EFTA Community

EFTA’s Former Presidents

Monica Whyte (2019-2022)

Rodolfo de Bernart (2016-2019) (+)
Maria Borcsa (2013-2016)
Kyriaki Polychroni (2010-2013)
Arlene Vetere (2004-2010)
Juan Luis Linares (2001-2004)
Mony Elkaïm (1990-2001) (+)

EFTA’s Honorary Presidents

Luigi Onnis (2010-2015) (+)
Jacques Pluymaekers

EFTA’s Honorary Members

Yrjo Alanen (Turku-Finland)
Jean-Claude Benoît (Versailles-France)
Donald Bloch (New-York – USA) (+)
Petr Bos (Praha-Czech Republic) (+)
Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy (Glenside-USA) (+)
John Byng Hall (London – UK)
Phillipe Caillé (Nice-France)
Luigi Cancrini (Roma-Italy)
Jay Haley (La Jolla-USA) (+)
Siegi Hirsch (Bruxelles-Belgium)
Mordecai Kaffman (Israel)
Kitty La Perrière (New-York – USA)
Monica McGoldrick (USA)
Salvador Minuchin (Boca Raton – USA)
Maria Orwid (Krakow-Poland) (+)
Mara Palazzoli-Selvini (Milano-Italy) (+)
Robin Skynner (London – UK) (+)
Carlos Sluzki (Washington – USA)
Helm Stierlin (Heidelberg-Germany)
George Vassiliou (Athens-Greece) (+)
Vasso Vassiliou (Athens-Greece) (+)
Gaspare Vella (Roma-Italy)
Carl Whitaker (Nashotah-USA) (+)

EFTA Awards

Since the EFTA congress in Budapest in 2001, the following persons have been awarded :

  • For their outstanding contribution to the field of family therapy: Petr Bos, Mara Selvini, John Byng-Hall, Ivan Böszörmenyi-Nagy, Helm Stierlin, George and Vasso Vassiliou, Bela Buda, Janos Füredi, Mony Elkaïm, Daniel Stern, Pat Crittenden, Luigi Cancrini, Miklos Kovacs, Juan Luis Linares, Boris Cyrulnik, Edith Goldbeter, Luigi Onnis, Jean-Claude Benoît, Philippe Caillé, Alan Carr, Peter Lang, Elspeth McAdam, Yveline Rey, Renos Papadopoulos, Charis Katakis, Robert Neuburger.
  • For their outstanding contribution to the work of EFTA: Barbara Kohnstamm, Roberto Pereira, Annette Kreuz, Eric Louis, Arlene Vetere, Mony Elkaïm, Mina Polemi-Todoulou, Kyriaki Polychroni, Monica Whyte, Anne Chouhy, Umberta Telfener, David Amias, Nevena Calovska, Julia Hardy, Michel Maestre.
  • For his contribution to the development of family therapy in France and his involvement to gather family therapists within the SFTF: Jacques Miermont
  • For his life time achievement in the field of family therapy: Mony Elkaïm
  • For her contribution to related fields of research and psychotherapy:  Elisabeth Fivaz
  • For their excellence in the field of research in family therapy and systemic practice: Peter Stratton, Per Jensen, Jaakko Seikkula, Maria Borcsa, Jochen Schweitzer, Angela Abela, Juan Luis Linares

EFTA’s Former Conferences :

  • Ljubljana (Slovenia) September 2022: “Systemic Resonances and interferences”
  • Naples (Italy) September 2019: “Visible and Invisible: bordering change in systemic family therapy”
  • Athens (Greece) September 2016: “Origins and Originality in family therapy and systemic practice”
  • Istanbul (Turkey) October 2013: “Opportunities in a Time of Crisis: the Role of the Family”.
  • Paris (France) October 2010: “60 years of family therapy, 20 years of EFTA… and after? New ways for systemic practice”
  • Glasgow (UK)  October 2007: “Beyond oppositions: individuals, families, communities”
  • Berlin (Germany) October 2004: “Creating futures.  Systemic Dialogues across Europe”
  • Budapest (Hungary) June 2001: “Travelling through time and space”
  • Barcelona (Spain) October 1997: “Families and therapists in different social realities”
  • Athens (Greece) April 1994: “Ethics & freedom.  Changing contexts and family therapy”
  • Sorrento (Italy) November 1992: “Feelings & Systems: a challenge for the family therapy?”

