Doing Psychotherapy' is a reflective job and much time is spent on that in sessions, supervision and alone. Psychotherapists, however, are also members of a group of professionals. This means that actively or passively they are part of a community that has its own concerns apart from the work. In each country where there are psychotherapists working there are member associations to which they belong. Each association has relationships with other psychotherapy associations and the organizations of related professions, not to mention Government. Psychotherapists are also members of a culture, a nation. This stream is an opportunity to be, indeed, reflective but about the profession as organization, as constituent part of a nation, a culture, and to consider, perhaps, what part that is. In the light of the theme of the conference what does psychotherapy have to say about aboriginality and the worldwide concerns of and for First Peoples. The Conference Organizing Committee therefore encourages papers on: the issues to do with psychotherapists being members of a group, a culture, an organization; official recognition by Government and recognition / acceptance by the general public; the various forms of organization and federation that exist to look after the interests of psychotherapists and their art and science; the contribution that psychotherapeutic insights and psychotherapists make to the politics of a country or the world; the registration of psychotherapists whether by government or by self regulation; the cross-cultural' relations between different modalities; and the relationship between psychotherapy and psychotherapists and the bodies that provide funding for their work or training, whether they be government, insurance providers or workplaces.
Quality psychotherapy practice depends on the quality of professional training, ongoing professional education and clinical supervision. Traditionally much of this has been undertaken or managed largely by specialized professional colleges and institutes. However, in a changing higher education sector, there are challenges to justify our training, professional development and supervision practices, and explore innovative ways to meet the challenges of our changing world. Some of these challenges include the place of technology in training and supervision, the demand for greater flexibility in mode and structure of training, the demand for greater sensitivity and competence in dealing with diversity of many kinds, the need for skills in working in multidisciplinary teams and with preventive and early intervention approaches, and meeting the needs of both public and private sector practice. This conference stream invites presentations and workshops on innovative ways of addressing the challenges and current developments in training, education and supervision.
Psychotherapy as a profession is advanced through innovations in theory, research and practice. However research in our field faces a number of major challenges in order to bridge the all-too-common research-practice divide. Key challenges include: how do we develop methodologies that are appropriate for our clinical theories and practices; how do we demonstrate evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence; how do we satisfy our professional and client needs for understanding the more subjective and subtle aspects of what works in therapy; how is neuroscience contributing to our understanding of how therapy works; how do we train and supervise in such a highly complex multifaceted endeavour; how do we compare therapies that are based on totally different world views; how do we research in different cultures and ensure cultural integrity of our research; how can research contribute to psychotherapy addressing the most pressing issues of our era; and most important, how do we encourage clinicians to become involved, interested and informed by research? WCP2011 invites presentations and workshops on current research that address the above questions and issues relevant to the Congress theme of World Dreaming.
FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS
WCP 2011 invites family and relationships psychotherapy practitioners and researchers to submit clinical case studies, theoretical and research papers, offer symposia and workshops as an enactment of World Dreaming'. The presenters are encouraged to focus on the compelling issues emerging from their unique clinical and cultural context of practice. The international nature of the congress offers presenters and participants alike, an opportunity to discuss these hot topics' from multiple perspectives, learn from each other, and refine both thinking and clinical practice. Presenters are also encouraged to offer their clinical work and reflections on specific therapeutic interventions, theoretical and conceptual development, methods of clinical assessment, and investigation of clinical change mechanisms and effectiveness of the approach. Family and relationships psychotherapy practice is informed by many theoretical orientations including systemic, psychodynamic, experiential, post-modern and others, and presenters offer a paper that evokes generative exchange that stretches beyond usual communities of professional conversation.
Ethical and Philosophical Issues
The very basis of psychotherapy lies in the maintenance of an ethical position in a relationship of trust with a vulnerable other. This is not simply a matter of following rules but, in the case of psychotherapy, depends on an adequate understanding of self development in a system of self and other. This understanding requires a form of knowing based in relatedness and experience and informed by philosophy that speaks to issues of self, other, mind, body, spirit, existence and language. Fact and value cannot be separated in the psychotherapeutic context and notions like the absolute may take on a particular significance in this context of human relatedness. For psychotherapists it is not usually a question of what I can do on my own but rather what we can understand together and do collaboratively. For groups and communities the ethics of relatedness, and the psychotherapeutic effort, encompass issues of social justice. With respect to the theme of World Dreaming the psychotherapeutic challenge for humanity is to find paths to a sense of global community that may transcend the alienation and conflict so entrenched in the world as we know it. Papers will be invited and sought for this stream of the congress, that speak to these issues of understanding and morality as it applies to the psychotherapeutic context.
