It’s October in Ontario and my mind turns to Thanksgiving. Whether you formally celebrate this holiday or not, I believe that a thankful or grateful mindset is valuable. The field of positive psychology has done much to confirm ways that an attitude of gratitude is associated with many desired outcomes, such as more positive emotional experiences, satisfying relationships, and the ability to deal with adversity. So, I pause to consider some things I am grateful for as President of the College Council.
As the leaves turn red, orange and yellow around me, I am reminded of the seasons and how I appreciate and welcome this naturally occurring change. It is a changing landscape that I can be grateful for. The College too, is undergoing change and I hope that the movement underway toward our new College composition can be welcomed in a similar manner. Efforts to collaboratively work with the Ministries of Health (MOH) and Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) to identify and implement a plan for regulatory oversight of Behaviour Analysts in Ontario are underway. An image of what the College will look like as a self-regulatory, governing body that includes Psychologists, Psychological Associates and Behaviour Analysts is forming with the passage of Advancing Oversight and Planning in Ontario’s Health System Act, 2021 with Schedule 4, the Psychology and Applied Behaviour Analysis Act (2021) applying to our College. I am thankful that our College Council members, the Registrar and staff are in a position to provide capable oversight of this change process.
I appreciate that change and unknowns can foster uncertainty and tension, yet what we aspire to as our vision at the College remains unchanged. The College strives for excellence in self-regulation in service of the public interest. This statement serves as a framework for our strategic planning and actions. It is an inspirational statement for our future that helps to bring focus and direction. I share the College’s vision and seek to forge a plan with Council members, the Registrar and staff that will continue to move us toward this goal. At times, this plan may include advocacy initiatives. And with this possibility, I am reminded to be grateful for the opportunity to advocate for the College.
As President, I am a member of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group. This dedicated group of professionals developed their Terms of Reference/Role document this quarter. As a member of this group I can advocate for review and change (where required) in College structures and processes as part of our College’s vision to strive for excellence. I am thankful for this group of professionals who are willing to give a substantial amount of their time to this important issue.
The College’s external auditor presented the Audited Financial Statements to the Council meeting on September 10, 2021. The College continues to operate on a sound financial basis. Council members agreed with the recommendation from the Finance and Audit Committee that membership fees should, once again. remain at their current level. Remarkably, the membership will enter their 20th year without a fee increase. Perhaps, this is an outcome that we can all be thankful for!
I believe that the College’s ability to move through the uncertainty of change processes is facilitated by the stabilizing leadership of our College Registrar & Executive Director, Dr. Rick Morris. We were pleased to celebrate his 25 years of employment with the College at our last Council meeting. As a group, Council and staff expressed their thankfulness for his contributions to the regulation of Psychologists and Psychological Associates in Ontario, his excellent leadership of College staff, and his adeptness at working collaboratively with the Ontario Ministry of Health, as well as other provincial and state regulators. Thank you, Dr. Morris, for your wise advice and excellent oversight at the College over the past 25 years.
As I close, I encourage you to stop and consider something you are thankful for as you read the College’s Publication of Headlines today. A grateful attitude can have many good returns.
Wanda Towers, Ph.D., C.Psych.