Dear friends and EFTA members,
It is with deep sadness that I have to announce the untimely death of Mony Elkaïm, who passed away this Friday, November 20, in Brussels, after a long battle with illness.
To all those who knew him, Mony leaves the memory of a man with exceptional charisma, of a brilliant theorist, of an extraordinary therapist with unique intelligence and intuitions. He was a pioneer of family therapy, which he helped introduce in Europe.
After training in neuropsychiatry at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB, Brussels) and a stay in the United States, upon returning to Belgium he created in 1979 in Brussels the Institute of Family and Human Systems Studies with which he organized the first major international family therapy congresses in Europe in 1981, 1983, 1986 and 1989, to which were invited the American and European pioneers of family therapy as well as representatives of antipsychiatry (whose network he had coordinated in the 1970s). These congresses served as models for those subsequently organized by EFTA. After coordinating (with Maurizio Andolfi) the European network of family therapists, he was at the origin of the foundation of EFTA which he chaired for many years until. After the subdivision of EFTA in 3 chambers, he became chair of the chamber of Training Institutes (EFTA-Tic). Mony was always concerned with defending the status of European family therapists.
In 1979, he also created the first French-speaking family therapy journal – the “Cahiers critiques de thérapie familiale et de pratique de réseaux” – which published both translations of the American texts of the pioneers in our field and articles testifying to the development of these practices in European countries.
Mony Elkaïm was an outstanding, internationally recognized trainer in systemic family therapy, stimulating the deployment of the sensitivity and skills of the many therapists he trained and supervised around the world.
Head of training, Institut d’Etudes de la famille et des Systèmes Humains, Brussels.
You can send your messages of sympathy to this address: Read more…
Response to Covid-19 and the ongoing effects of the global pandemic
While the pandemic remains a global health emergency that we must be aware of in our daily lives to keep ourselves, our clients, colleagues, and students safe, we are entering a phase of living with a level of disease and also trying to emerge from lockdown in a safe way. What we know for sure is that the economic impact of the virus will be felt by the economically disadvantaged nations and the most vulnerable groups within our societies. The virus has challenged us to redefine our relationships with technology, travel, and the physical spaces that we inhabit in our home and working environments. Many of our members will be returning to a changed working environment with less resources but many more demands as families struggle to come to terms with a future that was not expected could not be predicted. The lesson of history teaches us that a global pandemic has an impact on the mental health and emotional resilience of whole nations. You will see from the notifications on our website that systemic therapists are uniquely placed and have begun to document, research, and comment on this in the public and professional sphere.
On behalf of the EFTA board
Monica Whyte Read more…
Digital Systemic Practices in Europe: a Survey before the Covid-19 Pandemic
Journal of Family Therapy – Special Edition on Race and Culture
The impetus given to the Black Lives Matter movement and to protests against racism around the world by the brutal killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in the US is an invitation to all of us to urgently examine our place in this struggle. This special edition represents an opportunity for systemic authors to describe the ways that colonialism, racism and structural inequalities are present in our lives and to delineate the ways that family therapy and systemic practice can respond.
Some suggestions for Optimizing and Continuing Training in a time of Crisis
EFTA Board and EFTA Training Standards subcommittee have decided that in these times of the Corona virus we have an important opportunity for sharing information on Training in Family Therapy. The current pandemic calls for EFTA to consider how best we can help our members and ourselves.
These brief points aim to initiate discussion and reflection on the developments and to facilitate to learn from each other across Institutes and countries.
We welcome and strongly encourage comments and proposals strengthening the EFTA voice during this crisis. Read more
EFTA and Coronavirus Crisis
The entire world and Europe especially, is currently experiencing a crisis caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic that is testing a set of essential systems in modern society:
Public Health as an intervention system, the group of Elderly People with many special characteristics and as an important risk group, the Economic and Social System that faces internal structural changes of great consequences in the immediate future, the Family System that faces a relationship game with confinement measures that tests internal relationships, allowing to discover not only the difficulties that already existed but also many resilient capacities that create new relational futures, the Education and Training Systems that open many new networks of group work, work with Populations at Risk of Exclusion and work situations with the Immigrant Population with workers who face with great dedication and creativity the day-to-day of emergencies, Protection Systems such as the Police and Firefighters who are become messengers and agents for the respect of the interventions ones programmed.
Facing the consequences at the Individual Psychological Level of the changes that are taking place and facing Grief as a reality in many particular situations, Research and reflection on the implementation of Intervention Programs and many other things.
When we find all these realities today we are talking about crises, systems, communication and relationships, individual group and psychological structures, families, research and training programs, etc.
To speak and confront all this is to gather the essentials of systemic-relational thinking and systemic family work.
We are talking about what is the heart of an association like ours, the EFTA which is also located in Europe: France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium, United Kingdom, Ireland, Hungary, Croatia, Holland, Denmark, Poland, Serbia , Lithuania, Czechia, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Norway, Sweden …
This is our reality in the present times, we are there and we must do it expressing our solidarity and closeness with those most affected and with those who are giving their all to face this crisis and we must also be able to open the paths of change that this crisis situation is generating. To do this, I would suggest that a letter of solidarity and closeness with those most affected by this situation could be present on our website and that Cim members could find a space where they can suggest ways of intervention for specific situations that could be collected and developed in a near future.
Crises allow us to discover capacities for change and this is essential in our association, at EFTA.
A big hug to everyone without risk of contagion.
Juan Antonio Abeijon
EFTA-CIM Board Member
AAMFT’s At Home series is a new free series featuring some of the most innovative systemic thinkers sharing their insights from past cases, developmental work in various specialties, and professional anecdotes and personal reflections – from the comfort of their own homes to you in yours. Never before has our profession faced such unique challenges and we hope you will join us as we reconnect in our most intimate settings around what makes systemic therapy so fundamental to today’s realities and tomorrow’s future.
Information Read more…
Help EFTA grow!
- Encourage professionals, Training Institutes and National Federations you consider eligible to join. (Refer to the websites of the 3 Chambers for membership categories and criteria).
- Promote EFTA to students and trainees, supporting them to apply for associate membership.