This was the first AGM of the organisation and this was reflected in the pressure of work that any such organisation in its infancy experiences. The day was to offer the membership (now of about 150 full and associate members) the opportunity to decide on the definition of ‘humanistic’ and ‘integrative’, to discuss the draft document on the code of ethics and to elect a new executive and sub-committees for the year ahead. John Rowan came to address the conference on what can and cannot be integrated in psychotherapy.
Important work was completed on the definition document when the organisation agreed on a “flag statement” which brought together our sense of our own identity. This was not as simple as for the other sections of psychotherapy as the IAHIP can be seen as a child of mixed theoretical and clinical parentage and could be seen as all inclusive. An important step was taken in defining ‘integrative’ to mean a psychotherapy practice which brought other models and methods around a core of humanistic psychotherapy. Therefore the organisation was making a clear statement that this was not simply an eclectic approach but was firmly founded around a basis of humanistic principles and premises. (The definition is appended). The debate which led to this decision was aided by the presentation of John Rowan’s paper on Integration (a resume of which appears elsewhere in this edition).
The Code of Ethics document was then considered but not at the length and with the intensity which it warranted and it was agreed to invite further submissions on eth ical issues following the circulation of the draft document. It was also agreed that a special general meeting would be held in the summer to consider the draft in detail and move to adoption.
Finally three members of the executive committee resigned – Susan Lindsay, Joan O’Leary and Una Maguire and were replaced by Barbara Fitzgerald, Hank O’Mahoney and Alison Hunter. The other nine executive members were re-elected with Ger Murphy re-elected as Chairperson, Mary Montaut as Secretary and Carmel Byrne re-elected as Treasurer. Two new sub-committees were elected: the Accreditation sub-committee whose task it will be to consider the accreditation of all those members who put themselves forward for accredited member status open till September 1993 when the cate gory of full member will cease to exist. Four members were elected with the executive nominating three. The new committee is Susan Lindsay, Patrick Nolan, Jim O’Donoghue, Shirley Ward, Michael O’Regan, Donal Healy and Ann Ruth.
Also the ethics sub-committee now are Pauline Wrixon, Willie Stone, Karen Shorten, Maggie Tierney, Catherine Murray, Mary Prenderville, and Alan Mooney.
This completed the business of the meeting which felt a satisfactory and busy one with the organisation continuing to further clarify its own identity and to broaden the base of membership involvement in the important task of developing the structures of the association.
Definition of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy
as adopted by the Annual General Meeting of the IAHIP, 7 March 1992.
Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy emphasises that persons are self-regulating, self-actualising and self-transcendent beings, responsible for themselves and, whilst recognising the tragic dimensions of human existence, it emphasises the ability of persons to go beyond themselves and realise their true nature. Its focus is on individuals as organisms living out their present integration in the wholeness of body, feelings, intellect, psyche and spirit, and in relation to other people. Based on a phenomenological view of reality, the emphasis is on experience and the therapeutic relationship is seen as a meaningful contact between equals.
Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy acknowledges the validity of a variety of approaches to the individual. While accepting the contribution of many ap proaches, it is concerned with discovering and working with the essential elements of the functioning individual as these are understood and made sense of in a humanistic perspective. It is open to the exploration of the inter-relationship and inter-connection of theory and method in two or more approaches and may employ these as is judged appropriate, or it may attempt to integrate these as one organised and coherent approach.