In the year 2014, Dr Lidija Pecotić, director of EAPTI-GPTIM, was inspired to pass on knowledge, experience and the love of Gestalt Psychotherapy, beyond the boundaries of higher education institutions and individual centres. Through this, she developed the idea of organizing regular Gestalt Psychotherapy Congresses that would bring together international and interdisciplinary participation. In collaboration with her colleagues, in different Gestalt Psychotherapy Centres, including: Serbia, Macedonia, Malta, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Germany, UK, and Italy such congresses became a reality with over 500 persons, from all over the world, attending and participating in each one.
The aim of these Congresses is to present the content and process of participants’ responses to a selected Congress theme, usually derived from previous Congress’, and to open a discussion platform, to research and discover new ways of responding to the challenges that contemporary society never cease to put in front of Gestalt Psychotherapy and psychotherapy in General.
Through the Congress experiences, we intend to enhance the ways phenomena related to psychotherapy, in contemporary society, are observed and approached, to inspire participants in further personal and professional growth, and to further develop our community of professionals, sharing common programs of education, in the process of becoming Gestalt Psychotherapists and in their journey as psychotherapy practitioners.
For this reason, the congress adds further to the experiential learning process of all students undergoing training programmes with EAPTI-GPTIM and EGN, and is offered as an additional mode of teaching. It enriches students, by giving them the opportunity to meet other members of the ever-growing gestalt psychotherapy community – students, teachers, lecturers, speakers, pioneers in the field of psychotherapy – coming from different teaching institutions and countries as well as from related fields of knowledge.
The Congresses usually consist of keynote lectures, lectures for smaller number of participants and workshops. These are all led by distinguished international lecturers and participants from different scientific and socio-cultural fields.
The Congresses are also significant because they celebrate individuals who have contributed significantly to the field of psychotherapy. As from the second Congress organized, a tradition began, in which two significant awards were given, as plaques, for the most successful achievements in the field of psychotherapy:
The award “Josip Berger” is awarded for the most successful achievements in the field of education of psychotherapists.
The award “Ken Evans” is awarded for the most successful achievements in the field of development of the profession of psychotherapy.
The Congresses are organised with the generous ongoing commitment of Dr Lidija Pecotić in collaboration with the following various centres:
European Accredited Psychotherapy Training Institute Malta – GPTIM, Higher Education Institution (NCFHE 2014-FHI-020);
European Accredited Psychotherapy Training Institute – Studio za edukaciju Beograd, Serbia;
European Accredited Psychotherapy Training Institute – Gestalt Institute Skopje, Macedonia;
Gestalt Psychotherapy Training Institute – Psiho-Integrum d.o.o. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina;
European Accredited Psychotherapy Training Institute Gestalt Psychotherapy Training Institute – Psihika d.o.o. Zadar, Croatia;
Intronaut NGO Zagreb, Croatia;
Association of Gestalt Psychotherapy Montenegro.
EAPTI-GPTIM takes this opportunity to show its appreciation and to thank all persons involved in making this process a reality.
The Fourth International Interdisciplinary Gestalt Congress: Love and the Present Human Condition
23rd – 26th September, 2021
Place: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
This year, humanity faced an insidious enemy in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic which brought the world to a standstill and confronted humankind with its own fragility and mortality, infusing daily life with creeping fear, anxiety, and ever-present worry about one's health, one's life, and the well-being of our loved ones.
Newly imposed circumstances have transformed our present and blurred our future beyond the ability to discern its contours. In this impermanence, we have been forced to question all elementary categories that define life and death.
As we adapt more or less creatively to this "new normal", it is an apt time to revisit our understanding of what love is in this new global condition. Deprived of closeness and touch, and hungry for connection, we have been painfully reminded of Buber's understanding of "dialogue," in which all living is a meeting. Inherent to that meeting is contact, exposure, and love - love as the ultimate form of both courage and vulnerability, intertwined and inseparable as figure and its ground.
Echoing the present moment, whilst aware of challenges we are facing and are yet to encounter, the 4th International Interdisciplinary Gestalt Psychotherapy Congress will revolve around the topic of "Love and the Present Human Condition". Taking place on 23-26 September 2021 in Sarajevo, the congress will bring together renowned names from the world of Gestalt, as well as participants from different social, cultural, and professional spheres.
