1.1 Local and International Connections1.1 Local and International Connections

The inaugural meeting of CHTA took place on Feb 1, 2009. The CHTA is in the process of becoming a local chapter, or 'energy centre', of the conjoined Association for Humanistic Psychology (AHP, www.ahpweb.org, formed in 1962, now with more than a dozen related international organizations) and Association for Transpersonal Psychology (ATP, www.atpweb.org, formed in 1971, and now part of the International Transpersonal Association, ITA). The ITA (originally founded in 1978) was reincorporated on May 27, 2008 as an umbrella group for the 28 international transpersonal associations, (see the ATP Guide the Transpersonal Internet at http://atpweb.org/IntlTranspOrgs.asp) modelled on Eurotas, which is an umbrella organization for 18 European Transpersonal Associations (www.eurotas.org). David Lukoff, co-president of ATP has created a Google Group for the International Associations of Transpersonal Psychology (http://atpweb.org/googlegroup). Div 32 (Humanistic Psychology), formed in 1971, of the American Psychological Association (www.apa.org/divisions/div32) is also an inspirational organization for CHTA. For a more detailed history see section 1.3 Historical Connections in the Humanistic and Transpersonal Fields.

These internationally connected associations develop projects and activities that serve the evolution of individuals, society and culture, based on the themes of interdependence with each other and the natural world. This conjoined AHP and ATP/ITA local chapter has a particular psychotherapy focus, making it especially relevant to the current political situation regarding the new regulation of psychotherapy in Ontario.

In 2007, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care established The Psychotherapy Act, regulating psychotherapy as a profession in Ontario. A government appointed Transitional Council is being set up to create the new College of Psychotherapy and Registered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario. This College will be responsible for interpreting the new controlled act of psychotherapy and the scope of practice, set entry standards and fitness to practice, define grandparenting criteria for current practitioners, define professional obligations and ethical standards, establish a complaints, discipline and appeals procedure.

The government will consider input from the psychotherapy professional community within a two to three year window. After that, whatever has been established will be ratified, and will define the field of professional psychotherapy for many years to come. The CHTA is concerned that the modalities and values of humanistic, existential, transpersonal, psychodynamic and somatic psychology be respected and preserved within this political definition. Having a local chapter of AHP/ATP/ITP would provide a political footprint at this important time. We would thus be able to add a professional voice of established tradition that speaks for eclectic depth and holism to the dialogue between the profession and the government.

The AHP/ATP/ITP perspective on psychology, culture and cosmos, and the place of humans in the natural world, is also expanding outward, with global centres in England, Europe, Israel, Japan, Russia, India and other places. Let’s add Canada to this international network of like- minded souls through the Canadian Humanistic and Transpersonal Association.

To see how the work of the Canadian Humanistic and Transpersonal Association, the Associations for Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology, the International Transpersonal Association and Div 32 (Humanistic Psychology) of the American Psychological Association relates to a wider field, the following are collegial contacts that I encourage you to check out. Some are graduate schools or university psychology departments with a humanistic, transpersonal, existential or somatic focus. Some are professional organizations or institutions focused on personal growth or social activism. You will note that they are concerned not only with psychology, but also with culture, the arts and humanities, philosophy, social change, nature, holism, consciousness and cosmology as applied to many fields of human endeavour, including: spirituality and religion; ecopsychology, ecospirituality, sustainability and environmental activism; humanistic education, science, epistemology, research and organizational development: social justice, multiculturalism, gender studies and feminism.