World Dreaming 6th World Congress for Psychotherapy Sydney August 24th to 28th 2011


Bringing the World to Sydney : World Congress for Psychotherapy 2011

The 6th World Congress for Psychotherapy will be held in Sydney in August 2011. At the 4th World Congress held in Buenos Aires in August, 2005 this bid won over its competitor and Sydney was announced as the venue for this major event. It will be the largest conference of its kind ever held in Australasia. The bid was a joint effort between Australia and New Zealand and the expectation is that it will be preceded by an Asia-Pacific congress to be held in New Zealand in 2010. The warm response made by many psychotherapy organizations and individual practitioners in support of the bid was a critical aspect underpinning its success. The organizing committee would like to thank all concerned for the support that proved so crucial to the outcome.

This occasion presents psychotherapy in this region with a unique opportunity to enter into dialogue with leaders in the field and to bring the need for effective psychotherapy services to the attention of the community here and elsewhere. It is anticipated that it will also be an impetus towards cohesion in the psychotherapeutic community that will allow growth and enhance standards within the profession. The congress will foster the development of ideas in the profession and will facilitate the growth of community awareness about the role of psychotherapy in relation to mental distress and personal growth. The development of psychotherapy as a profession cannot be separated from the development of a community culture that supports personal growth.

The host organization, the World Council for Psychotherapy (WCP), is dedicated to recognition of psychotherapy as an independent discipline with its own body of knowledge based in the observation and understanding of human experience from the perspective of the psychotherapeutic relationship. WCP has a policy of including and involving the many different schools and forms of psychotherapy. As such the congress provides practitioners with a unique opportunity for cross-fertilization of ideas between colleagues of diverse backgrounds and orientations.

The theme for the conference is “World Dreaming”, a phrase that captures something of the historical origins of psychotherapy and the cultural origins of Australian peoples.

The theme also highlights cultural history and meanings within Aotearoa-New Zealand.

Moreover the emphasis on the human world of dreaming rather than the inanimate world of objects will provide a space for beginning to understand difference and move towards conciliation. In the minds of committee members, a diversity of “dreamings” is envisaged: infant dreaming, first people dreaming, trauma dreaming, healing dreaming, therapist dreaming, patient dreaming, brain dreaming, spirit dreaming, group dreaming, etc. Let our imaginations extend this list and start having the dreaming towards global understanding, at “World Dreaming”, Sydney, August, 2011.

Program Themes

  • Current issues in Psychotherapy
  • Training, Education and Supervision
  • Neuroscience and Research
  • Family & Relationships
  • Developmental, Life Span & Genders
  • Ethical and Philosophical
  • Culture and First Peoples
  • Modalities
  • Spirituality



‘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.


Plenary Speakers


Prof Harlene Anderson






Prof Russell Meares







Prof Jennifer J. Freyd







Dr Giovanni Litton



Prof Helen Milroy






Sir Mason Durie
New Zealand







Dr Colin Ross







Prof Alfred Pritz



Prof Mary Target
United Kingdom






Anthony Korner,
Chairman, Organizing Committee, WCP, Sydney 2011.
On behalf of the Organizing Committee : Dr Margot Schofield, PACFA; Dr Louise Newman, RANZCP; Dr Phil Graham, ANZAP; Ms Sophie Holmes, PACFA, Victorian FPA; A. Roy Bowden, NZAP, New Zealand, Ms Margaret Morice, NZAP, New Zealand, Mr Timothy Johnson-Newell, PACFA

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