Community Meeting Planning Committee


The Community Meeting Planning Committee (CMPC) envisions GTIP as a place where we create and hold space for the often avoided, yet essential, dialogue that enables our community to realize our mission. We know we are better together, more creative when we have diverse perspectives and can find how to stay connected through the often messy work of dismantling oppressive structures. 

We bring the board, faculty, supervisors, trainees from all three cohorts and alumni together by hosting events throughout the training year. As part of CMPC mission, the events incorporate various learning modalities (e.g., reading works and attending webinars) to hear perspectives beyond what is normally included in Gestalt literature. We invite the experience of examining our social locations into every event so we can deepen our understanding of how to work across our differences.  

Committee Members

Gina Carfagno, MSS, LSW, Chair
Third-Year Trainee

Kristen Hammond, MS
Second-Year Trainee

John Mallinen, LPC

Sarah Mello, LPC

El Schoepf, MS
Third-Year Trainee


We have learned a lot over the years about our community and are committed to the following:

  • Understanding that our greater culture often conflates safety with comfort, and challenging ourselves to lean into discomfort with curiosity and support;
  • Prioritizing connection over adherence to an agenda;
  • Examining our history in its entirety, recognizing the ways White supremacy has and continues to impact us, and making conscious efforts to reject racism while acting in ways that embrace inclusivity and promote healing moving forward;
  • Encouraging moment to moment examination of what gets in the way of connecting across difference and experimenting to find ways that all people can feel seen and heard;
  • Exploring social location in thoughtful ways through community discussions, as well as providing a diverse, inclusive communal space; and
  • Keeping the discussion of racial equity active in the midst of civil unrest.

2020-2021 Agenda

  • We’re meeting in small groups this year to discuss Resmaa Menakem’s book, My Grandmother’s Hands. Our hope is to create a deeper sense of connection while we work to understand and “heal the racial trauma that lives in our bodies.”
  • Continue our commitment to create opportunities to do individual and collective anti-racism work such as “A New Twist on Date Night”: a reading and processing of Layla F. Saad’s Me and White Supremacy, spanning over six meetings from August ‘20 through January ‘21.

The CMPC has made substantial strides over the last few years to cultivate community and connection, and more recently, drive forward GTIP’s goals to decenter White supremacy culture within GTIP. We have worked earnestly and with dedication and devotion to further our mission. Each December, we invite two first-year trainees to join our committee, adding new voices in our journey towards radical change and deeper connection.