On Welcoming

Division 49 Early Career Psychology Column April 2020

This article about respect was written for American Psychological Association Division 49 Early Career Psychology Column April 2020

How do I make others feel welcomed? The question has been nagging at me ever since our last Div. 49 mid-winter Board meeting. I have been on the board for a number of years, yet this is my first year on the board where we’ve had a female president, Cheri Marmarosh, PhD. We started our board meeting with a usual get-together at a restaurant. That part was ordinary. But what was novel was Marmarosh giving us small gifts – care packages that thoughtfully contained snacks and a water bottle, everything one might need to get through hours of meetings. It felt so special! On the surface, it was a small thing. Yet it’s amazing how a small, but thoughtful, gesture can have such a lasting impact. And my love language is not even gifts.

I’m left with wondering how I can make other feel welcomed. As a training director, I have a new cohort of masters and doctoral trainees every August. How will I make them feel welcomed? In a conscious way, I was much more focused about new interns’ orientation and integration with the rest of the counseling center staff. However, I have not put as much conscious energy into having them feel welcomed. As a group facilitator, I, once again, focus on going over expectations and setting up a reflective place. But how do I make new group members feel welcomed? And as a member of the administrative team of the counseling center, how do I make new staff members feel welcomed?