A REPORT ON THE 10TH BIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF THE EUROPEAN PERSONAL CONSTRUCT ASSOCIATION

On April 9th 2010 at the Panorama Conference Room at Belgrade‘s Palace Hotel, Prof. Dr Dusan Stojnov, the founder and president of Serbian Constructivist Association welcomed presenters and participants to the 10th Biennial Congress of the European Personal Construct Association themed Keeping up with the future: PCP in an accelerating world. The welcome remarks were a nostalgic tribute to the passage of time, a reminiscence of past EPCA conferences, setting the stage for the theme of the conference.

The keynote address on Searching to Understand: On being a psychologist in a changing world was gi ven by Miller Mair.

With around 140 attendees from Serbia, Italy, the UK, Turkey, Spain, the Czech Republic, Ireland and Germany, the Congress provided a rich program of research, workshops, discussions and cultural events. Student hosts were readily available to guide and assist. The representation of many different topics on PCP was rich, from therapy and clinical applications to Kellian notions in philosophy, to education, to cross-cultural considerations to coaching. Over the span of three and a half days, 43 papers were presented and 7 workshops were held.

After the first day of the conference, a panoramic boat cruise on the Danube was organized for the Congress attendees. In a relaxed atmosphere and with the Belgrade skyline as the backdrop, the participants enjoyed each other’s company and shared a uniquely constructivist experience.

The second day of the Congress had a full program with two workshops and 16 papers presented in three congress rooms, ending with a workshop led by Dusan Stojnov, Mary Frances and Massimo Gilberto on An Anthropology of Education: Hyperborean vs. Mediterranean approaches to teaching and a presentation on the Racconti Mediterranei summer school program by Mary Frances, on behalf of the European Constructivist Training Network (ECTN), an alliance which encompasses four psychotherapy schools -from Italy, the U.K., the Czech Republic and Serbia.

The day ended with the Gala dinner and an experience of Serbian cuisine at one of Belgrade’s finest restaurants.

The second day of the Congress had a full program with two workshops and 16 papers presented in three congress rooms, ending with a workshop led by Dusan Stojnov, Mary Frances and Massimo Gilberto on An Anthropology of Education: Hyperborean vs. Mediterranean approaches to teaching and a presentation on the Racconti Mediterranei summer school program by Mary Frances, on behalf of the European Constructivist Training Network (ECTN), an alliance which encompasses four psychotherapy schools -from Italy, the U.K., the Czech Republic and Serbia. The day ended with the Gala dinner and an experience of Serbian cuisine at one of Belgrade’s finest restaurants.The following day was filled with activity – 21 papers were presented, two workshops and two roundtable discussions were held and plans for the following EPCA congress laid out. The anticipated venue for 2012 EPCA congress is Dublin, Ireland and it will be hosted by the Irish constructivist group. The Czech constructivists enthusiastically offered to host the 2014 congress.

On the final day, 6 more papers were presented, after which closing remarks were made by the congress host, Prof. Dr Dusan Stojnov and the 10th Biennial Congress of EPCA was officially concluded. At the EPCA business meeting, the Association’s primary role was redefined as an organization sponsoring biennial conferences and promoting transnational initiatives, such as summer schools and workshops. At the conclusion the congress, an exciting, promising picture of PCP emerged. With an abundance of applications, experience and creative new ideas, through networking and international cooperation, PCP lays on strong foundations which will secure its position in a modern, rapidly changing and constantly accelerating world.