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 Minutes of the 11th General Assembly, Norwich

6th July 2008


This year’s General Assembly (GA) took place on the opening day of the PCE 2008 conference held at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom.  The GA was held in two parts.

AGENDA: First session

1.      Minutes of 2007 GA

2.      Agenda of this GA

3.      Report from the Board

4.      Financial Report

5.      Report of EAP and our role as EWAO (European-Wide Accrediting Organisation) in PCE.

 

AGENDA: Second session 

1.      Discussion of Issue raised by EAP concerning Name

2.      European Chapter

3.      European Certificate for Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy and Counselling

4.      Change of By-laws

5.      Board election

6.      The next GA/Symposium

7.      AOB

 

List of members and delegates present at the first session:

AFP-ACP, France, Colette Pernez

AFPC, Belgium, Cecile Joris

APG Forum, Austria, Gerhard Stumm

APG/IPS, Austria, Peter Schmid

BAPCA, Great Britain, Andrea Uphoff

GwG, Germany, Sylvia Rasch-Oswald

HAPCPC, Hungary, Magda Draskoczy

ICPS, Greece, Polly Iossifides

PCA Institute Praha, Czech Republic, Jan Holeysovsky

PCT Scotland, Susan Cornforth

SGGT, Switzerland, Anne Wunderle

 Representing NEAPCEPC with EAP; Michael Hahlhuber-Ahlmann 

Also present: Clair Higgon (PCT Scotland), Ioulios Iossifides (ICPS, Greece), Angelique Timmermann (VCgP, Netherlands)

 

List of members and delegates joining the GA for the second session

Hellenic Focusing Center, Greece, Anna Karali

OGWG, Austria, Lore Korbei

Pre-Therapy International Network, Dion van Werde (from item 3)

VCgP, Netherlands, Henk Hanekamp

VVCEPC, Belgium – Kurt Renders

Also present for second session: Renate Geuzinge (VCgP), Sandra Pedevilla (AFP-ACP), Jan Rolf Takens (VCgP)

Apologies: Brigitte Darras (PCAIF, France), Willi Roes (AFP-ACP, France)

 

FIRST SESSION

Magda Draskoczy, Chair of the Board welcomed the delegates and other attendees to the GA. She read a farewell message from Gisela Borgmann-Schafer, former representative of GwG and retiring member of the Board. All present introduced themselves.

 1.      Minutes of 2007 GA

The minutes were accepted.

 2.      Agenda of this GA

After some discussion it was agreed that two subjects would be added to the agenda as separate items: (a) European Chapter; (b) an issue raised by EAP concerning NEAPCEPC’s  name. Furthermore, it was proposed and seconded that, on this occasion, the board elections would be conducted by secret ballot. With these amendments, the GA accepted the agenda.

 3.      Report by the Board

The board reported that its main activities since the last GA had been in (a) continuing negotiations with the WAPCEPC board regarding the proposed conditions for forming a Regional Chapter, and (b) developing the proposal for a European Certificate for PCE counsellors, psychotherapists, training organisations and individual trainers. Information about each item had been sent to each member organisation in advance of the GA and will be discussed as separate items.

As agreed at the last GA, the members of the board met once in Germany during the course of the year, in order to progress their work. This was found to be a productive and efficient experience.

It was noted that the decision was taken two years ago that each member organisation would present a written report in advance of the GA. This year most members have provided a report.

The contact list of member organisations was circulated and delegates asked to update their details. The board reminded members that these lists may be used for contact between member organisations.

There are currently 22 members in NEAPCEPC, twelve of whom were also members of WAPCEPC. Since the last GA, following encouragement from the board, five out of ten remaining NEAPCEPC members have now joined WAPCEPC. There are also about six to eight organisational members of WAPCEPC in Europe who are not currently members of NEAPCEPC. Magda Draskoczy contacted those members to invite them to consider joining NEAPCEPC. So far she has received only one response, from Mick Cooper on behalf of the University of Strathclyde, who indicated that he would try to attend this GA.