In most cases psychotherapy conferences and meetings have involved presentations from therapists. Indeed psychotherapy literature has largely been expressed through the voice of the therapist. Part of the reason for this has been the preservation of patient/client confidentiality. However, in order to gain a balanced view of the process of psychotherapy, it is important to hear the voice of the consumer of psychotherapy. When consumers of services feel able to put forward their testimony they add an important perspective that helps meet the public demand for accountability and informs the profession of psychotherapy. This also helps ensure that evidence for the effectiveness of psychotherapies comes from ongoing dialogues between clients, practitioners and service providers. For these reasons we plan to hold a consumer forum at World Congress for Psychotherapy, Sydney, 2011 (World Dreaming). We believe this to be the first meeting of its kind at a WCP congress. We encourage consumers to submit papers and ideas for this forum. When we talk of consumers in this context, it needs to be borne in mind that the majority of psychotherapists have had experience of psychotherapeutic treatment as clients. So the call to consumers can be taken to include interested professionals in the field who believe they may be able to make constructive contributions to this event. We are sure that this will be a lively and constructive event within WCP 2011 and hope that it may begin a tradition of supporting client-based events at future meetings.
Psychotherapy is a cultural practice that always occurs in a particular cultural context. Psychotherapy acknowledges and values its roots in European cultural traditions but adapts itself to local conditions, sensitively attuning itself to the culture and psyche of the people with whom it works. Psychotherapists frequently work with persons of other cultures and are learning more about how to make use of appropriate cultural resources including cultural supervision.
WCP 2011 will be inclusive of indigenous perspectives and the voices of the First Peoples of Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand , the many nations of the Pacific, and from other parts of the world. At World Dreaming', the first Australasian Congress of the WCP, First Nation people from around the Pacific, Australia , Aotearoa New Zealand and Asia will bring special contributions to the Congress. Psychotherapy understood as a cultural practice, has the capacity to generate new approaches that may link traditional understandings of theory and practice with culturally based theories and practices. Indigenous practitioners and those who work with indigenous populations are particularly welcome to participate and present. Many exciting possibilities for the exploration, expansion and inclusion of the cultural dimension of psychotherapy will be highlighted at WCP 2001: World Dreaming'.
Psychotherapeutic modalities reflect the many and diverse ways in which psychotherapists specialize. Modalities may be named after the person who founded their particular school of psychotherapy (Freudian, Jungian). They may use specialized methods (psychodrama, T.A.), hold a particular focus (object relations, self psychology) or adapt their approach to a particular client group (addictions therapy, trauma-focused therapy). Practitioners within each modality may hold a similar frame of reference that allows them to communicate many of their ideas and experiences quickly and effectively. Practitioners speaking across modalities, by contrast, have the opportunity to challenge and extend each other, exploring differences and finding common ground.
WCP 2011 invites practitioners to submit papers and offer seminars and workshops in their specialty or particular area of interest or passion. Speakers may choose to share information and experience, discuss clinical casework, or explore particular aspects of theory and technique. They may wish to report on existing modalities or describe their pioneering efforts in new areas. Approaches that critique and challenge existing psychotherapy models are also welcome as we come together to dream the possibilities of psychotherapy's contribution to a more sustainable and humane way of life.
Traditionally mainstream psychotherapy has lived uneasily with the ideas and experiences of the "spiritual", although William James had firmly anchored religious experiences as a form of human consciousnes worthy of investigation. Spirituality can mean many things - in its broadest sense it can encompass all belief systems from atheism through agnosticism, animism and polytheism to theism, in all their varieties. Spirituality points to something beyond the material, to human potential for a sense of relatedness to others, to the world and even further, to what can be termed the sacred, the numinous or the divine. The spiritual resides in and outside religion, in and outside of specific practices. It involves tradition, can be found in the present, and has an evolving edge in human consciousness. John Rowan talks about the bridging function and metaphor of psychotherapy, which leads from conversation, biology and research into an unseeable future personal experience. The maps for psychotherapy and the spiritual are beginning to be drawn, with reference to recent pioneers including James, Jung, the Grofs, Wilber, Asaggioli and Mindell, as well as invoking the great religious bodies of experience shaped by spiritual masters stretching back to prehistory. It is in this spirit of inclusivenes and regard for the uniqueness of the psychotherapeutic relationship that papers are sought for the Spirituality stream of the "World Dreaming" congress.