The Person-Centred Association has created Working Groups that will focus and act on a variety of important and fundamental issues from a person-centred perspective.
The Working Groups are:
Advancing PC theory | Lead - Fleur Vickery: For those who are passionate about exploring person-centred theory (past, present and future) and seeing where it takes us
BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) | Lead - Vacant: Synopsis to follow
Encounter groups for communities | Lead - Francesco Coni: Building our shared definition of Encounter, and a foundation consistent with those we hope to facilitate in the encounter groups we introduce to different sectors within our communities
GSRD (Gender, Sexuality and Relationship Diversity) | Lead - Rachael Peacock: Open to PCA members of any gender, sexuality or relationship identity. We will focus on GSRD issues and their relationship to person-centred theory and practice
Inclusion | Lead - Gavin Dayer: Will look at the way society is structured and how barriers are created which cause a division in society in all its forms. Inclusion Ideal or Idealistic?
PC Migrant Therapists | Lead - Vacant: Synopsis to follow
PR Working Group (Public Relations) | Lead - Jenny Watkins: This group will focus on creating and implementing a strategy that will promote The Person-Centred Association and the person-centred way of being; and it will support other Working Groups with PR
Pre-Therapy | Lead - Rab Erskine: Synopsis to follow
Promoting Person-Centred Therapy as a non-pathologising therapy | Lead - Kim Lewin: Synopsis to follow
The Environment and Climate Crisis | Lead - Susan Coldwell: The scientific community is in agreement that damage to our environments could soon be irreversible. What can we do to raise awareness, to support clients and engage our personal power to bring about change?
Each Working Group will meet monthly online and the Group Leads will meet with The Trustees quarterly. The Working Groups will have Terms of Reference from which they will co-create the aims, objectives and plans for their group.
UPDATE 28 April 2020
Working Groups are Still Recruiting
All the working groups need volunteers to support the vital work they are doing on various issues from a person-centred perspective. The commitment to the group is to participate in monthly on-line meetings for a minimum of one year. Below are synopses that have been provided by the Lead of each group (although we have already highlighted the PR and Inclusion Working Groups, their synopses are listed here too). All groups have interesting and exciting areas that they are focussing on. You do not need to be an expert in any of them; you just have a passion about the approach and want to contribute to widening its application.
Advancing the Theory of the Person-Centred Approach Working Group
The task of creating a synopsis, ‘Advancing the theory of the person-centred approach’, is a paradox in itself. The group is passionate about the person-centred approach, hoping to connect with others who share that passion, with a view to exploring the theory - past, present and future - and seeing where it takes us.
Climate Change and the Environment Working Group
The scientific community are in agreement that we are now in a state of planetary emergency, and if we don't act immediately the damage to our way of life could be irreversible within the next 11 years. With governments still choosing to ignore the current level or threat, deny the science and distort the truth, organisations such as extinction rebellion (XR) have been growing in strength and numbers as people look for a way of making their voices heard.
With scientist, teachers and doctors all joining XR, discussions are going on about the emphasis on arrests within XR and implications for professionals such as ourselves. It's time for us all to consider where we stand on the issue of societal change and climate justice. What can we as therapists do (if anything) to support this movement and raise awareness within our communities? What steps do we need to take both as an organisation and as individuals to tackle the climate emergency? How do we support our clients who may be waking up to the realities of this emergency; clients who may be facing arrest or court for the first time in their lives? How can we engage our personal power to bring about change? If you would like to join the conversation then maybe you should consider joining our working group on Climate Change and the Environment.
Education and Training Working Group
It’s early days for us being a relatively new addition to the exciting vision of the Trustees, so for now the focus of the Education and Training Working Group is precisely that: looking at how the person-centred approach can best be facilitated, developed and promoted in more formalised CPD and educational settings. We have a solid and passionate team of individuals in place who have a very real stake in the promotion and development of PCA training, and we’d love to broaden this further. Please do get in touch!
Encounter Groups Working Group
Participants will focus on agreeing on a shared definition of Encounter Groups by way of discussing personal experiences and person-centred theory. We will have a clear scope to build a foundation for a working alliance for our Working Group that is consistent with the alliance that we would be looking to transmit to the actual encounter groups that we will be looking to set up in our communities for example in Universities, Charities, the Public Health & Social Care Sector, the Public and the Private Sectors.
Gender, Sexual and Relationship Diversity (GSRD) Working Group
Open to members of any gender, sexuality or relationship identity. We focus on Gender Sexual Relationship Diversity (GSRD) issues and their relationship to person-centred theory and practice. We are currently considering how GSRD issues are approached within training settings and areas for further development that ensure person-centred practitioners are well-prepared and receptive to the lived experiences of the GSRD clients they may work with.
To ensure our discussions are holistic, we aim to adopt an intersectional approach to GSRD topics (i.e. that people have interconnected social identities such as ethnicity, age, class, ability etc. in addition to gender and/or sexual identity). A key consideration of the group is to find ways to build deeper awareness and dialogue regarding GSRD issues within the person-centred approach.
Inclusion Working Group
Words and terms and phrases like Inclusion are a social construct in the sense that we don't need them because we are all human and, in an ideal world, we should work together accordingly. However, society does not work like that so terms such as 'inclusion' and 'disability' are used to identify a sub-section of the population to make it easier for the structures of that society to function, i.e. what part of the economy do we fit into. "It's not that society actually cares". What does inclusion mean? Inclusion can take many forms and 'inclusion' is more than physical barriers. People need to start thinking beyond the ramp. Full inclusion is to do with attitude and actually including an individual - disability or not - as inclusion is about accepting everyone and working together on those terms. In other words, there needs to be an attitude sea change in the way in which we view disability. I am Gavin. I only have a disability because society says I have. Disability in itself is a social construct and doesn't actually exist if you look at it from a phenomenological perspective. Therefore it should be an individual's choice on whether they accept or reject the label that society gives them, but the way in which society is structured it is very difficult to do this. Furthermore, if an individual wants to be included in society, it is seen that they need to play by the rules that the label affords them.
Inclusion is a very complex area and needs further discussion. As regards therapy and looking at it from a person-centred perspective, I believe as a therapist that we need to see where the individual sits on the spectrum of the above argument. Have they accepted, rejected or sought advantages from either their disability or their attempt to be included in society? A person's perspective is very individual to them and should be heard as such.
PR Working Group
All of the Working Groups are focussing on raising awareness of important aspects of life through the lens of the person-centred way of being. The PR Working Group will focus on the strategy of increasing awareness of The Person-Centred Association and the Person-Centred Approach through all forms of media; we aim to increase the public’s understanding of the Person-Centred Approach; we will support the other Working Groups as they become ready to promote their aims; we will look at the brand image including logos, colours, fonts, the way we write certain things about the Association. These are just some of the examples of this group’s work. We have a lot to do, but we can do it. We need five more people to join our group so that we can make quicker headway through our tasks. You do not need to have experience of PR, as mentioned previously. We are looking for people who are excited about being part of a team that really wants to ‘shout from the rooftops’ about the Person-Centred Approach!
Pre-Therapy Working Group
This group plans to focus on building a wider awareness of Pre-Therapy and the work of the Pre-Therapy International Network in the UK. Our hope is to create opportunities to share the Pre-Therapy model with a wider audience, alongside developing better links and networking opportunities for individuals and groups who would like training in Pre-Therapy.
If your interest is piqued by the above please contact Terri Tivey (firstname.lastname@example.org).