 4.      Financial Report

The report had been sent to each organisation via email. Andrea Uphoff, the Treasurer, confirmed that she is happy with the accounts for 2007. She explained each item of expenditure and the meeting noted the additional expenses of (a) the board’s first meeting between GAs and (b) that this year’s GA is hosted by NEAPCEPC rather than a national organisation.

An ongoing issue is that some member organisations are not paying the transfer fees that arise on making a payment into the NEAPCEPC bank account, which is based in Switzerland. The meeting discussed this issue and it was suggested that one solution may be to move the bank account to a country within the Euro zone. Andrea advised that she has made initial enquiries about moving both the administration and the bank account to Germany, however legal advisers of the GwG have suggested that issues may arise in relation to tax. On the other hand, the cost of administration would be cheaper so this might absorb the impact of any tax liability. The meeting agreed that Andrea should investigate the alternatives.

 

There is concern that some member organisations have still not paid their membership fee for 2008. At present four fees remain outstanding and, of those, two organisations have not yet responded to reminders. The board proposed that, if the members of NEAPCEPC agree to apply to become the European Chapter of WAPCEPC then this would be a new beginning. As those organisations who have failed to pay their membership fee are also not members of WAPCEPC then they would not be eligible to be members of the European Chapter.

 

Magda asked members to consider the circumstances of one organisation, a founding member of NEAPCEPC. It has not paid fees for a number of years and has advised that it is unable to do so because its members do not pay a fee to it. Magda invited this organisation to send a report to this GA, like other members, but she had not received any report before she departed for the UK. The meeting discussed how to respond to this situation. It was agreed that the by-laws do not presently allow special permission to be given by the GA to allow a member to continue in membership without paying fees.

 

A query was raised about the payment of membership fees for EAC. The meeting discussed the current relationship with the European Association for Counselling (EAC). At last year’s GA, it was agreed that Eleanore Paul (GwG) would take on the role of representing NEAPCEPC at EAC meetings however she has been unsuccessful in her attempts to establish contact with EAC. After some discussion it was agreed that one final attempt would be made to establish contact between NEAPCEPC and EAC, facilitated by Polly Iossifides. The meeting requested that the board report on this issue at the next GA.

 

Following an enquiry, it was clarified that there are three levels of membership fee, which relate to a points system based on the size of an organisation’s individual membership (trained members = 1 point; trainees =0.5 point). At present, 15 member organisations pay the lowest rate.

Gerhard Stumm thanked the board for the preparation of the Financial Reports, which were accepted by the GA.

 

5.      Report of EAP and our role as EWAO (European-Wide Accrediting Organisation) in PCE.

Michael Hahlbuber-Ahlmann, NEAPCEPC representative for the European Association for Psychotherapy, presented his report, which had been sent to each member organisation via email. The EAP’s main activity at present is to develop a Common Platform for Psychotherapy which will align information about the profession of psychotherapy as practised in each country in Europe. The most recent meeting held by EAP to work on this project was two weeks ago in Brussels, attended by over 60 delegates. The work is complex with many differences between countries: for example, the number of modalities officially recognised – in Lativia, one; in Germany, three; in Austria, 22.

 

The Common Platform is part of an initiative to strengthen the EAP’s position in relation to the European Union. It is hoped that by developing this project, the EU will not see a need to introduce formal regulation of the psychotherapy profession.

 

The EAP is also trying to establish communication with the psychiatric profession throughout Europe. It was noted that Ukraine, with its “Umbrella Board”, seems to be the only place where an effective relationship appears to have developed.

 

5000 psychotherapists in 50 countries now hold the European Certificate for Psychotherapy (ECP). 80% of these are in Germany, Austria, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Russia. NEAPCEPC remains a European-Wide Accrediting Organisation (EWAO) for PCE psychotherapists although it was noted that NEAPCEPC has not yet functioned in this capacity. Michael asked delegates to let him have details of any individual members in their organisations who have successfully gained the ECP.

There is a delay in the process for NEAPCEPC to re-register as an EWAO because the EAP has raised a query in relation to its name. The meeting agreed to discuss this issue in the Second Session of the GA.

 

SECOND SESSION

Delegates and attendees joining the GA from the beginning of the Second Session were welcomed.

