How is the WFP Organized?

The structure of the IFP is stipulated in the statutes. The following areas are differentiated:

  • The Members Assembly represents the highest authority of the IFP and convenes at the time of the International Congress of Psychotherapy.
  • The Chapters are regional groupings of IFP member organizations representing certain geographically and/or culturally similar areas.
  • The Council is composed of delegates of member organizations representing different regions, cultures, countries, and minority groups. It will discuss all matters and advise the Board and is responsible for the strategic development of the IFP.

The Board is the executive organ and conducts all affairs of the IFP. It consists of the President, the past President, and the President-Elect, the Secretary General, and the Treasurer.

About WFP

The International Federation for Psychotherapy (IFP) is an organization of national, regional, and school-oriented psychotherapy societies.

Its goals are to facilitate and promote international communication among the various schools, professional groups and cultures within psychotherapy.

The IFP organizes international congresses and conferences on psychotherapy.

The IFP promotes the development of psychotherapy in practice, teaching and research and encourages and supports appropriate standards in the practice of psychotherapy.

Prof. Driss Moussaoui, M.D, President

Our Statutes

Established August 1993

Article 1: Name
  • The name of the organization is: World Federation for Psychotherapy (WFP). It is a society incorporated under Art. 60ss. of the Swiss Civil
  • English is the working language of the WFP.
  • The WFP is a federation of associations. It is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization.
  • The head office is located in the working institution of the WFP President or his/her address. It can be transferred by decision of the Board.
Article 2: Objectives

The WFP shall endeavor to unite associations of psychotherapists worldwide in order:

2.1 to promote the development of psychotherapy in practice, teaching and research;

2.2 to promote and improve contacts and collaboration among professional societies dealing with psychotherapy and belonging to different schools of Psychotherapy;

2.3 to encourage the development of standards of psychotherapy based on scientific principles and promote their application;

2.4 to promote access to psychotherapy;

2.5 to promote interest in psychotherapy, and to inform health authorities and the general public about psychotherapy, its limits and its value in treating people with mental health problems.

Article 3: Means


The WFP will pursue these objectives by:

3.1 promoting the establishment of associations of psychotherapists in all countries,

3.2 promoting contacts and co-operation between its Member Societies,

3.3 assisting Member Societies by providing information, and advice, and by disseminating information about their activities through its website and other means,

3.4 organizing World Congresses every three years, as well as other international and regional congresses and conferences on psychotherapy,

3.5 co-operating with other national and international non-governmental organizations, governmental, international and UN agencies active in the field of mental health.

3.6 using all electronic means to achieve its goals, particularly a website with regular issues of the WFP e-Newsletter.

Article 4: Membership

The WFP observes a strictly neutral stand regardless of the religious, ethnic and political stance of Member Societies.
The following shall be eligible for membership:

4.1 Associations or psychotherapy sections of associations active in the field of mental health may be Member Societies of WFP. Within them, the persons who have an appropriate academic training and are qualified as psychotherapists by their national standards, are considered regular members of the WFP. The applicant association for WFP membership must have a majority of its members fulfilling these standards, unless otherwise decided by the Board.

4.2 The associations may also include as Associate Members persons with a non-academic graduate training.

4.3 Affiliate Member Societies
These are Societies with multinational or local scope based in countries that do not have a psychotherapy society. They can also be national societies with a partial interest in psychotherapy, such as branches or scientific sections in psychotherapy. Affiliate Member Societies pay no fee to the WFP and have no voting right, but may be invited to participate to the Council activities.

4.4 Individual Membership: psychotherapists fulfilling the specific qualifications for each country where there is no Member Society of the WFP which they could join, are allowed to be individual members of WFP. In addition, qualified psychotherapy researchers with a high level publication record (as judged by the Board) can become members, be it by membership in a member association or as individual members

4.5. Honorary Membership: persons who have made outstanding contributions to the field of Psychotherapy or to the WFP may be designated by the Board as Honorary Members. Honorary Members pay no fee and have no voting right.

