NASP 2018 in Chicago


John and Ry and Photo

NASP in Chicago was delightful and inspiring. As usual, I got to see and chat with John Murphy, author of Solution-Focused Counseling in Schools, and all around good guy. Less usual was running into Montana School Psychologists Julie Parker and Andy Mogan on East Wacker, before I even made it to the hotel. Julie wanted to tell me a cool story about the new UM President, Seth Bodnar, which I enjoyed very much. It was great to start my NASP time seeing Montana folks, even though they were looking at a building not to be named.

What makes meetings like NASP, ACA, and APA so nice is that it’s a gathering of who are deeply dedicated to making the world a better place. In particular, NASP members are in the front lines of working with special needs children. School psychologists are people with big hearts and big brains who help students across the globe get a little closer to reaching their potential. What’s not to like about School Psychologists?

As for my NASP time, for the fourth consecutive year I was invited to do a 3-hour workshop. There were about 130 attendees, nearly all of whom were engaged, engaging, insightful, and inspiring. I can’t say enough about these professionals who WANT to make a positive difference in the world.

One quick side note: The latest school shooting (in Florida this time) occurred on the day of the workshop. What’s troubling me today (2 days later) is that there’s too much focus on mental health issues among shooters as a potential causal factor. As Dr. Allen Frances pointed out on his Twitter post, if mental health problems were causing school shootings, then school shootings should be at similar levels across all different countries. https://twitter.com/AllenFrancesMD?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

They’re not. Not. Even. Close. Mental health, although an important issue for us to address for different reasons, is not the right focus. For me, blaming school shootings on mental health problems is a cruel distraction. It’s cruel because it places responsibility on an oppressed and dis-empowered group. It’s a distraction, because it shifts the focus away from guns. Whether or not you believe in gun rights should be separate from making up alternative realities where an oppressed group with little voice gets blamed for school shootings.

Okay. Thankfully, my side note and venting are over.

To close, I’d like to offer the NASP participants another copy of the workshop handout, plus, a supplementary handout from CASP last year. If you’re a school psychologist and find these handouts, please feel free to share them with your friends and colleagues.

Workshop Handout John SF NASP18

CASP Extra Handout

For those of you who have chosen school psychology as your professional path, please accept my sincere thank-you for your service.

 

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5 thoughts on “NASP 2018 in Chicago”

  1. When I see posts from you I always feel like it is going to be a good day with material to challenge my thinking and good stuff to support me professionally and personally. Appreciating you and taking time to tell you. Peace from Michigan! Terri

    On Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 2:00 PM John Sommers-Flanagan wrote:

    > johnsommersflanagan posted: ” NASP in Chicago was delightful and > inspiring. As usual, I got to see and chat with John Murphy, author of > Solution-Focused Counseling in Schools, and all around good guy. Less usual > was running into Montana School Psychologists Julie Parker and Andy Mog” >

  2. Appreciated the coping with countertransference part! I would have thought School Psychologist’s were more predisposed to doing the lion’s share of helpful testing, IEP & learning disabilities work that I have appreciated. They must be very busy folks doing counseling intervention work too, much thanks!

  3. Hopefully, helping interventions of all sorts will continue and further develop as mainstays within our school systems. Nice trainings John, keep it up!

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