Reflections on Collaborative Connections

by Sue Hansen August 22, 2013

I am inspired to write by the upcoming Forum as well as Talia’s videos of her meetings in Collaborative communities across Europe. 


After a dozen years of attending IACP Forums and various conferences around the world, in addition to innumerable board and committee meetings, I have fully embraced the belief that competent Collaborative teamwork requires a commitment to open dialogue and the ongoing learning that comes through our professional connections. In addition to all I’ve learned in a myriad of local and international events, I believe that the greatest gift of IACP continues to be the opportunity to create connections that have enhanced my life both personally and professionally.


Many of my connections in IACP are much more than just professional networking colleagues. They are true friendships forged by shared values, a commitment to peaceful resolution and an openness to change (along with socializing of course). I am still amazed at the global span of our Collaborative connections.


Most recently, I was part of an interdisciplinary basic training team in Turin, Italy. We faced many challenges given the different language, culture and laws. More striking to me than the differences, however, were the core similarities—including concern for children, insightful conversations about the essential value of an interdisciplinary team and the desire to build a practice focused on helping clients create resolutions that work for their families. This experience reminded me of meeting Norma Trusch and Don Royall at the Oakland Forum in 2001. I must confess that I originally thought that Texas was a different world given their culture, laws and accent, but I came to understand how many similarities we shared and I treasure our friendship.


I see the foundation of Collaborative Practice as connections—client/client, client/professional, professional/professional and professional/practice group. There is no question that connections are key to the quality of our work. In addition to learning from one another, IACP also gives us the wonderful opportunity to be part of an ever-expanding circle of Collaborative friends.


I hope to see many of you at the Forum in San Antonio!

Comments (1) -
8/27/2013 12:39:26 PM #

Great post, Susan.

Being individually committed to collaborative excellence is one thing. In isolation it can feel unsupportive and isolating.  

Being in a group of people committed to Collaborative Excellence can be thrilling and the sharing of passion and ideas can lead to even greater understanding of the work that we do.

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