The Internet, with its listservs, web pages, and video-conferencing, provides us the opportunity to join together in a virtual space, but despite technology’s charms there is still nothing like that quaint once-a-year gathering of psychologists known as the Annual Meeting. Leave it to Émile (Durkheim, that is, and a true lover of groups if there ever was one) to describe the importance of a face-to-face ritualized gathering of members, for when all “are once come together, a sort of electricity is formed by their collecting which quickly transports them to an extraordinary degree of exaltation” (1912/1965, p. 262). Durkheim was describing the large gatherings of local communities in New Guinea, but “extraordinary exaltation” seems to be a worthy goal for any group to pursue via a collective enterprise.

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Copyright © 2008 Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy. This article first appeared in The Group Psychologist 18:2 (2008), 1, 4.

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