1.      Discussion of Issue raised by EAP concerning Name

Michael Halhuber-Ahlmann explained that there is a problem with NEAPCEPC’s re-application as an EWAO because it has “Counselling” in its name. EAP feels that it is very important in relation to the Common Platform that it only has psychotherapeutic organisations as members. One suggestion offered by EAP was that NEAPCEPC consider the creation of two divisions: one for psychotherapy, one for counselling. The meeting discussed the issue and it was agreed that there should be no change to NEAPCEPC’s name. Instead it was agreed to develop the idea of two divisions. It was proposed that member organisations might automatically be a member of both divisions and choose, if desired, to opt out of one or other which was inappropriate to its function and membership.

 

An amendment to the statutes was drafted (see Appendix 1). The GA agreed to provisionally accept the proposed amendment now. Further discussions should take place within member organisations and a formal motion to accept the amended statutes would be brought the GA in 2009. Members who cannot be present in 2009 are asked to arrange proxy votes.

It was further agreed that an abbreviated name for NEAPCEPC which might be used between members is “PCE Europe”.

2.      European Chapter

Magda Draskoczy referred delegates to the information about this matter which she had sent to each organisation by email. A proposal to amend the by-laws of WAPCEPC to allow regional chapters to form will be presented to the General Meeting of WAPCEPC on Monday 7 July 2008. If accepted, this will mean that groups of WAPCEPC members within distinct regional areas will be able to apply to form Regional Chapters. Each chapter will be responsible for its own finances and organisation. If there is any cooperation between WAPCEPC and a chapter, costs will be “neutral”.

17 of NEAPCEPC’s members are also current members of the WAPCEPC. Five members have not responded to Magda’s letter in relation to this matter: four of these members never respond to communications.

Magda reminded the meeting that in Potsdam in 2006, the GA decided that it wanted to become a regional chapter of WAPCEPC. The 2008 GA agreed that, if the proposal to alter the WAPCEPC by-laws is accepted, then the NEAPCEPC board should begin the process of applying to WAPCEPC to form its European Chapter. If any member of NEAPCEPC refuses to join WAPCEPC, then the matter should be brought back to the next GA.

3.      European Certificate for Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy and Counselling

 

A paper written by Peter Schmid which outlined this proposal had been sent to each organisation by email. The original idea had been raised at the last GA. The meeting discussed the proposal and noted the benefits outlined. It was agreed that this was a real benefit that could be offered to members as well as an attempt to organise the recognition of PCE training across Europe without waiting for the European Union to do it.

It was confirmed that once recipients of the European Certificate had agreed to act within the statutes and training principles of NEAPCEPC, they would be trusted to maintain this agreement: there would be no renewal process. Should an individual member leave the NEAPCEPC member organisation then this should be communicated to the Certificate Committee. Any changes to the member organisation’s regulations should be reported to the board of NEAPCEPC.

It was agreed that NEAPCEPC should write to EAP to explain the aims of the European Certificate and how it fits with the ECP. Standards of training must match those of EAP/EAC as well as NEAPCEPC’s principles for PCE training.

The GA agreed that if NEAPCEPC goes ahead with the European Certificate then each member organisation must promote it to its members. (See Appendix 2 for short promotional article submitted by Peter Schmid to the PCE conference newsletter.)

The GA voted on the proposal to create a European Certificate on the terms outlined in the paper. The proposal was accepted with two abstentions (BAPCA, Pre-Therapy Network).

 

Three delegates (Peter Schmid, Jan Roelf Toetkens, Clair Higgon) were proposed to form the Certificate Committee for one year with the task of setting up the structure and processes, creating the layout of the certificate, and providing member organisations with promotional information. The GA accepted this proposal.

The Certificate Committee requested that delegates go back to their member organisations and encourage anyone interested in participating in the development of the European Certificate to contact one of the committee. 

4.      Change of By-laws

This issue had been highlighted at the GA in 2007 but, because that GA was inquorate, it had not been possible to propose change.

Under the by-laws, members of the board can be re-elected twice, allowing a maximum of six years on the board. Current members of the board have found that this length of time is not long enough to enable members to gain a full understanding the work of NEAPCEPC and also to make an effective contribution to its work.

