So the idea is simple: a regularly scheduled club in which you and a group of colleagues meet, maybe share something to eat (food always increases conviviality and possibly your ability to absorb information), watch a webinar, and talk about it. As basic as that sounds, a little bit of preparatory work can enhance the experience. Here are some of the things our group has learned about the best way to set up a club and maximize the opportunity for fruitful discussion and group engagement:
Tips for Forming a Networker Excel Club
This is all new, so you and your group will contribute to developing this exciting new way to connect and learn.
- Identify a group of colleagues and/or students from an agency you work with, a private practice group, a college or university who can convene in person once a month for dinner, viewing, and discussion. Think of people who share your interests and passion for therapy, and invite them!
- Go to the Networker website to access the free webinar being offered for viewing that month. If possible, distribute the webinar link ahead of time, so everyone can watch the session before the club meeting. That’ll leave more time for discussion.
- Reserve the first half-hour for dinner and general conversation.
- Watch the webinar, and pause it as many times as you desire to discuss interesting points as they arise.
- Have someone take notes, or record your discussion.
Possible Discussion Questions
- What was most important, relevant, and thought-provoking for you?
- Did the ideas and examples remind you of any cases you’ve treated?
- In what ways do your therapy practices differ from what was described or suggested in the webinar? What do you think necessitates those differences?
- What would you like to see offered in future webinars? What are the most pressing issues and challenges for you as a therapist?
- On a scale from 1 to 5, how useful was this webinar to your practice?
No matter where you live, the Networker Excel Clubs will not only make the most accomplished and respected thinkers and practitioners in our field immediately accessible, but will also provide a regular structure—and excuse—for getting together with colleagues and enlivening your professional network. The Networker also plans to set up special Comment Boards that will enable clubs from around the planet to share their observations with each other and start a conversation about the craft of our field at a level that was inconceivable to most of us until quite recently.
So we invite you to start your own club with friends or colleagues from where you work, or with therapists whom you wish to get to know better. The whole point is to provide an opportunity to get us out of our professional cubbyholes, widen the quality and range of conversation in our field, and generate different perspectives on innovative ideas and a new experience of professional community.
Peter Fraenkel, Ph.D., is associate professor of psychology at the City University of New York and director of the Ackerman Institute’s Center for Work and the Family. He’s written extensively on work/family balance and is the author of Sync Your Relationship, Save Your Marriage: Four Steps to Getting Back on Track. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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