Open letter about EABCT conference in Jerusalem

Last summer over 2,200 persons, including over 500 children, died in Israel’s appalling assault on Gaza. We can only imagine the ongoing physical and psychological suffering of those who survived. Just one year on, the European Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapists (EABCT) has chosen Israel as the location for its 2015 annual conference.

Rather than help participants acknowledge the dire psychological consequences of the Occupation, the organisers invite overseas participants to regard Israel as a successful, vibrant, multicultural tourist destination.

Therapeutic work is an ethical practice that protects against the possibility of replicating or legitimising abusive power relations between unequal participants. While psychotherapists instinctively endorse efforts at conflict resolution through interpersonal contact, to promote ‘dialogue’ in the abstract shows a deplorable lack of attention to these principles.

The British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists passed a critical resolution on this issue at their 2014 AGM. The Palestine Union of Social Workers and Psychologists have also condemned the choice of venue. We therefore call on the EABCT to re-locate to another country or cancel this Conference. We hope that clinicians who are seriously considering whether or not to attend will reflect on the realities of life in Jerusalem, and ask themselves if attending such an event is consistent with their ethical responsibilities as mental health professionals.

Yasser Abujamei, Executive Director, Gaza Community Mental Health Programme Palestine

Mary Adams, Psychoanalyst UK

Aida Alayarian, Refugee Therapy Centre UK

Jane Alderton, Clinical Psychologist UK

Mohamed Altawil, Founder Palestine Trauma Centre UK

Dr Shazad Amin, Consultant Psychiatrist UK

Ben Amponsah, MBACP (Accred), MBPsS Psychotherapist UK

Mahmoud Amro, Master in Community Mental Health Palestine

Murad Amro, Clinical Psychologist Palestine

Lene Meyer Andersen, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist UK

Riad Arar, Palestine Union of Social Workers and Psychologists Hebron Branch Palestine

Paul Atkinson, Psychotherapist Free Psychotherapy Network Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy UK

Richard Bagnall-Oakeley, Integrative Adult & Child Psychotherapist (UKCP Reg.) UK

Teresa Bailey M.A., Psychoanalytic Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, UKPMHN Steering Group UK

James Barrett, Psychotherapist Leamington Spa UK

Carol Beck, Counsellor UK

David Bell, Psychoanalyst, Consultant Psychiatrist UK

David Bell, Counsellor and Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist UK

Dr Jessica Benjamin, Psychoanalyst USA

Elizabeth Berger MD, Child Psychiatrist, New York USA

Susan Berry, UKCP Psychotherapist UK

David Black, Psychoanalyst UK

Jacqueline Blyth, ClynPsyD, Paediatric Psychologist ABPsS UK

Steven Botticelli, PhD., NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis USA

Matthew Bowes, UKCP Registered Body Psychotherapist UK

Kerry Brookfield, RMN Community Psychiatric Nurse UK

George Bunting, Systemic Practitioner/Social Worker UK

Afshan Chaudary, Psychologist in Plinical Psychology, PgDip CBT UK

Miles Clapham, Child and Adolescent Consultant Psychiatrist, UK

Isabel Clarke, Consultant Clinical Psychologist. BABCP Accredited UK

Sophia Christie, Director Organisational Consulting at UKPrime Ltd, UK

Lorenzo Cionini, Professor of Clinical Psychology University of Florence Italy

Marie-Laure Colonna, Psychoanalyst France

Dr Jacqueline Conway, General Adult Psychiatrist UK

Sarah Cooke, Jungian Psychoanalyst (SAP/BPC) UK

Catherine Corker, Psychologist In Clinical Training, PgDip in CBT UK

Dr Anne Crowley, ClinPsyD. Cat. Therapist., C.Psychol. Principal Clinical Psychologist UK

Diane Cunningham, Psychotherapist UK

Dr Mike Crawford, Psychiatrist UK

Susannah Crump, Counsellor and Mindfulness Teacher UK

Dr Nadia Taysir Dabbagh, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist PhD MRCPsych (UK) Dubai

Yasser ad-Dab’bagh, MD, FRCPC, FIPA, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Psychoanalyst Canada

