Luigi Onnis passed away…

Dear Friends,

What a sad Christmas for all of us.
On 24th December in the afternoon Gigi died. He left us suddenly. Our sadness is infinite, inexpressible. Gigi leave us an emptiness immensely painful. We will miss enormously his kindness, his sweetness, his patience and his generosity. Rigourus and indefatigable worker, always available, always ready to listen with a positive and constructive attitude, with his discreet and welcoming presence. Always respectful with regard to history, deeply convinced about the strength of the systemic thinking, passionate by the complexity of context’s interdependences,  and by the incessant and detailed search of family therapy recognition and of family therapist’s professionalism in Italy and Europe.

At the anniversary of EFTA in February 2015, in Leuven, these were the last sentences of his discourse:  “Paraphrasing a Beatles’s song “All you need is Love”, I think we can say that today “All we need is a systemic culture” because it is the culture that allows in our globalized world to put in respectful and affective relations, all these identities and specificities that otherwise risk to disappear in the contemporaneous globalization. And I’m very trustful that EFTA in the future will perform this important task of diffusion of a systemic culture of interdependence and complexity”. Luigi Onnis, EFTA Honorary President.

Read the 3 memories from Luigi Onnis about EFTA

Anne Chouhy,
Chair EFTA CIM

Welcome from the New EFTA CIM Chair

The Chamber of Individual Members of EFTA (EFTA CIM) brings together a whole range of professionals including social workers, nurses, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, as well as occupational therapist who have completed an accredited training in Family Therapy and/or the Systemic approach, that work with families, couples and larger systems.

We currently number 1.100 individual EFTA CIM members from 29 European countries, including also Israel, Malta, Brazil, Chile, Canada, Mexico, Senegal, U.S.A. and Turkey. Most members are from France, Belgium, and Greece yet we encourage subscriptions from all other cultures, in order to create a richer context for exchange and learning. The web site allows our members to establish and maintain contact and interact.

We are indebted to our former EFTA CIM President Jacques Pluymaekers and cofounder of the EFTA network for his dedication and ongoing contribution to EFTA CIM. The EFTA General Board unanimously elected him, as Honorary President of EFTA, in Istanbul, in October 2013. As the new chair of EFTA CIM I feel responsible to continue as well as respect his work and founding principles.

The EFTA CIM board also elected in Istanbul consists of an almost new and very motivated group of people, who intend to work hard, having in mind as a common goal, for CIM members to feel that our membership in EFTA is worthwhile. We are determined to reach out for more members and encourage creative activities such as Journals, meetings and exchanges.

The new EFTA CIM Board is: Anne Chouhy (chair) (Italy), Juan Antonio Abeijon Merchan (Spain),  Thierry Darnaud (France), Christian Defays (Belgium), Eric Louis (Switzerland), Martine Nisse (France).

Being an EFTA CIM member for a long time I have come to realize that the purpose and essence of EFTA is to offer us, family therapists, a sense of belonging together with individuals that share common professional interests, as it also encourages the expression of our different views in personal, professional, societal and cultural levels. In my understanding, the Systems perspective serves as an umbrella, as a unifying set of meta-theoretical constructs that creates for the different Family therapy approaches a rich context and a way to exist together. Our common focus is the family as the primary unit in which we become human.

One of the primary goals of EFTA is the creation of a legal context for our profession to exist since Systems oriented Family therapists have been faced with many difficulties in being accepted in the medical world. Individuals with a holistic, analogical and ecological view created space for viewing human systems (individuals, families and social groups) in ways that are not linear, excluding, or symptomatic but in relationships, processes, patterns and in contexts. Viewed under this philosophy, EFTA CIM unites individuals and creates a context in which we can identify who we are, create a network, communicate and cooperate. A context we can grow and create new ideas and approaches.

Further, I find that it is our responsibility to have educational criteria and appropriate training to face challenges in our own profession, toward our clients, as well as the larger systems that we intervene. This is very important so that our approach can be a part of the mainstream traditional educational and professional settings. Having this in mind, it becomes necessary to have a prominent presence, by making our work evident, effective and of high quality. EFTA CIM’s major objective is the professional exchange between family therapists in Europe, in order to share their experience, their practice and their research.

We live in times were the global reality is changing tremendously, and our societies are in need for approaches that focus on the care of people, their relationships and the systems in which they interact and develop. Furthermore we are also in need to feel connected with other professionals. Individual membership and active involvement in EFTA CIM, expands our point view and makes our voice stronger. Ideas and suggestions but most of all active involvement are very important. The strong voice of the individual in the collective is a priority of EFTA CIM as a means for growth and development, so what is in one is in the whole.

Anne Chouhy

EFTA CIM Chair