Would you want to belong to 'The Old Straf Club'?

Life Member LogoHow would you like to choose a name for your new AACAP life members group? That's right. The official name will be chosen at the Life Members' Dinner at AACAP's 57th Annual Meeting in New York this October.

Why? Well, we've looked at the experience of our senior counterpart, The APA Lifers, to find out from them 'what worked and what didn't'. What didn't? According to one authority, adopting the name 'Lifers' was a regrettable early mistake. It served as a turn off to prospective new members. They'd say: "Well, I guess 'Lifers' is better than Deathers, but it still sounds like we're on life support"; or "Lifers-that's what they call hardened criminals, isn't it?"

So please think of a permanent name for our new AACAP life member group yourself. If yours is selected as one of the finalists it will be voted on in NYC in October.

In addition, we want your comment on names suggested so far. They range from elegant to humorous to impudent. Consider some examples: 'Emeritus Members'-sounds distinguished, doesn't it? Others are more metaphorical, like 'The Obi-Wans' (after Obi-Wan Kenobi, the wise old Star Wars mentor), or even 'The Dumbledore Society' (after Harry Potter's Hogwarts mentor, Professor Dumbledore). OK. Want something truly mythological? How about 'The Nestors' (Nestor was Ulysses' mentor) or 'The Owls' (the owl, who speaks little but sees much, and was the emblem of Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom)? Finally, consider this slightly scatological suggestion from a distinguished former AACAP President: How about naming it 'The Old Straf Club' (spell the secret greeting word 'Straf' backwards)?

So drop what you're doing and put on your thinking cap-to think up an appropriate title to launch our new group. Then put it on the Life Members website. Just go to www.aacap.org and log into the Members Only page (yes, I forgot my member number and password, too, so I finally wrote it down after several reminders!). Then click on 'Life Member', go to Life Members Online Community, (whew!) click on the first Discussion Forum you find in the left hand column (it's temporarily called 'Lifers Group Name'), and add your own suggestion.

Oh, I almost forgot. What was it that 'worked' for the APA Lifers? Having their own special program on a fixed day at the annual meeting-that worked. We're doing it, too-and more. For one thing, we've already got an operational interactive website up and running-and we'll have our own ongoing mission to keep us busy for the rest of the year, beyond the Annual Meeting. Maybe it will involve an exciting transition as you retire-moving from experienced clinician to senior mentor!

Anyway, I'll see you in NYC next October-at the Thursday afternoon Wisdom Program with James Anthony-and the Life Members Dinner to follow.

Jack McDermott

Published July 2010.