On Becoming a Psychotherapist – Exploring the Authenticity, Creativity, Competence and Responsibility of the Profession
The Third International Interdisciplinary Gestalt Congress "ON BECOMIG A PSYCHOTHERAPIST - Exploring the Authenticity, Creativity, Competence and Responsibility of the Profession was held, from 12-15 September in Skopje, Macedonia.
The Congress was organized by Gestalt Institute Skopje and EAPTI-GPTIM network, and it was held in in Home of the ARM in Skopje. During these 4 days, we had the opportunity to be hosts for 380 participants from 13 countries from Europe (Macedonia, Malta, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Greece, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Italy, Turkey, Germany and Switzerland).
The subject of the Congress gave us an opportunity to see different ways of developing professional skills and standards, through having the lectures of our 18 keynote speakers, 36 oral presentations, 33 poster presentations, and 23 workshops.
As key note speaker we had the honor to have Charles Cassar, the president of the European Association of Psychotherapy (EAP), with his important lecture on the practical value of psychotherapy is an instigator of social and political change "The politic of psychotherapy. Then we had our professor, member of the national academy MANU, academician Nada Pop Jordanova, with the lecture on important knowledge in neuroscience which must be applied and used in the process of psycho therapeutic specialization "Where psychotherapy meets neuroscience". Dubravka Kocijan Hercigonja neuropsychiatrist and psychotherapist from Croatia, and Mira Klarin professor of Developmental Psychology also from Croatia, through lecture and workshops brought us important knowledge on "Importance and difficulties in psychotherapeutic work with children and adolescents" and "What the gestalt therapist should know about the principals of developmental growth seen through the life span paradigm".
From Malta we had the the honor to have the Director and Founder of GPTIM, Lidija Pecotic, with a lecture on the academic collaboration between the Higher Education Institution European Accredited Psychotherapy Training Institute in Malta and its partner Gestalt Institutes around Europe, titled “Creating a Gestalt Psychotherapist Through Dialogical Experiential Learning and Friendship”. We had as a lecturer Sandro Spiteri member of the Quality Assurance Committee of EAPTI-GPT, who spoke to us about "The impact of Networked Quality Assurance on psychotherapy training". We also had the opportunity to have a lecture and a workshop from Joyce Sciberras on the congruence and authenticity with which we develop the therapeutic relationship "Mirror, mirror". Rene Cammilleri spoke to us about "The Myth of the Wounded Healer. The Shape of a Psychotherapist."
From Turkey we hosted Ceylan Das with an lecture and a workshop "On Becoming A Psychotherapis", from Bulgaria Elena Ilieva" On gaining new territory for gestalt", from Greece Kostantinidou Antonia, who spoke to us about "Being a Psychotherapist: the Asymmetrical Responsibility of our Presence”. From Germany we were delighted to have three workshops and a lecture from Bertram Mueller, who worked with us on "How to transform the chains of the human being: the feeling of anxiety, guilt and shame into resource for an authentic life", "How to transform feeling of anxiety, guilt and shame into resource for an authentic life", "The Pendulum Method to support one´s process of becoming". From Italy we were honored to have Giovanni Salonia, with the lecture and a workshop on his work with family systems in gestalt therapy "The chair dance and the pronoun dance" and "The moon is made of cheese – Gestalt Therapy and borderline language”. From Switzerland we had Schulthess Peter with a lecture on "The importance of the person of the psychotherapist". From Bosnia and Hercegovina we had an addressing from Sanela Selmanovic Podrug, from Croatia Margarita Mesic, and from Montenegro Valentina Relkovic.
And last but not least the director of the Congress and director of Gestalt Institute Skopje, professor dr. Emilija Stoimenova Canevska, dean of the International Balkan University faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Skopje, with a workshop and a lecture on "Exploring authenticity, creativity, competence and responsibility of the profession through supervision".
Deeply moved and satisfied with the realization of the Congress, we believe that these 4 days created the common ground for sustainable quality to unify and give birth to better comprehension, cooperation and collaboration.
Human being and the processes of change – implications for Gestalt therapy and related disciplines
The Second International and Interdisciplinary Congress of Gestalt Therapy under the title “Human being and the processes of change – implications for Gestalt therapy and related disciplines”, will take place in Belgrade, from 15th to 18th September 2017. The opening ceremony will start on Friday 15th Sept at 7.30 p.m. Congress will take place at Kolarčev National University.