AHPb Extraordinary General Meeting 

Saturday 25th March 10:30am – 6:00pm
The Open Centre, 188 Old Street,
London, EC12V 9FR 

Dear Members,

As you will likely be aware at the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held on the 3rd December last year, the members present voted to deregister as a charity and form a new wholly independent Association simply governed by the membership, with a constitution (initially using AHPb’s 1990s constitution).

Over the weekend 3rd – 4th February Lucy, Richard and Tim gathered with Jill Hall, a long time member, to explore the current situation regarding AHPb and future possibilities. We felt it was a very useful, realistic and dynamic exploration and we emailed you on 13th February with a summary of where we have got to as a Board. We decided to bring our proposals to you for wider explorations, together with resolutions to vote on at the forthcoming Extraordinary General Meeting to be held on Saturday 25th March at The Open Centre in London beginning at 10:30am. 

The future of AHPb continues to hang in the balance and your active participation in the Association will determine whether it has a new lease of life or whether it closes down. We do not see the Association having a meaningful life run by a few Board members. Without a wider active base of members coming forward the Association is likely to close.

We would love to see 20, maybe more members joining with us at this forthcoming 25th March EGM being held at the Open Centre beginning at 10:30am. Please join with us to help shape a way forward. It is actually a very creative time whatever decision is arrived at. Please consider putting this date in you diary now!

Please let us know whether or not you are coming to the EGM.We would love all of you to respond and share with us your views at this time. Please email lucyscurfield@freeuk.com.

Below are:

  • Details of the EGM Saturday 25th March. 
  • Details of a new Bursary Fund towards travel costs for members to attend meetings where there is financial hardship. We hope there will be members of may be in a position to make a donation and might like to contribute to this fund. 
  • Details of this year’s AHPb Summer Camp to be held in July.

With warmth,
Lucy, Richard and Tim. 
AHPb Board Members.

AHPb Extraordinary General Meeting
Saturday 25th March 2023
Open Centre
188 Old Street
London EC1V 9FR

2 mins walk from Old Street Station
10:30am – 6:00pm
10.30 Arrival
11.00 Exploration of the issues.
Resolutions will be voted on during the morning or afternoon following exploration of the issues.
1.00 Lunch [Bring and share]
There will be ample time set aside for socialising and networking etc.
6.00pm Close
Where there is financial hardship, there is now a Bursary Fund to help pay members’ travel costs to AGMs and EGMs.

New Direction for AHPb? 
A summary followed by resolutions to be voted upon.

When AHPb was originally formed in 1973 it was born out of circumstances that were very different from today. Humanistic Psychology emerged in the 1950s and 1960s as a reaction to the narrow and arguably de-humanising practices of Behaviourism and Psychoanalysis. It reintroduced the core human and existential values that had somehow been lost or overlooked in conventional psychology.

Over the last 50 years Humanistic Psychology and its associated practices have had an enormous influence right across modern culture. We felt that the time has come when we should reassess whether the core founding motivations of AHPb have the same relevance and prescience today. After a detailed exploration of these questions we concluded that so much has changed and evolved during this time – namely, new technology, evolving consciousness, earth awareness and the urgency of caring for the planet, approaches to public health etc. – that the time has come for a fundamental re-assessment and institutional re-foundation in relation to the core founding concerns of Humanistic Psychology.

In this light, we are proposing several possible courses of action to address these questions. We would like any new association to reflect where we are now in 2023 and the massive changes that are taking place in human global culture and consciousness.

We decided that to continue with AHPb in its present form is no longer fitting or viable. The membership of AHPb has been declining over several decades from a pinnacle of over 1,000 members in the 1980s to under 200 today, and continuing to fall. We realised during our discussion that following the expansion of Humanistic Psychology into a vast array of creative practices, the drive towards regulation and accreditation from the early 1990s from within the helping professions, including counselling and psychotherapy, had a significant impact upon the AHPb. There was a significant shifting of focus accompanying the rise of self-appointed accrediting institutions (BACP, UKCP and AHPP) as well as the burgeoning proliferation of training businesses. Not least, AHPb members and others increasingly thought that, from a career standpoint, they needed to be aligned with the new accreditation order; and ever since, AHPb membership has been in decline.

Faced with all these circumstances we decided that the following options are the only possible ways forward. Resolution One is an evolution of the the resolution passed at the 3rd December 2022 EGM. Voting will take place  following the conclusion of our explorations.

  • Resolution One: De-registering from Companies House and the Charities Commission, and evolving AHPb into once again being a wholly independent association governed by its members with a new identity, a new name, a new constitution, and a new bank account.

    We would wish to draw into this new association a whole range of varied and creative practices including therapists, dance, body work, singing, music, the arts, poetry, creative writing, nature-centred practices, spiritual and the transpersonal, and so on – as an antidote to the takeover of modern culture by social media and ‘virtual’ relating. 
    In this evolution we reaffirm our core value, which is to have in-person facilitation of events and meetings, live and direct.

  • Resolution Two: Closing AHPb down completely.

Clearly there is a lot more to flesh out, including ideas for an appropriate name for the association that embraces a wholistic psychology of human potential, connection, and relational practice. You are invited to contribute to this evolving exploration of our association, and we warmly welcome participation from you all. We welcome you sharing your ideas with us which will be shared at the EGM. Please email lucyscurfield@freeuk.com.

 We hope you will want to come to this meeting – please consider putting this date in your diary now! 25th March EGM at The Open Centre, 10.30am – 6pm.

Lucy Scurfield, Richard House, Tim Broughton
AHPb Board of Trustees