Eileen Davidson, Psychosynthesis Psychotherapist UKCP (retired) UK

Nick Davis, Psychotherapist UK

Atie Dekker, RMD Dip, BSc in MH studies, PG Dip CBT, PDU nurse lead UK

Yvonne Deutsch, (MSW), Social Worker and Therapist Israel

Gary Duffield, MBChB MRCPsych Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist UK

Dr Victor Duhr, Child Psychiatrist France

Gina Dunstan, Psychotherapist UK

Christine van Duuren, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and Specialty Doctor in Psychiatry / Psychotherapy UKPMHN Steering Group UK

Liz Edwards, Psychotherapist BACP UK

Luise Eichenbaum, The Women’s Therapy Centre Institute, New York City USA

Irial Eno, MSc Researcher, (Mental Health of Palestinian Children) UK

Ruth Fallenbaum, Ph.D Psychologist USA

Juliana Farha, Psychotherapy Student UK

Jason Farmer, CBT Therapist, Early Intervention Team, UK

Dr Derek Farrell, Principal Lecturer in Psychology, BABCP Accredited CBT Therapist, EMDR Europe Accredited Senior Trainer and Consultant. President of Trauma Aid Europe UK

Angie Faust, B.Ed; M.Ed. Freelance Projects Co-ordinator

Nasreen Fazal-Short, ClinPsyD Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Director of Psychological Services UK

Jean Fisher PhD, Professor emeritus, Middlesex University UK

Dr Dene Fokias, AFBPS; Clin.Psy.D; Consultant Neuropsychologist, Accredited CBT Therapist UK

Benjamin Ford, CBT Therapist UK

Michael Foulkes, Consultant Family Psychotherapist (Retired) UK

Dr Rachel Fraser, Clinical Psychologist UK

Gemma Frisby, Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist PG Dip CBT, BSc hons UK

Harriet Gaze, Trainee Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist UK

Yoad Ghanadry-Hakim, Psychologist, PCC Jerusalem Palestine

Lynda Gilbert, B.A., PGCE, Adv.Dip.Couns., MBACP (Accred.) Psychodynamic Counsellor UK

John Gleisner, Retired Consultant Psychiatrist UK

Mayte Gómez, Ph.D. Counsellor, PCSR, Spain

Kathryn Goodman, Social Worker UK

Dr Hilary Grant, Consultant Forensic Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Clinical Director Youth Services UK

Peter James Gray, Systemic Family Therapist UK

Professor Colin Green, IMET2000 UK

Dr Sapna Gupta, MRCPsych Psychiatrist UK

Dr Suhaib Bin Bilal Hafi, MBBS, MRCPsych, MSc Consultant Psychiatrist UK

Mona Abu Hamda, Psy.D. Clinical Psychologist USA

Rasha Hammami, Psychotherapist UK

Dr Carl Harris, Consultant Clinical Psychologist UK

David Harrold, Chair of Trustees, Palestine Trauma Centre UK

Sarah Hawes, Primary Mental Health Worker (retired) UK

Irwin Z. Hoffman, Ph D, Psychologist Psychoanalyst USA

Nancy Caro Hollander Ph.D., Research Psychoanalyst USA

Amanda Hon, MA, (UKCP) Transpersonal Psychotherapist; Jungian Candidate (AJA) UK

Joel Hunter, RMN Community Psychiatric Nurse UK

Filomena Ianni, Body Psychotherapist (EABP) UK

David Ingleby, Emeritus Professor of Intercultural Psychology Utrecht University The Netherlands

Maria Iturri, Psychotherapist in private practice, UK

Dr Samah Jabr, Psychiatrist, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, Jerusalem Palestine

Chris Jackson, PHD ClinPsyD AFBPS Consultant Clinical Psychologist UK

Adib Jarrar, Dr. of Psychology, Clinical Psychologist, Organisational Development and Leadership Consultant, Ramallah and Paris

Charlotte Jarvis, M Psych Psych Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist UK

Salwa Jayyusi, Psychotherapist and Counsellor UK

Anne M Jones, Psychotherapist (BACP) School Counsellor UK

Sandy Juric, Psychotherapist, MSc UK

Joe Kai, Clinical Professor & Head of Primary Care School of Medicine University of Nottingham UK

Martin Kemp PhD, Psychoanalyst UKPMHN Steering Group UK

Fiona Kennedy, ClinPsyD Consultant Clinical Psychologist UK

Alan Kessedjian, ClinPsyD AFBPS Clinical Psychologist and Accredited CBT Therapist, Trainer and Supervisor UK

Fiona Kessedjian, RMN Community Psychiatric Nurse UK

Dr Hind Khalifeh, Consultant Psychiatrist, London

Dr Ghada Karmi, Physician, specialist in health of refugees, author.