Article 5: Application for Membership

5.1 Applications for membership shall be addressed in writing to the president who will submit it to the Board which will, if all the requirements are fulfilled, submit the application to the Council for decision. The Council will rule on this application, admission to the WFP requiring a simple majority during its next meeting. The new Member Societies are presented to the following WFP General Assembly.

5.2 Applications of individual members are submitted and confirmed in the same way.

5.3 Honorary Membership is proposed by the Board and must be approved by the General Assembly.

Article 6: Termination of Membership

6.1 A Member Society or individual member may withdraw from the WFP by giving notice in writing, either by email or mail letter.

6.2 A Member Society or individual member acting or having acted contrary to the interests of the WFP or are no longer meeting the criteria for membership of the WFP or for any other grave reason, may be excluded. In such cases, the Member Society will be invited by the Board to express its views about the matter in question. The Board will report on the matter and may propose to the General Assembly the termination of the membership of this society and the Assembly will make a final decision on the matter.

6.3 A Member Society that dissolves itself is no more a WFP Member Society,

6.4 A Member Society or an individual member that does not pay its dues to the WFP, unless otherwise stated by the Board, is excluded from the WFP,

Article 7: Organs of the Federation

The organs of the Federation are: The General Assembly, the Council, the Board, the Committees and the Scientific Sections.

7.1 The General Assembly

7.1.1 The General Assembly represents the highest authority of the WFP. It comprises all Member Societies which are up-to-date with their fees. The General Assembly is chaired by the WFP President.

7.1.2 The General Assembly is convened every three years at the time of the WFP World Congress. The General Assembly decides by simple majority on all issues through a secret vote. The President will decide about the voting whenever it is needed.

7.1.3 Member Societies will be informed of the date and venue of the General Assembly at least 6 months prior to the meeting. Documents will be distributed 3 months before the General Assembly and comments of member societies are expected one month later. Two months before the General Assembly, the provisional agenda will be distributed to all components of the General Assembly, as well as the President’s and Treasurer’s reports.

7.1.4 President’s report and Treasurer’s report must be presented to the General Assembly,

7.1.5 The General Assembly shall appoint two auditors for the period following the General Assembly. The auditors will start working 3 months before the next General Assembly to certify the WFP accounts before presentation to the General Assembly.

7.1.6 All candidates to the elections are expected to be physically present during the General Assembly, unless prevented by circumstances acceptable to the General Assembly.

7.1.7 A write-in vote of a Member Society is acceptable.

7.1.8 No Member Society can vote if it has not paid all its dues to the WFP.

7.1.9 The General Assembly will be considered to be in session and its decisions will be valid once 15 % of its members who fully paid their dues are present. If this quorum is not reached, an e-mail ballot will be organized.

7.1.10 Each Member Society will be represented physically or virtually by its President or by a person officially designated to represent it. The virtual presence needs to be confirmed by the Member Society following international standards.

7.1.11 Members of the Council and WFP President’s advisors, Chairpersons of Standing Committees, Scientific Sections and Honorary Members have the right to attend the General Assembly, but without voting rights, unless they represent a Member Society during the General Assembly.

7.1.12 The WFP President may invite observers to attend and to speak at the General Assembly. They have no voting rights, unless they have been designated by a member society to represent it.

7.2 The Council

7.2.1 The Council is composed of ten Presidents of Member Societies whose names have been proposed to the General Assembly by the Board. The Council meetings may be attended by advisors selected by the Board ..
The Council meets informally and is chaired by the President in order to provide its members with information about work under way and obtain advice about WFP activities.

7.2.2 As a rule, such meetings will not be convened more than twice a year and will be named Council Meetings. Council Meetings will not require a quorum and the recommendations made by those attending the meeting will have the nature of advice to the Board.

7.2.3 The Council may nominate candidates for the Board.

7.3 The Board

7.3.1 The Board is the executive organ of the WFP and conducts all its affairs on a daily basis, in accordance with the statutes and the bylaws, the decisions of the General Assembly and the advices of the Council. The Board is elected by the General Assembly on the basis of proposals made by the Nomination committee established by the Board. Its term of office is 3 years. It starts its term at the end of the triennial meeting of the General Assembly usually coinciding with the World Congress of Psychotherapy.

