History of The South Shore Coalition of Independent Therapists

The South Shore Coalition of Independent Therapists originally came about as a result of a non-profit corporation. It was formed by a group of clinicians from the South Shore Pastoral Counseling Center (now the South Shore Counseling Center) in Norwell. It was established in 1985 to promote ‘psychological, educational and religious endeavors among psychotherapists on the South Shore.

In the spring of 1986 the South Shore Pastoral Counseling Center, Inc. (the non-profit corporation) sponsored a lecture series entitled Transformations in the Lives of Women. It featured 7 speakers, many from the newly established Stone Center for Developmental Services and Studies at Wellesley College. The series was scheduled for 3 consecutive Saturday mornings at the Nickerson Theater in Norwell. It was very well received and well attended. It underscored the need for professional development and networking in the South Shore area.


Off and Running in 1987

In February of 1987, an open house was held for area therapists to pursue the concept of establishing a more formal professional networking group and the Coalition was off and running. It was decided that there would be 4 newsletters and 4 luncheons a year, featuring speakers from the Coalition with diverse areas of experience. Sherry Johnson PhD, R.N. was our first speaker with the topic ‘A Model for Counseling the Bereaved.’ This was held at the Whiton House restaurant in Hingham in May 1987.

A supervision group was initiated in the spring of 1987. Many of the original members of that group still meet for peer supervision.

The first directory of members was printed in October of 1987 with 29 listings. We have published directories annually since that time and have an average of 150 listings each year.

The annual dues originally was $15.00, tax deductible, of course.

Over the last 26 years we have written and mailed newsletters 4 times a year, held annual open houses for old and prospective members and sponsored approximately 90 luncheons.

In 1988 Rosalie Brown, PhD spoke at a luncheon on ‘A Clinical Dialogue about AIDS.’ This led to many members becoming involved with the issues raised and the population affected by the newly discovered and growing disease.


Addiction Lecture Series

In 1990 the Coalition sponsored another lecture series, held at Bridgewater College. It was entitled  ‘Hidden Addictions’ and featured Patrick Carnes, PhD from Minnesota, an expert in sexual addictions. Other featured speakers for the series were Dr. Joan Borysenko and Dr. Howard Shaffer both well known speakers from the Boston area. Due to the extensive hours required to put this series together along with the time necessary to handle the logistics of obtaining continuing education certificates, this was the last large professional development lecture series the Coalition has sponsored.

Ann Hagan Webb, PhD, a charter board member, was our first President and she presided over a board of 6-8 members for the next 15 years. Karen Farmer, LICSW followed her for the next 3 years moving up from her job of Treasurer, which she had managed for the previous 15 years. Kenneth Freedman, LICSW took over the presidency in November of 2005 and works with a board of ‘old’ members (16+ years) along with members newer to the group.


Our Collective Purpose

In the Articles of Organization the purpose of the corporation is described as follows:

“To promote the character and mental development of men and women through a program of instruction and lectures, on the subject matter of psychology. The purpose of the programming shall be to provide the individual with an overview of psychological subjects such as behavioral science, psychotherapy, and psychological testing. The programs are intended to assist the individual in understanding himself and his role in society. The lectures and programming are specifically designed to provide persons of the Town of Hingham and surrounding area with a service designed to meet their psychological, physical and social needs and to promote their health and happiness.” (July 8, 1985) According to this description, the Coalition has been quite successful over the past 28 years!