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On this page you will find the up to date Statutes of the WAPCEPC.

Note, that for the purpose of registration process in Austria German version of the Statues have been used.

Statutes in PDF Official statutes in GERMAN

Pre-2020 Statutes are available here



The Association was founded on July 8th, 1997 on the occasion of the Fourth International Conference on Client-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapy (ICCCEP) in Lisbon, Portugal. The Statutes in their present form were agreed by consensus at the General Assembly in Chicago on June 29th, 2000 and amended at the General Assembly in Potsdam, 2006 and at the General Assembly (Zoom Meeting) on July 25, 2020. In 2020 WAPCEPC was registered as a non-profit association in Austria.

The terms "Person-Centered" and "Experiential" and the concepts and processes they encompass have an extensive, rich and evolving history. The choice of the phrase "Person-Centered and Experiential" is intended to promote continued dialogue and development; it is not intended to favor any particular understanding of these approaches and their relationship.

    1. Name, Location and Activity
      1. The name of the Association is “World Association for Person Centered & Experiential Psychotherapy & Counseling (WAPCEPC)". Hereinafter referred to only as "WAPCEPC"
      2. It has its headquarters in Vienna and extends its activities worldwide.
      3. The accounting year is equivalent to the calender year.
    2. Purpose
      1. As an NGO the Association, whose activity is not profit-oriented, aims to promote personal development and the humanization of interpersonal and social relationships in private and public life. It wants to disseminate and promote the person-centered and experiential approaches in individual, societal and cultural life, especially in the areas of counselling and psychotherapy.
      2. According to its statutes, the association pursues exclusively and directly charitable purposes and is therefore a non-profit association in the sense of the applicable tax regulations (§§ 34 to 47 of the Federal Fiscal Code – BAO).
      3. The aim of this Association is to provide a world-wide forum for those professionals in science and practice who:
        • have a commitment to the primary importance of the relationship between client and therapist in psychotherapy and counseling;
        • hold as central to the therapeutic endeavor the client's actualizing process and phenomenological world;
        • embody in their work those conditions and attitudes conducive to therapeutic movement first postulated by Carl Rogers;
        • have a commitment to an understanding of both clients and therapists as persons, who are at the same time individuals and in relationship with others and their diverse environments and cultures;
        • have an openness to the development and elaboration of person-centered and experiential theory in light of current and future practice and research.
    3. Goals
      The association has the following goals:
      • to further cooperation between associations, organizations, institutions and individuals on an international level, in the field of person-centered, client-centered and experiential psychotherapy and counseling;
      • to support/facilitate person-centered and experiential associations, organizations, institutions and individuals in their work;
      • to promote person-centered and experiential perspectives and to support and encourage the scientific study as well as the improvement of practice, specifically in the field of psychotherapy and counseling;
      • to engage in socio-political processes to ensure the continued contribution of the paradigm in health, education, academic contexts etc.;
      • to exchange ideas with other psychotherapeutic orientations and to stimulate cooperation in the field of psychotherapy and counseling;
      • to have a commitment to the organization and support of international conferences, in particular the World Conference for Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapy and Counseling (abbreviated as PCE Conference; formerly ICCCEP) and possible future developments of it;
      • to produce a high quality journal and to foster the exchange of research, theory and practice among language groups through existing journals and other means. 
    4. Means to achieve the purpose of the Association
      1. The purpose of the association will be realized through idealistic (paragraph 2) and material (paragraph 3) means.
      2. as idealistic means serve:
        1. Lectures, conferences, publications, the creation of a website and other electronic media to promote, disseminate and further develop the person-centred and experiential approach;
        2. stimulating, promoting and supporting personal initiatives and self-help groups;
        3. reflection and development of practice, theory and research and promotion of scientific work and publications in the field of the person-centred approach;
        4. statements on health policy issues and on topics of psychosocial care and other publicly relevant issues related to the purpose of the Association;
        5. cooperation with institutions, associations and groups pursuing similar objectives, on national and international level.
      3. as material means serve:
        1. annual membership fees,
        2. income from events,
        3. donations, subsidies, conference fees.
      4. If it serves the purpose of the association, the association is further entitled to
        1. use vicarious agents in accordance with § 40 (1) of the Federal Fiscal Code (BAO) or to become active as vicarious agent itself
        2. make funds available for prizes and scholarships, according to § 40b BAO.
    5. Membership and structure
      1. The structure of the organization is grounded in person-centered principles.
      2. The Association is open to ordinary members (both organizational and individual members) and associate members (supporting members) as well as Honorary Members.
      3. Individual membership is open to helping professionals, trainees and other persons who wish to further the goals of the Association.
      4. The Association invites into its membership existing associations, organizations and institutions within and outside the university system which embrace its principles and goals (see § II and § III) and have clearly defined and published ethical standards.
      5. Persons or organizations, who, through personal or organizational effort and/or financial support, promote the interests of the Association, can become Honorary Members on decision of the General Assembly.
      6. At all levels of membership (see § V 2.) the principle of local autonomy is maintained. The authority of the Association can only be applied to its composition, to cooperation in the Association and to its external relationships. The Association must not interfere with the rights of national and international organizations or individuals.