7.3.2 The WFP Board is composed of maximum of five members. Members of the Board including the President may serve for a maximum of two successive terms. As much as possible, a geographical balance should be reached in the composition of the Board.

7.3.3 The Board consists of the President, the President-elect, the Secretary General and the Treasurer, as well as a “member at large”. As a rule, the Board shall meet at least once every two months, either face to face or virtually.

  •  The President chairs the Board meetings and decides, after consultation with other members of the Board, on the agenda of each meeting. The President represents the WFP in every administrative or judicial matter. The President chairs the General Assembly of the WFP where he/she will report on the activities of the WFP in the interim between world congresses. The President and the Board appoint advisors, one of them being the immediate IFP/WFP Past-President ex-officio who will attend all Board meetings. The advisors may be invited by the Board to attend its meetings. They will not have the right to vote.
    The President-Elect supports the efforts of the President, replaces him/her in case of absence, and prepares the WFP plan of work for the next triennium.
  • The Secretary General leads the administrative team and takes care of the archives of the WFP and its secretarial matters, especially the minutes of the Board meetings and editing the Newsletter.
  • The Treasurer, in collaboration with the President, is responsible for the finances of the WFP, and collects the fees of the Member Societies. The Treasurer keeps the accounting of the WFP up-to-date and presents the financial report to the General Assembly. All expenses by the WFP must be authorized by the Board. The accounts of the WFP must be audited every 3 years, before the General Assembly.
  • Should a vacancy arise within the Board, a replacement fulfilling the required criteria for the post will be appointed by the remaining members of the Board to act in a temporary capacity until the next General Assembly.

7.3.4 The decisions of the Board are taken by simple majority. If voting is equal the President shall have the deciding vote.

7.4 Committees and Scientific Sections

Standing Committees and Ad-Hoc Committees may be established with powers and duties to be defined by the Board.

7.4.1 Standing committees:

  • The Standing Committees shall include the Nomination Committee, the Finance Committee, the Research Committee (serving also as a Research Award Committee), and additional Standing Committees which the Board might establish for a specific purpose.
  • A Standing Committee shall have a chairperson and at least three members.
  • Standing Committees shall be appointed by the Board.

7.4.2 Ad-Hoc Committees and Scientific Sections

Ad-Hoc Committees and Scientific Sections may be appointed by the Board as the need arises in relation to specific topics.


Article 8: Finances

8.1 The financial resources of the WFP can come from:

  • annual fees paid by Member Societies and individual members,
  • benefits from World Congresses of Psychotherapy and other Congresses and scientific meetings organized by the WFP,
  • subsidies compensating the provision of technical expertise provided by the WFP; funding for specific programmes in line with the aims and objectives of the WFP.
  • Donations by private or public institutions or individuals.

The assets of the WFP will be utilized solely to meet its goals. The Board will be responsible for the financial management of the WFP in accordance with its plans and budget.

Expenditures include support for the establishment and functioning of a Secretariat, for meetings of the Board and other informational services to the WFP and for special projects carried out by various WFP components, when not covered by other sources, and decided by the Board.

Members of the Board, members of the Council and other officers will not be paid any salary or fee for their services to the WFP, nor will they be personally liable for debts incurred by the Federation. Board members will be entitled to reimbursement of travel and incidental expenses incurred while carrying out duties for the WFP. The members of the Board are entitled to a secretarial support commensurate to their activities requiring such support.

8.2 All Member Societies and individual members shall pay an annual fee as determined by the Board, on recommendation of the Treasurer and the Financial Committee.

8.3 Two auditors will be selected by the Board and validated by the General Assembly in order to audit the WFP accounts 3 months before each General Assembly.

Article 9: Change of Statutes

The Statutes can be changed by a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly.

