History

JL Moreno (c.) sitting with Zerka Moreno and Monica Zuretti (r) and Rojas Bermudez and Marta Pundik (l) among others, 1968 congress in Buenos Aires

Summary

The International Association for Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes (IAGP) holds a significant role in advancing the practice and theory of group psychotherapy and group processes. By providing a platform for professionals from diverse cultural backgrounds to connect, learn, and share their expertise, IAGP contributes to the evolution of group psychotherapy and group processes on a global scale. Through its commitment to fostering international cooperation, promoting specialized knowledge, and facilitating networking opportunities, the association plays a vital role in enhancing the understanding and application of group psychotherapy and group processes for the benefit of individuals, organizations, and societies worldwide. The history of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy (IAGP) is characterized by the collaborative efforts of influential figures in the field. Formally established during the 5th Zurich Congress in 1973, the IAGP emerged as a significant force in the realm of group psychotherapy.

Early days and Pioneers

Beginning in 1951 and during the following years, an array of prominent individuals from diverse countries came together to shape the organization. In those years the fundament of IAGP was built up under the leadership of JL Moreno (USA) and thanks to the long lasting and decisive support of SH Foulkes (UK), S. Lébovici (France), J Bierer (UK), E Spaltro (Italy), R Sarro (Spain), R Schindler (Austria) and many other experts of the field.

The final foundation of IAGP in 1973 took place in Zurich with JL Moreno (USA) as the main founder and the notable co-founders Malcolm Pines (UK), Adolf Friedemann (Switzerland), Anne Ancelin Schützenberger (France), Raymond Battegay (Switzerland), Samuel Hadden (USA), Raoul Schindler (Austria), Jay Fidler (USA), Zerka Moreno (USA), Grete Leutz (Germany), Ambros Uchtenhagen (Switzerland), Heika Straub (Germany) and Anneliese Heigl-Evers (Germany).

The founding of IAGP marked a significant milestone in the history of group psychotherapy. These visionary individuals played pivotal roles in the establishment of IAGP, adhering to Swiss Civil Code guidelines for its incorporation. The organization’s formation allowed for a coordinated international effort to advance the discipline, transcending geographical boundaries and uniting professionals with a shared vision.

Notably, J.L. Moreno, who assumed the honorary presidency, contributed to the organization’s foundational principles. The association’s leadership also featured President: Samuel B. Hadden M.D., USA, First Vice-President: George Vassiliou M.D. Athens, Greece, Second Vice-President Anneliese Heigl-Evers M.D., Germany, Treasurer: Zerka T. Moreno, USA, Secretary-General Adolf Friedemann M.D..

Through its history, IAGP has maintained a commitment to the global advancement of group psychotherapy and group processes. The organization’s formation enabled international collaboration and knowledge exchange, facilitating the dissemination of innovative practices and research in the field.

Nowadays

Today, IAGP stands as a testament to the enduring dedication of its co-founders and the countless professionals who have since contributed to its mission. Its historical roots are a testament to the collective vision of fostering excellence in group psychotherapy on a worldwide scale.

As part of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations, the Golden Almanac of IAGP was created thanks to documents from various relevant archives, including those of G Leutz, A Schützenberger, and R. Battegay, which were collected by Marco Greco, Maria Cristina Sidoni and Jorge Burmeister. The documents were evaluated, examined, and designed under the management of Deniz Altınay, board member and chair of the 50th Anniversary Celebration Task Force Committee.

This Almanac is the first example of a continuously expanding and enriching document that will allow you to get to know IAGP more closely. The history of IAGP has been written collectively by its founders, all members, presidents, executive boards, and supporters. This great effort will receive the recognition it deserves.