The European Family Therapy Association (EFTA) was established in 1990 at the initiative of the European Family Therapy Network. This network, which was formally created in 1986, had grown via informal meetings which took place at important conferences in the field dating back to 1983.
From 1990 to 2001, the association was made up exclusively of qualified and experienced family therapists in Europe and Israel.
Since 2001, EFTA has established a new structure made up of three “chambers” (the Chamber of: Individual Members – CIM; National Associations – NFTO; Training Institutes – TIC,) thereby giving space for national associations for family therapy and training institutes to represent their particular interests.
This structure is governed by new statutes. These give as a mission to EFTA to increase exchanges between family therapists as much as between training institutes and the national associations which bring family therapists together in their countries.
It is a question of:
- Linking and co-ordinating the European national associations, the training institutes and individuals in the field of systemic and family therapy;
- Promoting the highest levels of ability and quality in practice, research, supervision and training in family therapy and its related activities;
- Facilitating European co-operation and exchange of ideas and experience between different associations, institutions and individuals who are concerned about medical, legal, social, psychological, gender, ethnic, cultural and economic issues, along with other human experience in relation to systemic thinking and practice;
- Disseminating throughout Europe information concerning family therapy and systemic approaches to individuals, institutions and organisations concerned with health and the development of families and human systems;
- Promoting research, conferences, publications, audio-visual material and other scientific information in this field by means of meetings and all manner of appropriate communication;
- Improving professional training in the area of systemic and family therapy at regional, national and European levels, and encouraging exchange between individuals and professional centres;
- Creating links with other organisations that have similar objectives to EFTA, as much within as outside Europe.
Every three years the association organises an international family therapy conference. Eight conferences have already taken place in different European centres: Sorrento, 1991; Athens, 1994; Barcelona, 1997; Budapest, 2001; Berlin, 2004; Glasgow, 2007; Paris, 2010; Istanbul 2013.
EFTA-CIM has around 1100 members spread over 29 countries of Europe (and Israel).