Changes proposed by the Member Societies must be submitted to the Board at least 180 days before they are brought to a vote. The Board must make known proposed changes to the Member Societies at least 90 days before such changes are brought to a vote.

Article 10: Dissolution of the Federation

To dissolve the Federation, a three-fourths majority of all members is necessary during a General Assembly or an Extraordinary General Assembly convened by the WFP Board. The Extraordinary General Assembly decides on the use to be made of the assets of the Federation after dissolution.

On liquidation, all sums remaining within the central funds of the WFP will be distributed in accordance with the decisions of the Extraordinary General Assembly and the aims of the WFP. They will be handed over to an organization operating on similar aims. In case of dissolution, one or several liquidators are appointed.

Our By-laws to the Statutes

Established May 1997

Ad Article 4: Membership

a. Membership should on principle be limited to Societies. Individual membership is only possible if in the respective country there is no corresponding Member Society of the WFP.

b. Special associative membership will be offered to large international umbrella organizations; this will include only a nominal membership fee.

Ad Article 4: Application for Membership

The following procedure to clarify acceptance is valid:

1. After a written or verbal inquiry, a first response through the Secretary General follows (standard letter, forms).

2. The applicants then send a formal application to the Secretary General (forms).

3. The Secretary General will then induce a general inquiry among the Board members; if there are no objections then the following procedure applies:

4. The applicant will receive an answer from the Secretary General stating that “preliminary membership” has been granted.

5a. The President consults the Council.

5b. At the same time negotiations with the Treasurer about the membership fee take place; consultation with the Board.

6. If step 5. proceeds positively then confirmation of acceptance through the President.
Membership is then seen as definite after membership fees have been transferred.

Ad Article 4: Termination of Membership

a. Regular termination of membership should be in writing to the President or Secretary General as a rule 6 months prior to termination.

b. In the case of a Member not paying membership fees the following procedure is valid:

  1. 6 months after being envoiced, demand of payment will follow through the Treasurer.
  2. If payment does not follow within the next 3 months, the Treasurer will inquire about the circumstances.
  3. Depending on the situation he will propose a motion to the Board to either terminate membership or set up special financial conditions.
  4. Before the President informs the concerned member on definite termination, the Council is formally informed to consider possible objections as early as possible.
  5. Finally the President and the Treasurer together will inform the member in writing about the decision to terminate membership.
Ad Article 7.1: Members Assembly

a. The Members’ Assembly represents the highest authority of the WFP as expressed by the Statutes. It confers on the occasion of the quadrennial world congresses. Invitations to members are to be issued 6 months prior through the Board.

b. The Members’ Assembly decides by a simple majority (the exception: revision of the
statutes) on the following:

1. election of the Board Members, Council and Auditor
2. acceptance of the President’s report
3. approval of the financial report
4. stipulation of fees
5. decision on memberships
6. nomination of honorary members
7. revision of statutes by 2/3 of the members

c. Since attendance by the members may vary greatly (depending on where the congress is being held), an adequate representation of the members for elections and polls must be strived for. A distinction is therefore made in the Members’ Assembly between write-in and personal votes.

A write-in will as a rule be carried out if fundamental decisions such as statute changes are involved. Written inquiries will also be made where suggestions for the location of a congress on the one hand and for officers on the other are involved.

d. The Members’ Assembly decides on elections, current business, chosing work groups, committees, congress locations etc. The decisions of the Members’ Assembly are made by a simple majority by those representatives present:

• Individual member = 1 vote
• Delegates from Societies with less than 100 members = 2 votes
• for each additional 100 members 1 additional vote but not more than 6 votes.

The delegates must be present in person and must identify themselves. If in important polls a certain quorum cannot be reached than the Council can cancel the vote and ask for a write-in.

