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Official statement by the Executive Board

Welcome to the 30ths EAP Anniversary Congress!

Translated simultaneously into French and German

How can Psychotherapists offer hope to humanity in the face of the threats to us and to our endangered planet? For EAP‘s 30th Anniversary Congress we have invited some of the world‘s most insightful and wise Psychotherapists to speak. We will do what we do best as Psychotherapists: allow ourselves to sit with the greatest problems facing humankind, to listen to each other and to speak, in order that insight, wisdom, discernment and hope can emerge.


  • Keynote Speaker Irvin Yalom – ‚Matters of Life and Death: for ourselves and for the Planet‘
  • Keynote Speaker Emmy van Deurzen – ‚Rising from our Existential Crisis: Widening the Human Horizon.‘
  • President Patricia Hunt – ‚The Hope of Psychotherapy for our Endangered World‘
  • Keynote Speaker Professor Kyriaki Polychroni – ‚There is a crack, a crack in everything … that is how the light gets in.‘
  • Keynote Speaker Sue Daniel – ‚All hands on Deck!‘
  • Keynote Speaker Professor Renos Papadopoulos – ‚Therapeutic applications in humanitarian contexts.‘
  • Keynote Speaker Jessica Benjamin – ‚Only One Can Live: Transforming The Reactivity of Survivalism.‘
  • Keynote Speaker Professor Alfred Pritz – ‚The Founding and History of EAP‘
  • Keynote Speaker Tom Warnecke – ‚Changing Times – what are the Implications for Psychotherapy Practice?
  • Keynote Speaker Barbara Fitzgerald
  • Reflective Groups
  • Networking and More

Download here the full programme of the EAP 30th Anniversary Congress in Vienna Grand Hotel.



I was born in Washington, D.C., June 13, 1931, of parents who immigrated from Russia (from a small village named Celtz near the Polish border) shortly after the first world war. Home was the inner city of Washington – a small apartment atop my parents’ grocery store on First and Seaton Street. During my childhood, Washington was a segregated city, and I lived in the midst of a poor, black neighborhood. Life on the streets was often perilous. Indoor reading was my refuge and, twice a week, I made the hazardous bicycle trek to the central library at seventh and K streets to stock up on supplies. I entered upon my medical training already having decided to go into psychiatry. Psychiatry proved (and proves to this day) endlessly intriguing, and I have approached all of my patients with a sense of wonderment at the story that will unfold. I believe that a different therapy must be constructed for each patient because each has a unique story. As the years pass, this attitude moves me farther and farther from the center of professional psychiatry, which is now so fiercely driven by economic forces in precisely opposite directions – namely accurate de-individualizing (symptom-based) diagnosis and uniform, protocol-driven, brief therapy for all.  My first writings were scientific contributions to professional journals. My first book, The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy has been widely used (seven hundred thousand copies) as a text for training therapists.  Other texts followed – Existential Psychotherapy (a textbook for a course that did not exist at the time), Inpatient Group Psychotherapy (a guide to leading groups in the inpatient psychiatric ward). Encounter Groups: First Facts, a research monograph that is out of print. Then, in an effort to teach aspects of Existential Therapy I turned to a literary conveyance and in the past several years have written a book of therapy tales (Love’s Executioner, Momma and the Meaning of Life – a collection of true and fictionalized tales of therapy) and three teaching novels (When Nietzsche Wept, Lying on the Couch, and The Schopenhauer Cure). My wife, Marilyn, received a Ph. D. in comparative literature (French and German) from Johns Hopkins and has had a highly successful career as a university professor and writer. Her many works include Blood Sisters,  A History of the Breast, History of the Wife, The Birth of The Chess Queen and (together with my son Reid Yalom) The American Resting Place. My four children, all living in the San Francisco Bay area, have chosen a variety of careers – medicine,photography, creative writing, theater directing, clinical psychology. Eight grandchildren and counting. Psychotherapists (EAP). Founding Member of the Hellenic Association of Systemic Therapy (ELESYTH). She is also a Founding Member of the American National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists (CGP) and a Clinical Member of the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA).