    6. Rights and Obligations of Members
      1. All ordinary members of the Association promote the aims of the Association in theory and practice. They have a seat and vote(s) in the General Assembly. Individual members also have the right to stand for election. Supporting members have only seat.
      2. Ordinary members (individual and organizational members) are obliged to pay the membership fees determined by the General Assembly in due time, supporting members pay a self-determined support fee.
    7. Termination of Membership
      1. Membership expires by death, voluntary resignation, cancellation and exclusion.
      2. Voluntary resignation is only possible at the end of the calendar year.
      3. The exclusion of an individual member from the Association is possible by decision of the board for particularly important reasons, such as gross violation of the obligations as a member or dishonorable behavior. The reason for exclusion must be communicated to the member in writing. Any objection must be submitted to the board within six weeks.
      4. The suspension of membership of an organizational member is possible by decision of the board for particularly important reasons. The exclusion of an organizational member from the Association is possible by decision of the General Assembly for particularly important reasons, such as gross violation of the obligations as a member or dishonorable behavior. The reason for exclusion must be communicated to the member in writing. Any objection must be submitted to the board within six weeks.
    8. Chapters
      In order to support the development of the PCE approaches in various regions of the world, and in support of shared goals, a Regional Chapter of the World Association can be formed by Organizational Members and/or Individual Members of the WA in a particular region. The philosophy, aims and objectives of the proposed Regional Chapter must be fully consistent with those of the WAPCEPC.
    9. Organs of the Association, Committees
      Organs of the association are
      1. the General Assembly (§ X);
      2. the Board (§ XI);
      3. the Auditors (§XII);
      4. any other committee installed by the board.
    10. General Assembly
      1. The ordinary General Assembly meets every two years, usually in connection with the PCE Conference.
      2. The General Assembly consists of the Individual Members and the Delegates of the Organizational Members of the Association.
      3. Each Organizational Member can send one Delegate.
      4. The General Assembly takes all essential decisions with regard to the nature of its work. Striving for consensus and compromise is an essential part of the self-understanding of person-centered principles in action. Decisions only become effective if a majority both, the Individual Members and the Organizational Members, is achieved.
      5. The participation of a member in the General Assembly via electronic media is possible. In exceptional cases, the General Assembly can be held as a pure online meeting.
      6. A quorum is constituted regardless of the number of members present.
    11. Board
      1. The Board consists of a minimum of three and a maximum of nine persons formed with an effort to reflect the diversity of the membership in terms of geography and theoretical approach.
      2. The legal representation of the Association to the outside is carried out by the chair of the board, in case of being prevented by the treasurer.
      3. Board members are elected by secret ballot for a term of two years.
      4. Only three consecutive re-elections are possible.
      5. The legally binding signature for the Association is made by the chair of the board and the secretary. In financial matters up to EUR 1,000.00 by the treasurer and above EUR 1,000.00 by the chair of the board and the treasurer together.
      6. The functions of the Board are:
        • to steward the Association;
        • to develop and propose policies to the General Assembly;
        • to implement the decisions and policies agreed in the General Assembly;
        • to manage administrative matters;
        • and to deal with matters which may arise between meetings of the General  Assembly.
      7. The tasks of the Board include:
        • preparing the General Assembly;
        • admitting new Members who have fulfilled the membership requirements (see § V 2.);
        • presenting a statement of the accounts of the last period (since the last ordinary General Assembly) and determining the budget for the next period, subject to the approval of the General Assembly;
        • presenting a report of its work during the last period to the General Assembly.
    12. Auditors
      1. The General Assembly elects two auditors from different member associations.
      2. The auditors are elected for a term of 2 years.
      3. Their task is to examine all the financial affairs, including the financial statements of the Association.
    13. Membership dues
      1. The Members pay a membership fee to meet the expenses of the Association.
      2. The membership fee is suggested by the Board and must be approved by the General Assembly.
      3. The Board may make exceptions in case of financial hardship, on written request.
    14. Arbitration
      1. Disputes arising from the Association relationship shall be settled by the Association's internal "Arbitration Committee". It is a "conciliation body" in the sense of the Association Act 2002 and not an arbitration court according to §§ 577 ff ZPO.
      2. The Arbitration Committee shall be composed of three ordinary members of the Association. Each party to the dispute shall nominate one arbitrator to the Board. After notification by the Board, the two Arbitrators nominated shall agree within 14 days on a ordinary member to chair the Arbitration Committee. In the event of a tie, the winner will be drawn by lot from among the nominees. The members of the Arbitration Committee may not belong to any body – except for the General Assembly - whose activity is the subject of the dispute.
      3. The Arbitration Committee shall make its decisions by simple majority vote after hearing the parties to the dispute in the presence of all members of the Arbitration Committee. It shall decide to the best of its knowledge and belief. The decision of the Arbitration Committee shall be made in writing to all parties to the dispute. Its decisions are final within the Association.
    15. Dissolution
      1. The dissolution of the Association needs a two thirds majority in the General Assembly.
      2. In the event of the dissolution of the Association all money, goods or property owned by the Association, after satisfaction of all proper debts and liabilities, within the meaning of sections §§ 34 ff BAO, is transferred to (a) non-profit oriented association/s with like-minded goals.