-off conversations coming soon to your homes, offices, and iPods.

Rich Simon

Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day.