Emmy van Deurzen

Emmy is a philosopher, counselling psychologist, existential therapist and international author and speaker, who has worked with people on transformative life events for nearly fifty years.  She has just published her eighteenth book, entitled Rising from Existential Crisis: Life Beyond Calamity with PCCS books.  Her books Paradox and Passion (Wiley, second edition, 2015) and Psychotherapy and the Quest for Happiness (Sage, 2009) are also relevant to this talk.

Emmy is the founder director of the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling and the Existential Academy in London, where she also runs her private practice, Dilemma Consultancy.

An existential crisis is a situation in which our entire existence and everything we used to take for granted is in the balance, so that we feel insecure and under threat.  This affects all dimensions of life, the physical, social, personal, and spiritual.  It means that our bodies are challenged, our relationships are changed, our sense of our self is altered, and our beliefs and values are shaken up.  For most people this is a very difficult experience to encompass as it leads to a revolution of our established patterns, routines, and habits. It always involves a lot of loss and therefore leads to feelings of bereavement and sorrow as well as to experiences of confusion, fear, anger, doubt and panic.

As the world is plunged into an existential crisis, not just because of the pandemic, but also in facing potential ecological disaster, a global climate crisis and increasing pressure on international migration, it is vital to understand how our psychotherapy profession can ensure that we tackle the situation in a holistic and considerate manner.  In this presentation we shall consider how existential philosophers and therapists are able to make sense of such situations, be they caused by politics, society, personal choice or natural catastrophes.  We shall explore the impact of the shattering of our most reliable connections to the world and the loss of meaning that ensues.  Then we shall see how we can rise to such limit situations, to shift upwards and find ways to thrive instead of being destroyed by the radical change and global transformation that has become inexorable.


Patricia Hunt is President of the European Association for Psychotherapy, and Chair of the EAP 30th Anniversary Congress. She is a Psychotherapist, Consultant and Advisor with more than 30 years clinical experience in the public, national health and higher education sectors. She trained following her work at the Hillsborough Disaster UK in 1989 She was Director of a large psychotherapy and counselling service at the University of Nottingham, serving staff and students across their national and international campuses. She founded and established a new psychotherapy and counselling service at the University’s international campus in Ningbo, China. She is playing a major role in the networking and development of EAP, and in the establishment of the independent profession of Psychotherapy.


Kyriaki Polychroni is a Systemic Group and Family Psychotherapist with specialization in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT). She is a long-standing clinician, faculty and Advisory Scientific Council member at the Athenian Institute of Anthropos in Greece. Kyriaki is Past President of the European Family Therapy Association – EFTA – and a member of the Association since its early founding. She has played a major role in the networking and mutual learning of Family Therapy Trainers in Europe, and in 2016 was given an Award for her Outstanding Contribution to Family Therapists in Europe and was appointed Honorary Chair of the EFTA Chamber of Training Institutes (EFTA-TIC). She was recently selected as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT). Former Vice-President of the national branch of the European Association of Psychotherapists (EAP). Founding Member of the Hellenic Association of Systemic Therapy (ELESYTH). She is also a Founding Member of the American National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists (CGP) and a Clinical Member of the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA).

Sue Daniel

Sue Daniel is an individual and group psychotherapist who is well known for her specialisation in psychodrama, role theory, sociometry and sociodrama. Sue regularly conducts workshops and seminars in various countries and in many settings.  She is the founder of the Psychodrama Institute of Melbourne, the Moreno Psychodrama Society, and the Board of the Australian and Aotearoa (NZ) Board of Psychodrama, and a major contributor to international psychotherapy and psychodrama committees and boards since the 1980’s. She is also a prolific writer on the application of Role Theory and Psychodrama.


