Who We Are and How We Got Started
by Susan Lyons
Women in Private Practice (WPP) got started sometime in the mid 1980’s. Nobody seems to remember the exact details of how WPP got started, but it was initially a small, informal group of women therapists who were private practitioners. WPP provided educational meetings and networking. News of WPP spread through word of mouth. I learned of WPP from Ruth Manville, our longest WPP member. In the mid-80’s I was new to Utah, I had two very young children and I knew absolutely nothing about getting started in private practice. WPP gave me a community of other women therapists who became friends who could mentor me about how to get a practice started. WPP meant a lot to me and eventually I took over WPP leadership for a number of years. During my many years in WPP I have met so many people who joined WPP and also found connection to a community of women therapists who provided education, networking and support.
WPP has changed over the years but our mission is the same as it was in the 1980’s. WPP membership has grown steadily. We currently have about 250 active members. As we grew larger, it became clear that we needed a leadership team, not just one coordinator. As I anticipated retirement, I asked Joellyn Manville (Ruth Manville’s daughter) to be my co-coordinator. I was delighted when she accepted. A year later Joellyn became the full coordinator, when I retired. Since that time, we have created a WPP leadership committee, informally called the LC. WPP’s current coordinator is Kathrine Parnell.
Board of Trustees
Kathrine Parnell, LCSW - Coordinator
Amy Fehlberg, PhD - Deputy Coordinator
Amy Spratling, LCMHC - Coordinator Emeritus
Amy Edwards, CMHC - Treasurer
Liz Weaver- Secretary
Jessica Otis, LCSW - Board Member - Programming Chair
Continuing Education: Amy Edwards, CMHC
Listserv: Amy Fehlberg, PhD
Membership: Susan Lyons, LCSW
Programming: Jessica Otis, PhD
Website: Amy Fehlberg, PhD