Ad Article 7.2: Chapters

a. The Members of a Chapter must at the same time be Members of the WFP with all rights and duties involved.

b. The Chapters have their own Statutes which must be compatible to those of the WFP. They must be approved by the Board of the WFP.

c. The Chapters have their own membership fees allowing them to carry out activities specific to their Chapter. Should the full payment of both the fees for the Chapter membership and WFP membership be too taxing, then a special solution corresponding to Art. 8 will be determined by the Board.

d. The Chapters are in charge of all regional activities and especially of organizing in the name of the WFP the congresses to take place every 2 or 4 years in their region.

Ad Article 7.3: Council

a. In order to allow for an adequate representation as requested in the Statutes the following is valid: The larger member societies (with more than 500 members) have 1 representative.
The geographic regions have as a minimum the following representatives in the Council: 
Africa 3 representatives; North America 3 representatives; South America 3 representatives;

  • Asican-Pacific Area 3 representatives;
  • Northern Europe 2 representatives;
  • Central Europe 2 representatives;
  • Southern Europe 2 representatives;
  • the United Kingdom 1 representative;
  • large umbrella organizations 1 representative.

This allotment is not to be seen as final.

b. The Council convenes as a rule on the occasion of the World Congress to take place every 4 years. The Members are notified in writing 6 months in advance. In exceptional cases, sessions may be held in-between usually within the context of a regional conference of a Chapter. The Council can furthermore be summoned through write-ins to important business e.g. location of congresses or succession of Officers of the Board.

c. Tenure of office is as a rule not more than 3 election periods (12 years). If a Council Member is not able to attend two consecutive Council meetings, he is automatically excluded from the Council.

Ad Article 7.4: Board

a. The Officers of the Board are chosen for a period of 4 years by the Members Assembly. The President and the Secretary General may each be re-elected once, the Treasurer twice. After resignation, the President usually stays on for at least a period of 2 years as Past- President Member of the Board. He acts on behalf of the President when necessary.

b. In the election of a new President (President-elect) the following procedure is valid:
1. The Board suggests to the Council at least 2 years prior to the resignation of the
President a suitable candidate as President-elect.

2. If the Council has no own suggestions, the candidate will then be suggested to the
Members’ Assembly for election. In the case of one or more suggestions, the Council will as a rule make a prior selection. However, it is explicitly the Council’s choice as to how many candidates for election it suggests to the Members’ Assembly. In each case, the Members are informed about the candidates in due time.

c. After election of the President-elect and on assuming office, the Secretary General and the Treasurer offer their resignation to the President-elect. In this way, the President-elect has the chance to influence the formation of the Board as a team. If a change is aimed for then the Council on recommendation of the President-elect will decide on which Officers to then elect. This must be confirmed by the Members’ Assembly.

d. The Officers of the Board (President, Past-President, President-elect, Secretary General, and Treasurer) share responsibility for all operational and strategic decisions taken by the Board.

e. The President is the chief executive officer of the WFP. He presides at all meetings of the WFP – of the Board, Council, and Members Assemby. He represents the WFP externally. He is ex officio a member of the organizing committee of the respective world congresses. He has the right to determine the remaining Officers of the WFP, especially the Standing Committees, except the Board.

f. The Secretary General keeps the records of the WFP, receives petitions nominating
candidates or to amend the Statutes and By-laws. He prepares the agenda for meetings in concert with the President. He certifies minutes of the meetings, the editions of the Statutes and By-laws. He certifies the Newsletter and all information to the members.

g. The Treasurer receives, disburses, accounts for, and manages the funds of the WFP under the general direction of the Board. The Treasurer submits financial statements each year to the Board and to the Members’ Assembly at the quadrennial meetings. He submits financial statements to the Auditors, sends out the annual bills, notifies members who are in arrears, and is responsible for the investments of the WFP.

Ad Article 7.5: Auditors

The Auditors present to the Members’ Assembly a report on the accounts from which may be concluded whether the Treasurer’s Report can be accepted.

Ad Article 7.6: Committees

a. Standing Committees have an advisory and preparatory function for the Board and the Council. Their tasks and formation are decided on by the President in agreement with the Board. They report to the Board every two years.

b. Ad hoc-committees are created by the President with the approval of the Board, to study specific and usually time-limited urgent issues.