 Renos K. Papadopoulos, Ph.D. is Professor of Analytical Psychology in the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Director of the ‘Centre for Trauma, Asylum and Refugees’ and of the postgraduate programmes in ‘Refugee Care’, a member of the ‘Human Rights Centre’, of the ‘Transitional Justice Network’ and of the ‘Armed Conflict and Crisis Hub’ all at the University of Essex, as well as Honorary Clinical Psychologist and Systemic Family Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic. He is a practising Clinical Psychologist, Family Therapist and Jungian Psychoanalyst who spent most of his professional life training and supervising specialists in these three spheres. As consultant to numerous organisations, he has been working with refugees, tortured persons, trafficked people, and other survivors of political violence and disasters in many countries. His writings have appeared in sixteen languages. Recently, he has been given Awards by the European Family Therapy Association for Lifetime ‘Outstanding contribution to the field of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice’, by the University of Essex for the best ‘International Research Impact’, and by two Mexican Foundations for his ‘exceptional work with vulnerable children and families in Mexico’.


Jessica Benjamin is a psychoanalyst known for her contributions to psychoanalysis and social thought. She is currently a practicing psychoanalyst in New York City where she is on the faculty of the New York University Postdoctoral Psychology Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, and the Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Studies. Benjamin is one of the original contributors to the fields of relational psychoanalysis, theories of intersubjectivity, and gender studies and feminism as it relates to psychoanalysis and society. She is known for her ideas about recognition in both human development and the sociopolitical arena.


Alfred Pritz is the founding father and principal of the Sigmund Freud Privat Universität, which was accredited in 2005 and keeps expanding and growing (further SFU locations so far: Paris, Linz, Berlin, Milano, Ljubljana). He is a founding member and president of the World Council for Psychotherapy, as well as a founding member and general secretary of the European Association for Psychotherapy. The first three World Congresses of Psychotherapy in Vienna were organized by him and he was also a co-organizer for the World Congresses in Buenos Aires, Bejing, Sydney and Durban. He is an active editor and author of various books, book series and professional articles in journals and textbooks.


Tom Warnecke (PgDip, ECP) trained in Gestalt Therapy and with David Boadella and maintains a psychotherapy and supervision practice in London. He worked in statutory mental health services,  as an educator for various psychotherapy and supervision diploma courses, and developed a relational-somatic approach to borderline trauma. His work is grounded in psychophysiological and psychodynamic perspectives and his publications include book chapters, journal articles and the book ‚The Psyche in the Modern World – Psychotherapy and Society‘ (Karnac 2015). He is a former Vice Chair for the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), has held various roles in EAP and is currently Deputy General Secretary of EAP. The Corona pandemic greatly accelerated changes to psychotherapy practice such as “online therapy” for example. Global heating will likely also impact the ways in which we work. In parallel, we are seeing a 21st century resurgence of polarisation dynamics, for example about refugees, “Brexit”, or vaccination, in the societies we work in, which all too often polarise and fracture family, friendship or community connections. But should we resign ourselves to doom and gloom about such developments or is there hope, and perhaps even opportunities, for our field and the work we care about?

Barbara Fitzgerald

Barbara Fitzgerald, is a registered Psychoanalyst, Psychotherapist, Systemic Therapist, Trainer and Supervisor with a private practice in Dublin. Having worked in hospital, clinical and private institutions over a period of forty years, she has brought her clinical insights into her teaching in universities and educational Institutions in Ireland and in Europe and  has presented at many conferences internationally. She has been involved with the design ,delivery and recognition of many training courses for Psychoanalysts and Psychotherapists and has worked as a training consultant to organizations and companies both in the private and public sectors in Ireland. She is a founder member of European Confederation of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists (ECPP) and its former President (2012-2016) and currently a Board member. She is an International expert for Psychoanalysis on the (TAC) Training Standards Committee of the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP). She is past Chairperson of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP) and is recent past Chairperson of the Psychoanalytic section of the ICP.

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