Lost Colleagues…

Mony Elkaïm

Mony Elkaïm passed away on November 20, 2020, 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.

Edith Goldbeter
Head of training, Institut d’Etudes de la famille et des Systèmes Humains, Brussels.

Rodolfo de Bernart

Our esteemed president, Rodolfo de Bernart, died on 18th February 2019.

We have lost one of the leading lights of our field, his enthusiasm, creativity, humour and passion for systemic family therapy and his commitment to our profession and its development has made a lasting impact on EFTA.

Most of all we have lost a dear friend, colleague and mentor.

« I fall asleep in the full and certain hope
That my slumber shall not be broken;
And that, though I be all-forgetting,
Yet shall I not be all-forgotten,
But continue that life in the thoughts and deeds
of those I have loved. »
Samuel Butler

Eric Louis

Eric Louis, Vice-Chair of EFTA CIM died on February 5th 2019.

Eric has been a member of EFTA for many years. After being a member of the Board and Treasurer General in 2007, he received an Award for his outstanding contribution to the development of EFTA, and specifically for his work in the EFTA NFTO Chamber. In 2013 he became Vice President of the Chamber of Individual Members EFTA CIM, and it was not until February 2018, just over 90 years, that he demonstrated, despite his desire to maintain his valuable role of experienced counselor, the need to stop.

His presence, his dynamism, his strength and his courage, and especially his expression, always smiling, will be deeply missed.

gigiLuigi Onnis

Luigi Onnis, Founding Member and Honorary President of EFTA, died on 24th December 2015 in Rome. With him, we have lost not only an important figure for our association but also a truly admired person.

After actively supporting the anti-psychiatry movement in Europe, his research was rooted in his clinical practice with psychosomatic families. His theoretical and practical work on sculptures of family time, developed in his many books, articles, training activities and conferences, marks the field of family therapy. Having been active in the European Family Therapy Network that gave birth to EFTA, he followed enthusiastically his conviction that family therapy is due to gain an accurate place in the health policies of Europe. Following this principle, he gave considerable time and energy in contributing to create clear and demanding training standards – for the sake of both, clients and therapists.

His leading role in the field of family therapy was recognized all over Europe and his tireless activity, combined with his radiant personality, aroused the admiration and feelings of friendship in all who knew him. He stays in our hearts and will always be a part of our conjoint memories.

We dedicate the first volume of the EFTA Book Series to Luigi Onnis with all our respect.

Please read 3 Memories from Luigi Onnis about EFTA (Letter from 25th Anniversary in Leuven) : English  Italiano

boscoloLuigi Boscolo

Luigi Boscolo passed away on 12th January 2015

He was the co-founder, with Gianfranco Cecchin, of the Milan Center of Family Therapy and a great master for thousand of systemic therapists all around the World.

We are sure that there is no better way to honour his memory than keeping open the conversation around the wellbeing of human systems.

pier-giuseppe-defilippiPier Giuseppe Defilippi

Pier Giuseppe Defilippi, an integral member of the EFTA-CIM Board and its secretary (2010-2013), passed away quietly on the first day of 2013.

Pier Giuseppe, “Pippo” has passed away. We were all astonished by his sudden death. All those who knew him will remenber this discrete and gracious man, anxious to be at your disposal, always listening, often with a sense of humor. All these, qualities along with his competence, made him a very professional worker, appreciated, engaged with the families he treated, happy to teach his students what was close to him more in heart: respect based on authentic ethics of responsibility. It is up to us to keep in memory all that he brought us.

Jacques Pluymaekers, Chair EFTA-CIM (2001-2013)


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