After some discussion, the GA agreed two alternative changes to the by-laws: (a) that there are no limits to the number of times a board member may be re-elected; and (b) that board members may be re-elected three times, giving a maximum of eight years on the board.

The first proposal received nine votes and was not accepted. The second proposal was accepted unanimously. 

5.      Board election

Six candidates stood for election to the board: Magda Draskoczy, Andrea Uphoff, Willi Roes, Polly Iossifides, Sylvia Rasch-Oswald, Gerhard Stumm. The election was held by secret ballot and administered by Susan Cornforth, with the assistance of Clair Higgon (first ballot) and Cecile Joris (second ballot) in accordance with the terms of the by-laws relating to decision-making. One candidate was elected unanimously in the first ballot. The remaining candidates were elected in the second ballot, having each received more than two-thirds of the votes cast.

6.      The next GA/Symposium

Two offers to host the next GA/symposium were received, both as part of conferences: (a) in Hungary, on 6 July 2009, preceding a Cross-Cultural Communication Workshop to mark the 25th anniversary of Carl Rogers visit to Hungary; and (b) in Greece, from 24 – 28 June 2009, at a conference entitled “PCA – new ideas”.

The GA was delighted to receive both offers and acknowledged the difficulty in choosing one invitation over the other. A vote was held and, on this occasion, the invitation from Hungary was accepted.

7.      AOB

There was no other business.

 

 Appendix 1

 Amendment to the Statutes of NEAPCEPC

 V. Sections

(to be inserted)

 The Network consists of two sections, the NEAPCEPC Section of Psychotherapy and the NEAPCEPC Section of Counselling.

 Each member of the NEAPCEPC can be a member in one or both sections in accordance with the regulations in its statutes, the legal requirements according to national law and the guidelines of the EAP and EAC.

 Decisions concerning either only psychotherapy or only counselling can only be made by members of the respective section.

 

Appendix 2

 KICKOFF FOR THE EUROPEAN PCE CERTIFICATE 

The Network of the European Associations (NEAPCEPC) unanimously decided at its General Assembly here in Norwich on July 6th to create The European Certificate for Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy and Counselling (PCE Certificate) for practitioners, trainers and training organizations.

As each member organisation of the Network adheres to the Principles for Training ratified by the Network and is committed to clearly defined ethical standards, each member of the member organisations will be able to apply for the Certificate.

Among the benefits of the PCE Certificate are

·        you will be visible on an official website: all certificate holders are entitled to be listed in the public online register with their data and a direct link to their personal website

·        person-centered and experiential therapies will be visible for the public: a list of qualified PCE therapists/counsellors all over Europe will be available for the public

·        clients will be able to find qualified pce therapists and counsellors: if you need a pce therapist in any place in Europe, a look in the internet will help

·        pce therapies will improve their impact: pce therapies will strengthen their stand among the orientations and show how broad the paradigm is represented

·        paper certificate: you will get a nice certificate to be displayed in your private practice or wherever you like

·        trainers can present themselves and their workshops online: trainers will be entitled to add a personal profile to the online list in addition to their data and the link to their website

·        the PCE Certificate will aid mobility of PCE psychotherapists and counsellors within Europe

·        participation at a reduced rate: certificate holders will get a reduction for the fee at PCE conferences and symposia

A committee was set up to work on the details. The PCE Certificate will be available from 2009. Application will be via the internet. Details to come on www.pce-europe.org.

 Peter F. Schmid

 

nga_2008_mr_ Austria_forum.doc

nga_2008_mr_ Austrian Association.doc

nga_2008_mr_ czech.doc

nga_2008_mr_AFP-ACP.doc

nga_2008_mr_AFPC Belgium.doc

nga_2008_mr_PCTS.doc

nga_2008_mr_SGGT.doc

nga_2008_mr_VVCEPC.doc

nga_2008_mr_ EAP.doc

nga_2008_mr_IPS.doc

nga_2008_mr_GwG.doc

nga_2008_mr_ bapca.doc

nga_2008_mr_dutch.doc

nga_2008_mr_ pretherapy.doc