Dr Sobia Khan, Principal Clinical Psychologist, NHS and Freedom from Torture Charity UK

Dr Birgit Kleeberg, Consultant Adult Psychotherapist and Psychoanalyst UK

Dr. Elana Lakh, Jungian Art Psychotherapist. Jerusalem, Israel

Kieran Langan, Senior CBT Therapist UK

Phil Lapworth, Psychotherapist and author UK

Lynne Layton, Psychoanalyst Boston USA

Delia Lenzi, M.D., Ph. D. Neurologo, Psicoterapeuta Italy

Hilary Lester, Psychoanalyst, Society of Analytical Psychology UK

Julian Lousada, Psychoanalyst UK

Sissy Lykou, Psychotherapist and Senior Lecturer UK

Dr. Ian McCabe, Psychologist & Jungian Analyst Ireland

Glen Macklin, Accredited CBT Therapist, Senior Clinical Supervisor to the IAPT UK

Shaz Manir, CEO Amirah Foundation UK

Hannah Marsland, CBT therapist UK

Denise Marleyn, Psychotherapist UK

Dr François Martin-Vallas, MD, PhD, Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst France

Dr Carola Mathers, MB BS MRCPSych, Jungian Analyst UK

Dr Dale Mathers Jungian Analyst, ACP UK

Gareth Megra, CBT therapist UK

Dr Aula Meki, Clinical Psychologist UK

Sheila Melzak, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist

Executive and Clinical Director Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile UK

Sherri Meese Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist UK

François Mémier Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst, President of Société Française de Psychologie Analytique (SFPA) France

Dr Maria Michail, Research Psychologist Senior Research Fellow Uni of Nottingham UK

Mariette Mignet, Psychoanalyst SFPA France

Beatrice Millar Psychotherapist UK

Dr Luke Mitcheson. D.Clin.Psych. UK

Leigh Morgan, Psychodynamic Psychotherapist UK

Ann Moriarty, PhD Clinical Psychologist UK

Khader Mubarak, Head of Counselling and Special Education, North Hebron

Mohammed Mukhaimar, MSc Psychotherapist, Founder of Sumud Palestine UK, UKPMHN Steering Group UK

Rana Nashashibi, Counseling Psychologist, Director Palestinian Counseling Center in the oPts Palestine

Rebecca Nawaz, Mental Health Occupational Therapist Birmingham UK

Mary Nielsen, MD Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst St. Louis, Missouri USA

Sofia Noreen, Mental Health Nurse UK

Lucy Nuttall, UKCP Reg Psychotherapist UK

Anne O’Shea, CBT and EMDR therapist, PGDip CBT PGDip Counselling (Person Centred), Operational Lead, IAPT UK

Vera O’Shea MA in Therapeutic Methods, RMN, CQSW, Dip in Psychiatric Social Work, Dip in Counselling, AASW UK

Dr David Quinn, Consultant Clinical and Neuropsychologist, Head of Health Psychology UK

Tamara Qumseya, PhD candidate Centre for Applied Cross-cultural Research (CACR) School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington Wellington 6140, New Zealand

Eva Pattis, Psychotherapist Italy

Eliana Pinto M.A., Consultant Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist (Retired) UKPMHN Steering Group UK

Sue Platt, Psychotherapist UKCP

Stephen Portuges, PhD Psychologist & Psychoanalyst, USA

Issa Rabadi, Palestine Union of Social Workers and Psychologists Palestine

Claire Raguet, Clinical Psychologist, Psychoanalyst, France

David Raines, MSc Cognitive Behavioural Therapist

Nicola Reid, Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist UK

Dermot Reilly, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist UK

Sigrun Reilly, BACP Accredited Counsellor in private practice UK

Dr Brian Robinson, NHS psychiatrist (Retired) Milton Keynes, UK

Anna Rose MA, UKCP Integrative Psychotherapist (retired) UK

John Rose, CBT therapist UK

Cathy Rostas. Psychotherapist FPC, BACP UK

Sylvie Rouquette, Jungian Psychologist France

Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology, University of Essex. Chair, UK Council for Psychotherapy, 2009-2012 UK

