European Accredited Psychotherapy Training Institute –
Gestalt Psychotherapy Training Institute Malta
The academic collaboration between the Higher Education Institution European Accredited Psychotherapy Training Institute (EAPTI-GPTIM) and its partner Gestalt Institutes around Europe has grown over the years to become a major provider and guarantor of high-quality professional traineeship and supervised practice of Gestalt Psychotherapy, with a particular focus in Malta and some European and Balkans countries. The need is now being felt, even in view of the accreditation of EAPTI-GPTIM by the National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE) in Malta and the first external quality audit of EAPTI-GPTIM by the NCFHE in 2019, to constitute the Network formally so as to safeguard its work for the future.
The Network was Formally Constituted on 25.5.2018.
B. Origin of Higher Education Institution EAPTI-GPTIM
As the name implies, the Higher Education Institution European Accredited Psychotherapy Training Institute - Gestalt Psychotherapy Training Institute Malta (EAPTI-GPTIM) is a complex educational reality that grew out of a particular historical context. The Gestalt Psychotherapy Institute Malta was created after the first Gestalt school that originally operated in Belgrade with students and lecturers from different parts of the ex-Jugoslavija, before the fratricidal wars of the Balkans in the 1990s. The Director of this original Belgrade Institute, today EAPTI-SEB, Dr Lidija Pecotic, then came to Malta in March 1994; the Gestalt Psychotherapy Training Institute Malta (GPTIM) was formally set up on the 21st of June 1996.
Through GPTIM she continued supporting her erstwhile colleagues and students throughout the successive Balkans conflicts in what were now the sundered new national realities of Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Macedonia. This personal-professional network was not only a critical human and professional lifeline for the colleagues of Dr Pecotic, but one of the few effective ways how the psychological needs of hundreds of thousands of civilians traumatised by war could be addressed. Out of this work grew the Gestalt Institutes of: Serbia (which as explained was the original Gestalt Institute and which is still led by Dr Lidija Pecotic), Macedonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro, working closely with and under the oversight of GPTIM.
In 2005 GPTIM achieved accredited by the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP) and the European Association for Gestalt Psychotherapy (EAGT), the first Gestalt Institute to do so, and acquired the name EAPTI-GPTIM. The EAPTI title is given to every institute in Europe that achieves EAP and EAGT accreditation. EAPTI-GPTIM actively supported the application and process for accreditation of the ex-Jugoslav Gestalt institutes with which it was networked. Indeed, three of them have now become EAPTI: Serbia: EAPTI-Studio za edukaciju Beograd (2008); Macedonia: EAPTI-Gestalt Institute Skopje (2008), and Croatia: EAPTI-Psihika d.o.o. (2017).
As this work grew, the need was felt to formalise and ensure the recognition of training and subsequent practice of the new psychotherapists that were being trained by these institutes. Part of the challenge was that the profession was still politically and legally not clearly defined in a lot of countries. This led to the formalisation of the Network of Gestalt institutes under the guidance of EAPTI-GPTIM, into the EAPTI-GPTIM Network.
C. Relationship between EAPTI-GPTIM and the EAPTI-GPTIM Network
The unique relationship of mutual trust, friendship, respect and support between Dr Pecotic and her original group of colleagues, who are now heads of the various institutes in the different countries, or their senior practitioners, explains the particular organisation of EAPTI-GPTIM and its relationship with the other Gestalt institutes within the EAPTI-GPTIM Network (hereinafter referred to as EGN), in terms of the development, implementation and QA of programmes.1
The relationship between EAPTI-GPTIM and EGN is not that of a franchise or simply of local providers of courses accredited in Malta. EGN is a permanent transnational partnership in which EAPTI-GPTIM is the first amongst equals. The main function of the network is not commercial but an educational-professional one. Although the ownership of the Gestalt accredited courses belongs to EAPTI-GPTIM, each centre within the network is administratively autonomous and retains the income from the provision of courses so as to ensure the financial sustainability of each centre, even given the precarious financial post-war situation that each Balkan centre has emerged from and in many cases is still experiencing. EAPTI-GPTIM does not make a profit for the use of its courses by the other institutes in the Network. The only additional income comes from senior personnel, including the leaders of each centre and the Director of EAPTI-GPTIM herself, conducting training in eacothers’ institutes, and they are duly remunerated for this service as with other professional providers.
Each institute, including EAPTI-GPTIM, is individually accredited according the requirements of its hosting country, and can develop and deliver its own courses independently of EAPTI-GPTIM or EGN. Apart from EAPTI-GPTIM, the other institutes are independently recognised and accredited by the EAGT2, and the EAP3, or in the process of achieving this.
Thus, EGN exists only in function of the provision of courses accredited by EAPTI-GPTIM, accredited by NCFHE and delivered tale e quale throughout the Network.
Apart from strong collaboration in provision, the institutes in EGN collaborate to ensure that training and professional practice is maintained at EAGT and EAP standards. As first among equals within the Network and in the context of an ongoing collaborative dialogue with the EGN partners, EAPTI-GPTIM has overall responsibility for ensuring that teaching and training standards are maintained, and final say on all substantive matters pertaining to the development, implementation and review of the Gestalt courses accredited by NCFHE. Thus, for the purposes of the maintaining of standards and for interfacing on all QA matters, EAPTI-GPTIM is the contact point for the NCFHE.
Further background information is available at: http://www.eapti-gptim.com/history/
Further information is available at: https://www.eagt.org/joomla/index.php/2016-02-25-22-21-51/members-new-grid
Further information is available at: http://www.europsyche.org/eapti