Formed in 2014 for the purpose of facilitating community and strengthening connection between new and veteran members of NPI, our Meetup Group has been going strong for almost 5 years now. With over 225 members and almost 50 Meetup’s under our belt, Meetup has proven to be an incredible tool for our organization. Meetup’s mission is to vitalize local community and help people self-organize. Internationally, it is estimated that there are over 225,000 Meetup groups, over 35 million Meetup members in over 180 countries, and tens of thousands of Meetup events are scheduled each week. That is a lot of connecting! In Nashville, there are thousands of Meetup groups connecting around a wide range of interests. Enjoy hiking or paddling? There is Meetup for that. Like to eat Pho? You can find others who would love to do that with you. Want to learn how to Salsa or Swing dance? Meetup is there to help you. Meetup can be invaluable not only for facilitating connection among NPI members, but also as a resource for clients who are looking to expand their social network, learn a new skill, or engage with others around like minded pursuits. Research abounds on the mental and physical health benefits of strong social connections/support systems. For those of us, and our clients, who could use some help in building and participating in social connection, Meetup provides a useful tool in our proverbial toolbox.
So, what does Meetup offer Nashville Psychotherapy Institute? NPI has a long history of bringing folks together around a variety of events beyond monthly luncheons and seasonal workshops. We endeavor to use Meetup as the platform to organize, advertise and RSVP for a wide range of gatherings and events hosted by individual NPI members. Over the past several years, there have been NPI Meetups covering a range of topics and interests including Chant Ram concerts, movie screenings at members’ homes, new member socials, book discussions galore, several Viewpoint Diversity meetings, and this is just to name a few. What are some other ideas for NPI Meetup events? Off the top of my head, here are a few that come to mind:
- Closely read aloud a long form clinical article.
- Screen and discuss a documentary.
- Commit to watching a compelling series together over the course of a year.
- Have a “salon” around a topic relevant or interesting to NPI members.
- Host more book discussions. Fiction is allowable!
- Organize a letter writing campaign around a cause that is close to your heart.
- Attend a community/institution-sponsored lecture.
- Throw a get together just for the fun of it . . .
- Invite members to go out and listen to the outstanding musical talent in our
town; maybe even your own concert/show. I’m talking to you, NPI Musicians!
- Volunteer together
- Meditate together
- Hike together
- Dance together
Really, only our collective imaginations, interest and desires limit the possibilities. If you want to host a Meetup event, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make sure it gets on the NPI Meetup calendar and advertised to the membership.
To join the NPI Meetup group, simply follow the below directions.
- Go to www.meetup.com
- Create an account
- Search for Nashville Psychotherapy Institute
- Ask to join
- Your request will be approved in short order, and you are in!
- RSVP to any Meetups that are on our calendar and that are of interest to you
I look forward to working together to strengthen community, cultivate connection, and have fun with all of you!
Sonya Thomas, LCSW
2019 NPI Chair and NPI Meetup Organizer