Taking place in Zagreb for the first time, 22nd Congress of European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP) was organized from September 30th to October 1st 2016. The main topic of the Congress was „Autonomy and a Sense of Belonging“. Child Protection Center of Zagreb’s experts actively participated at the Congress. Center`s social worker prof. Nikolina Škrlec and psychologists Bruna Profaca, Ph.D. and prof. Vlatka Križan participated at the precongress workshop „Who we are and where do we belong – journey home through dreams, symptoms and relationship experiences“, with Reinhard Hauser and Zora Subotić as trainers. Psychologists Tea Brezinšćak i Ana Marija Španić participated at the precongress workshop „Ability to connect and courage to differentiate“ with Ljiljana Bastaić as trainer.

Apart from precongress workshops, Child Protection Center`s experts actively participated at the EAP Congress. Psychologists Bruna Profaca, Ana Marija Španić and Tea Brezinšćak had a poster presentation „Broken trust – autonomy and belonging in therapeutic work with child sexual abuse“ where they showed how the need for belonging and autonomy are being addressed in different phases of work with traumatized children, according to the Tri-Phasic model of Judith Herman, through theory and case study. Psychologist Mia Roje had a poster presentation „Integrative approach versus eclecticism in neuro-linguistic programming“. Psychologist Dominik Šmida also attended the Congress.

The European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP) represents 128 organisations from 41 European countries and by that more than 120 000 psychotherapists. The EAP Congress was organized by The Association of Psychotherapy Societies of Croatia (SPUH), oriented towards the development and promotion of psychotherapy in accordance with European standards, Centre for Croatian Studies of University in Zagreb as co-organizer. Congress was officialy opened by Jadran Morović, president of Association of Psychotherapy Societies of Croatia (SPUH) and Celia Scanlan, president of European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP), with a welcome speech held by Milan Bandić, mayor of the City of Zagreb.

Keynote lectures at the Congress were held by Lynne Jacobs, co-founder of the Pacific Gestalt Institute and also a training and supervising analyst at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles, Reinhard Hauser, psychologist, psychotherapist, supervisor and senior trainer of Processwork, Jette Simon, clinical psychologist and couples therapist, irector of The Washington D.C. Institute for Integrative Couples Therapy and of the EFT (Emotional Focused Therapy) Center in Copenhagen, as well as Graham Barnes, psychotherapist, educator, lecturer, and writer active in the field of cybernetics of psychotherapy.

The Congress sub-themes and suggested topics were as follows:

• The scientific foundations of psychotherapy (research, methodology, treatment evaluation, propaedeutics)

• The autonomy of psychotherapy and the possibilities of affiliation (the status of psychotherapy as a profession, cooperation between different fields of psychotherapy, cooperation with other disciplines, psychotherapy within a community, mental health policies, meeting points of various fields, subfields within fields)

• The relationship between autonomy and the feeling of belonging in the psychotherapeutic process (individual, partner, group therapy; authenticity)

• The challenges of intimacy in the modern world (sexuality, addiction, narcissism, the virtual world, virtual relationships)

• The psychotherapy of individuals with psychotic symptoms (interdisciplinary cooperation, psychotherapy and farmacotherapy, psychotic communication, system approach, open dialogue and similar experiences)

• Ethics in psychotherapy (anonymity, confidentiality, the exposure of clients in public, addiction to power, respect towards the client’s integrity, the promotion of the psychotherapeutic practice, psychotherapy as both a profession and a calling, the usage of new media and technology, transfer and contratransfer, supervision, the ways in which we talk to our clients – aesthetics in psychotherapy)

At the Congress psychotherapists from different countries and psychotherapeutic background joined their effort to show and exchange their experiences in work through oral presentations, round tables, presentations with discussion, case studies and workshops.

More about the Congress programme can be found on the EAP Congress official website.

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