History

The lack of international connection, communication and representation for the Person-Centered Approach became apparent at the first World Conference on Psychotherapy in July 1996.

A letter was drafted by 30 theoreticians and practicioners in Bad Hall, Austria, calling for the formation of an international PCA organization to be founded by open vote at the IVth International Conference on Client-Centered an Experiential Psychotherapy (ICCCEP) in Lisbon, Portugal in July 1997. This letter was distributed throughout the world, inviting input and participation before and during the Portugal Conference.

Modified into a Provisional Organizational Charter, Provisional Statutes were approved by over 100 people from 21 countries, and the World Association for Person-Centered Counseling and Psychotherapy was officially founded on July 8, 1997. A Working Group and Provisional Board were authorized to solicit membership and develop a constitution to be submitted for resolution at the Vth ICCCEP Conference in Chicago in June 2000

In Chicago Principles, Statutes and Bylaws were decided by consensus and a new Board was elected.
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Provisional Statutes July 1997 - June 2000

World Association for Person-Centered Counseling and Psychotherapy

(WAPCCP)

An Association for the Science and Practice of Client-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies and Counseling

I. Principles

The aim of this Association is to provide a world-wide forum for those professionals who have

  • a commitment to the primary importance in therapy of the relationship between therapist and client,

  • an essential trust in the experiential world of the client and its centrality for the therapeutic endeavor,

  • a belief in the efficacy of the conditions and attitudes conducive to therapeutic movement first postulated by Carl Rogers and a commitment to their active implementation within the therapeutic relationship,

  • a commitment to an understanding of both clients and therapists as persons who are at one and the same time individuals and in relationship with others and with their environment,

  • an openness to the elaboration and development of person-centered and experiential theory in the light of current and future practice and research.

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The Bad Hall Letter

From: Participants at a Person-Centered Meeting at Bad Hall, Austria, July 1996

Dear colleagues,

We are writing to you following discussions held at a meeting of person-centered therapists which took place in Bad Hall, Austria, immediately after the First Congress of the World Council of Psychotherapy in Vienna.

The meeting in Bad Hall took the form of intensive exploration over a three day period of those issues facing the client-centered and experiential traditions in the immediate years ahead. Participants were drawn from many countries and three continents. There was some disappointment at the lack of significant key-note contributions from the person-centered perspective at the World Congress and a recognition that much needs to be done if we are not only to take our rightful position on the international stage but also to make readily accessible to our colleagues from other orientations those aspects of our theory and practice which are only now beginning to be recognized and valued, without acknowledgement of their origin, as a result of developments and advances in other approaches to psychotherapy.

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The Initiative*

At the First World Conference on Psychotherapy (WCP) in July 1996 the PCA was not as well represented as it could have been.

This lead to discussions in an informal meeting of 30 person-centered theoreticians and practicioners at the meeting at Bad Hall** in Austria, organized by the Austrian PCA about the lack of international communication, connection and representation.

During this meeting a letter was drawn up, signed and afterwards sent to several client-/person-centered and experiential associations and persons all over the world and to internet networks. People were asked to spread the information and to send reactions before April 1997. The letter was published in many national journals and different languages. It stated the intention to found an international organization on the occasion of the International Conference in Lisbon in July 1997. The topic was announced again as part of the program of the conference to all people who had registered for the IVth ICCCEP in Lisbon. A modified version of the letter was presented as provisional statutes to the participants of the Lisbon Conference.