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Obituary of Peter F. Schmid

The WAPCEPC Board members are deeply sad at the passing of our esteemed colleague, Prof. Dr. Peter F. Schmid.

Peter died on 15 September 2020, having sustained major injuries in a serious car accident in July.

Author of numerous books, lecturer and trainer at the APG-IPS Academy, Vienna, Peter was a very prominent and respected representative of the person-centred approach worldwide.

A student of Carl R. Rogers, in 1969 Peter founded the person-centred psychotherapy training in Austria. Over the ensuing decades, his drive and commitment fundamentally shaped the person-centred approach in Austria and globally, and he contributed greatly to its development while also retaining fidelity to its distinguishing features - it was particularly important to him to preserve Rogers’ genuine basic assumptions.

Peter is regarded as the founder of the dialogical approach in person-centred psychotherapy and in 2009 he received the Carl Rogers Award from the American Psychological Association (APA) for “outstanding contributions to the theory and practice of Humanistic Psychology.”

A man of energy and passion, Peter’s many contributions include:  founder of APG•IPS (The Austrian Institute for Person-Centred Studies), and initiator of both the World Association for Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy (WAPCEPC), and the European Network for Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy and Counselling (PCE Europe).  He was also co-founder and co-editor of international journals: Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies and PERSON.

In addition, Peter was a member of Saybrook University in San Francisco, USA and had worked at universities in Austria, Germany and the UK.

His special love was the theatre. As a playwright, he most recently published Faust III (premiered in Vienna in 2010).

Peter was not only an outstanding psychotherapist, psychotherapy scientist and practical theologian, but someone who lived the person-centred approach with all his heart. 

Current members of the WAPCEPC board remember him as an extraordinary, warm and open-hearted person and a kind, helpful and generous colleague.  The person-centred world has lost a leading light.

Our condolences and sincere sympathy go to Peter's family and all those who were close to him.

- from the 2020 – 2022 WAPCEPC Board