CONFERENCE REPORT: 6th Annual Conference of the EAP

Annual Conference of the European Association for Psychotherapy held in Vienna, June 28-29 1996.

The growth of the EAP from its tentative beginnings in 1991 to this year’s important conference, which attracted more than two hundred delegates, surely reflects the increasing organization and focus of the profession in Europe. Ireland was represented from the early days by Malachy Kinnerney, Director of ACCEPT, who was the first Irish member of the EAP and was in­vited to sit on the EAP Board over two years ago. This year he graciously handed over the representation for Ireland to the Irish Council for Psychother­apy (ICP), retaining his place on the Advisory Panel for the publications of the European Journal of Psychotherapy and the newly launched International Journal of Psychotherapy. Ed McHale was the ICP representative at the conference.

The conference attracted many delegates from Eastern Europe, as well as EU member states. Key questions concerning the mutual recognition of psycho­therapy qualifications throughout Europe were central to the discussions dur­ing the two colourful and strenuous days of meetings. Moves towards the establishment of a standard European Certificate of Training (ECCEPT – Euro­pean Certificate of Completed Psychotherapy Training) provided some of the liveliest debates, with many differences of professional and cultural perspective being aired. Though the arguments sometimes degenerated into what Ed McHale described as “kindergarten chaos”, there was a powerful drive towards mutual understanding and consensus. The guiding hand of Dr Freddie Pritz, the General Secretary of the EAP, enabled the many divergent views to be accommodated, while the persuasive voice of Dr Emmy Van Deurzen Smith (External Relations Officer) underlined the fact that more can be accomplished for the profession by co-operation and mutual understanding than by competition. At the same time, Professor Digby Tantum (London) significantly facilitated the meetings and fostered a democratic spirit with his statesmanlike respect for procedure.

The work of the conference will now continue through the sub-groups and in the umbrella organizations, like the ICP, which are being formed throughout the EU. The EAP itself does not have statutory powers and sees its role as encouraging the national bodies to regulate their members and co-operate internationally on questions of standards. The launch of the International Journal of Psychotherapy is a milestone for the profession and its first edition contains important articles on the future of psychotherapy, as well as specific pieces on charismatic group leaders, the individual and the community and a research paper reporting on Rational Emotive Therapy. Copies may be obtained from

Carfax Publishing Co., PO Box 25, Abington, Oxon, OX 14 3UE, United Kingdom. Individual rate: £12stg for Vol 1; £28stg for Vols 1-3; Institutional rate: £8stg for Vol 1; £4stg for Vols 1-3.

Mary Montaut