Wasseem el Sarraj, Writer, researcher, mental health professional UK

Nicola Saunders, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist UKCP UK

Maggie Schaedel, Psychotherapist UK

Professor Lynne Segal, Birkbeck, Psychosocial Studies, University of London UK

Taregh Shaban, Postgrad Diploma CBT, Masters Psychoanalytic Studies, NHS CBT Therapist and Supervisor UK

Linda Shampan, UKCP Regd. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist UK

Alice Lowe Shaw, Ph.D. Psychoanalysis for Social Responsibility USA

Lara Sheehi, Psy.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist USA

Stephen Sheehi Sultan Qaboos bin Said Chair of Middle East Studies Asian and Middle East Studies Program College of William and Mary Washington Hall, 219 Williamsburg VA 23185-8795 USA

Guy Shennan, M.A., Solution-Focused Brief Therapist UK

Nida Sharia Shuibat , Community Counsellor Palestine

Stephen Soldz, Director, Center for Research, Evaluation, and Program Development

Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis USA

Dr David Sperlinger, Clinical Psychologist Retired UK


Andrew Stevens, Clinical Psychologist, NHS Consultant, Director of CBT Programme, University of Birmingham UK

Dr Derek Summerfield, Hon Sen Lect, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, Univ of London UK

Dr Lynda Tait, PhD CPsychol MBPsS CSci UK

Luma Tarazi, CBT Therapist, Palestine Counselling Centre, Jerusalem Palestine

Eric Taylor, Counsellor UK

Jean Thompson Psychiatric Social Worker, Jungian Analyst (Retired) UK

Cathy Troupp, M.A., M. Psych. Psych., Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, UKPMHN Steering Group UK

Peter Trower, Professor of Clinical Psychology at Birmingham University School of Psychology UK

Peter Tucker, ClinPsyD Consultant Clinical Psychologist in Neuropsychology UK

Sahida Uddin, Social Worker UK

Isobel Urquhart, Free Psychotherapy Network UK

Alan G. Vaughan, Ph.D, JD Core faculty & Director of Jungian Studies, Saybrook University USA

Caterina Vezzoli, Analytical psychologist Italy

Dr Imran Waheed, MBChB MRCPsych, Consultant Psychiatrist and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, UK.

Helen Wake PgDip CBT UK

Dr Shamil Wanigaratne FBPsS Consultant Clinical Psychologist UK

Julie Ward, MEP, European Parliament Mental Health Ambassador UK

Martin Weegmann Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Group Analyst UK

Jeremy Weinstein, Psychotherapist UKCP/BACP, The Mental Health Charter (SWAN) UK

Bill White, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Clin.Psy.D, CPSYCHOL, AFBPsS UK

Kate White, Attachment-based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist UK

Maria Cecilia White, BA Hons Mental Health RMN MSc Public Administration UK

Emma Wignall Senior PWP BSc Hons PG Cert. UK

David Williams, Mental Health Social Worker UK

Lisa Williams, CBT therapist, Team Lead, Kent UK

Ruth Williams, Jungian Analyst-Analytical Psychologist UK

Stefania Williams, Psychotherapist UK

Dr Sara Willott, PhD, ClinPsyd, Clinical Psychologist UK

Lynda Woodroffe, MA, UKCP, Psychotherapist, London. UK

Adrian Worrall, DOccPsy, researcher, UKPMHN Steering Group UK

Bernadette Wren, Consultant Clinical Psychologist UK

Salma Yaqoob, Psychotherapist UK

Heba Zaphiriou-Zarifi, Jungian Analyst UKCP, IAAP UK

Daher Zeidani, Social Worker Palestine

Dr Felicity de Zulueta, Emeritus Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy and Hon. Senior Lecturer in Traumatic Studies UK

Dharma Paul, Psychotherapist, UK