Major professional honor for Eleanor Frey Counselman
Eleanor has been named a Distinguished Fellow by the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA), in recognition of her service to the association and her contribution to group psychotherapy in general.
Eleanor is the outgoing President of AGPA. Because of extraordinary circumstances, she served two terms as President. Shortly after her first (and, she thought, only) term ended, her successor had to withdraw, and the President-Elect had too little board experience to replace him. So the board requested that Eleanor return, which she did.
Here's how Eleanor described the award: "I had the most amazing surprise at the end of Sunday night’s AGPA board call. I thought we had finished with the Fellowship report but was told, “there’s one more thing.” I was awarded Distinguished Fellow, which is the highest honor AGPA conveys and relatively few people receive it. The usual process is that someone is proposed, then many letters of recommendation are collected. The candidate is proposed to the board, which then votes with a paper ballot (as opposed to voice vote for Fellows). The candidate is usually unaware of being proposed, and the President gets to call and share the good news. In this case it was a complete covert operation - the whole Exec and board were in on it starting in June, and all the letters were collected and the ballots sent in without a single leak. I was stunned and incredibly touched! Our President-Elect told everyone that whoever leaked had to buy dinner for everyone, so that kept them in line🙂 I am still glowing from this incredible honor, and everyone seems to be enjoying the fact that they managed to totally surprise me. The award will be presented at our meeting in New York in March and I will have to give a short acceptance speech. (Usually I’m the one who is trying to get the new Distinguished Fellow to stop talking and sit down so we can get on with the schedule.)"
At a time when most of us have retired, it's great that a classmate who is still working has had such recognition from her colleagues. Congratulations, Eleanor!