Board Meeting, Berlin, 30 October 2016

Present: Board members: Tony Wainwright, Margarida , Jennifer, Irena on Skype.

Apologies: Anne, Barbara, Rifkat, Victor, Vita, Yiota, Mathias, Bibi, Damir, Roman.

We began by welcoming Heinrich Bertram and Rebecca Ulrich. Heinrich stood in for Mathias who unfortunately couldn’t attend. Rebecca, who organised the room and provisions for us for which we were very grateful, is also a psychologist. We noted that Lieven Brebels from Belgium was hoping to nominated by his association. We also noted that Heloisa Martino has left and we are trying to contact us so we can thank her for all the work that she did for our Board.

Attendings at the meetings: We noted that there were very few Board members and had some discussion about this and Tony reported on the discussions he had with Tor concerning the name of the Board and its future focus. Attached is a short paper that was considered by the EFPA EC and also Tor’s report on their discussion. It was helpful having Heinrich present as he had been a member of the Standing Committee on Psychotherapy before it was merged into the current Board. It was agreed that for the next two meetings we would aim to have a general meeting covering the workplan for the first half followed by two groups, one working on prevention and promotion and one working on psychotherapy. Each subgroup will develop a rationale for the establishment of two new groups, one for psychotherapy and one for prevention and promotion to be presented to the GA in July 2017. The initial response to the suggestion that psychotherapy and clinical psychology should be the remit of the SC on Health and Psychology was that this presented some problems and that there remained a need for a group with a specific focus on psychotherapy. The reasons for this are that it is a complex topic in its own right – practice and evidence are contested, and yet it is fundamental to the identify for many members of the profession. It has a wider scope than health. In addition it was noted that the SC on psychotherapy was successful and productive and perhaps this model should be relaunched.

EFPA Convenors: Tony gave an update from the EFPA Convenors meeting and went through the presentation that was given there. A number of issues arose which were discussed more fully later during the general agenda. As a reminder of the presentation is attached.

Statements: It was agreed that the definitions paper, the position statement and standards in education for prevention and intervention would be deferred to the next meeting.

The Survey: Irena and Bibi were thanked for their work. Irena joined us over Skype. The survey was thought to be well constructed and will generate some very helpful information. It was agreed that there should be some exploration of the way to locate the person in the MA who would be able to provide the best perspective on the issue of prevention in the MA country and who could network to help gather further data. Tony would contact Joke to take this further.

Guideline Development: Margarida, Jennifer and Rifkat were thanked for their work on the draft guideline on psychology in prevention work with infants, children and young people. The group went through the current draft and it was agreed that Tony would make amendments suggested and send back to the working group. It was suggested that we all use our networks to see if we can identify any guidelines that are not in English that cover applied psychology in prevention. The guideline on adults is being developed by Tony and Vita but no progress could be reported.

A conceptual framework for psychotherapy in prevention: Anne and Barbara were thanked for their work and the preparation of their draft guideline. There was a strong welcome for the clear way the ideas were expressed. Some questions raised by the group were:

a)   Does there need to be a more detailed definition of psychotherapy at the beginning of the guideline. There were mixed views on this and the members of the Board not present are invited to express their views.

b)    There was an extended discussion of what psychotherapy skills might be needed in, for example, teaching children to become more resilient. The view was that there was a continuum between the skills required in such work and that needed at the severe end of distress and that while some psychotherapeutic competence might be needed at the milder end, it was only appropriate, as in the guidelines to refer to psychotherapy at the more severe end of the spectrum. One end might be called psycho-education, the other end psychotherapy.

c)    Where issues like consent are referred to, it was suggested that the text does not provide guidance but signposts to the current EFPA Metacode, the EFPA Model Code and the MA local codes. This is to avoid inadvertent conflicts with these Codes.

The Minisite: Roman was thanked for his work on the minisite and the group spent some time looking through it. It was a very useful resource and the Board members are encouraged to look through it again and see where they can add their local websites and so on. In terms of enhancements two points were mentioned:

a)    The workstreams – survey, guidelines etc, could have a page each with materials and requests for collaboration.

b)    The member list to be updated to reflect current membership.

Collaboration with the WHO: Tony reported on the contacts with Mat Muijen, regional director mental health, in the past and the current work the EFPA has been undertaking with him. It was agreed Tony should contact him about the survey and also the draft guideline. To also ask if he knows of any similar guidelines that we could use.

Book/Special issue: We discussed options here and agreed that a model that Margarida had used in Health Psychology would be a possible option. We should also explore whether the offer from Barbara is still available to publish something in the online journal she edits.

World days: Each Board member is invited to select a World Day or similar that they will prepare a press release for. We will draft a preamble on prevention that can go with the text concerning the ‘day’. We also will ensure we liaise with other EFPA working groups to make sure all interests are taken into account. The suicide prevention day text is available in the BPI dropbox folder:


ECP 2017: Agreed we will have a symposium based around challenges for the future. We need to submit abstracts by the end of November. Tony and Jennifer to coordinate. Possible speakers are Anne, Rifkat, Tony, Margarida, Bibi, Irena, Jennifer. Suggested that we had another session that could launch a prevention and psychology special interest group (SIG).

Succession planning : Tony confirmed he wishes to step down as convenor sometime next year. Bibi and Roman had also both said they will be stepping down. Tony asked if there could be a new model with a co – convenor, as in some other Working Groups. It was suggested that Jennifer might take on a co-convenor role with Tony. It was agreed that Tony would email the Board to ask each member to state whether they are able to attend face to face meetings in the future. This is because Board meetings with the Convenor and two other members is not sustainable. Based on the response the Board would approach the EFPA to seek advice on membership.

Future meetings: It was agreed that the next cycle of meetings would be:

a)    Between mid March and mid April 2017 and a doodle poll would be set up. Brussels, EFPA.

b)    A brief meeting at the ECP 2017

c)    Between October and November 2017 as part of the European Semester Czech Republic.

Other: Heinrich reported that David Lane had been chair of the successful Standing Committee on Psychotherapy and he might be a useful contact to discuss the proposal for relauch.