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First President of the Network Passes the Torch

There have been some unexpected changes to the NACBTp Network steering committee over the past year. These were initially made on an interim basis but have very recently been enacted indefinitely. Over the past 9 months, Jen Gottlieb has been serving as interim President of the organization while Sally Riggs took a leave of absence to attend to her health. I know I speak for everyone on the steering committee when I say how appreciative we are of Jen’s willingness to take on this role, along with her role as VP, to keep our operations afloat. In this pandemic era, this is no minor contribution. We are equally grateful that Jen has agreed to formally step into the role now that Sally has decided to officially step down.


Sally was a founding member of the NACBTp Network and the network’s first president. Needless to say, she has been instrumental to laying the conceptual and operational groundwork for our nascent organization. What began as idea has evolved into a growing network across Canada, the U.S., and now Mexico. In recognition of Sally’s many contributions to the Network, she remains featured on the website as Past President. Please take a moment to read Sally’s letter to our membership, below, and please join me in thanking both Sally and Jen for their contributions.


S. Kopelovich, PhD

Communications Officer, NACBTp Network


Dear North American CBT for psychosis network:


It is with much sadness that I am writing to let you know that I will be stepping down as President with immediate effect.


These last two years have been incredibly difficult for all of us.


Many of you will be aware that I contracted Covid in March 2020 like many health care workers in NYC, before the stay at home order went into effect. In my case this turned out to be the Long Haul version. In 2020 I slowly got sicker and sicker with weird unexplained symptoms that Initially my doctors refused to acknowledge. By this time a year ago the chronic fatigue had kicked in and for about 6 months I was barely functioning, taking 2 hours just to get out of bed in the morning, barely able to shower or make food. As a long distance marathon and ultramarathon runner this was a slow adjustment process but by May 2021 I was finally acknowledging that I needed to cut back: I stopped taking on new patients or new training contracts and reached out to the Steering Committee to talk about taking a 3 month sabbatical from my role as President.


I rested as much as I could but when the Steering Committee reached out to me 3 months later I had not improved at all and I requested another 3 months. Fast forward to 2022 and I am doing a little bit better. I have spent thousands of hours researching this illness, that as yet has no evidence based treatment, and have found some small interventions that are making improvements. I have a little more energy. I am finally sleeping. I am slowly managing to work more and more. But I can still barely walk a few blocks and just one flight of stairs out of the subway and I'm knocked out. Obviously it isn't fair to the steering committee to keep expecting others to cover for my role, and as I do recover more and more I am being called to work supporting the other millions of people with Long Covid, both psychologically and through ongoing advocacy and education.


And so at this time I am officially stepping down and allowing Jen Gottlieb, formerly Vice-President, to take over. The transition will be bittersweet. I was one of the original driving forces behind NACBTpN well before we had that name, and it never occurred to me that I wouldn't be part of the finalization of Accreditation in CBTp in North America or any of the other great initiatives that the steering committee is working on currently. But the universe had other plans for me...as it does for many of us...


Wishing you all the best in your own CBTp journeys, and in those of your own clients. Here's hoping our paths will cross again sometime soon.


And if you know someone struggling with Long Covid please don't hesitate to reach out.


Warmly,

Sally



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