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How to Create a New SIG
Special Interest Groups may be proposed and focused around any professional theme: specific target problems, populations, or settings; special intervention strategies; theoretical orientations; employment settings; professional categories or concerns. The name of each Special Interest Group designates its focal issue. Groups are created and dissolved as particular interests increase or decrease in importance to the membership of the Association. The Special Interest Group Program is designed to be flexible, and thus quickly responsive, to new, emerging developments in the field.
Proposing New Groups/Groups-in-Formation:
Any member of ABCT may propose the formation of a new Special Interest Group. Individuals who would like to establish a Group-in-Formation should convey their interest to the Special Interest Groups Committee Chairperson, c/o ABCT, 305 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, and include with their letter a title for their proposed Group as well as a brief (100 to 150-word) description of the focus and intent of their proposed Group’s focal area. The description should include the proposed Group’s name and be specific enough to allow potential members to make educated judgments about whether or not to join.
The proposed Group’s name and description, if deemed by ABCT’s Membership Issues Coordinator and Special Interest Group Committee Chairperson to be viable and clearly distinct from areas covered by Groups already in the Special Interest Groups Program, will be published as an invitation to the Association’s general membership in the next available issue of the Behavior Therapist, or will be distributed by broadcast email, or will be posted on the ABCT website. In the description/announcement, persons interested in joining the Group-in-Formation would be instructed to write directly to the ABCT member proposing the new Group.
To provide additional assistance with member solicitation, ABCT will send an email of the description, along with a message from the Group organizer/proposer, to 100 addresses of the organizer’s choice at the Association’s expense.
When the organizer’s efforts have resulted in the successful recruitment of 10 persons, all of whom must be current members of ABCT who have expressed an interest in joining the Group-in-Formation, the organizer may schedule a meeting for the Group-in-Formation at the next ABCT Annual Convention. The meeting can be scheduled on request, upon receipt of the core list of interested persons in the Central Office. Following receipt of meeting requests and core lists, a specific meeting time, date, and location will be assigned by ABCT’s Program Committee. Groups-in-Formation, as is the case with Special Interest Groups, will determine their meeting content internally. It should be understood, however, that among the primary purposes of the convention meeting will be the development of a Group organizational structure (including the designation of a consensually acceptable mechanism for identifying Group leaders) and the development of a consensually acceptable description of intent.
Establishing a Special Interest Group:
A Group is formed when five criteria are met:
- a purpose that does not duplicate that of an existing Special Interest Group has been enumerated;
- a minimum of 20 persons, all of whom are current members of ABCT, express an interest in belonging to the new Group;
- the Central Office has received the names and addresses of all members of the new Group (this procedure will be conducted annually in order to maintain the Group’s status as a Special Interest Group);
- a democratic process in officer selection with a specified procedure for leadership rotation is implemented;
- the Group has held a public, formal meeting.
When the above criteria have been met, the Chair of the Group-in-Formation may submit an Application for Special Interest Group Status to the ABCT’s Special Interest Groups Chairperson. (NOTE: Groups-in-Formation that have been unable to fulfill the five criteria specified above within a two-year period following the date of the initial announcement of the proposed group’s name and description will be considered to have sparked insufficient interest among the Association’s general membership to warrant Association support and will be deleted from the Association’s listing of Groups-in-Formation.)