IAGP’s Bylaws

(Last revision. Voted on March 15th, 2021)


The name of the organization is the International Association for Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes, IAGP. It is a professional, incorporated, non-profit organization, registered for that purpose under the number CHE-110.173.396, according to Swiss Civil Code Article 60 ff., in the Commercial Register of the Kanton Thurgau, Kreuzlingen, Switzerland.


A. The purpose of the Association is to encourage internationally the development and study of group psychotherapy and group processes as applied to:
Clinical practice,
Scientific studies, and
Socio-cultural settings.
The IAGP promotes professional cross fertilization of ideas and practices from different cultures, disciplines and methodologies. The Association realizes its purpose without any financial interest.
B. The purpose as stated in A. will be applied within a framework of the values and conditions of the United Nations’ Charter of Human Rights, applied with the aim of strengthening egalitarian and democratic developments in social welfare and health care internationally, throughout the world.


IAGP offers both individual membership and organisational (affiliate) membership.
Individual IAGP membership provides face-to-face and virtual networking opportunities to professionals working with group psychotherapy and/or group processes throughout the world
Affiliate IAGP membership offers representatives of organisations working with group psychotherapy and/or group processes a framework to discuss and implement areas of organisational cooperation with the leadership of IAGP and representatives of other IAGP affiliate organisations.
NB: Members of IAGP’s affiliate organisations, including their IAGP representative, do not automatically become individual IAGP members. They are strongly recommended to also take out individual IAGP membership (separate payment required), so that they can join Sections and obtain other benefits of individual IAGP membership.
Individual membership is available to professionals involved in the practice, teaching or research of group psychotherapy and/or group processes, whose application for membership has been approved by the Membership Committee according to Article X1.
– Student individual membership is available to people enrolled in qualified training programmes in group psychotherapy and/or group processes
– Young Professionals individual membership and Retired individual membership are available to people who satisfy the age and professional criteria outlined in the Policies and Procedures manual.
Affiliate membership is available to organisations working professionally in the field of group psychotherapy and/or group processes, whose application for Membership has been approved by the Membership Committee according to Article XI.
NB: Individual and affiliate membership of IAGP are not to be considered as a credential, and membership cannot be presented as evidence of professional competence.


A. The title of Distinguished Fellow of the IAGP shall be bestowed upon those members who have offered exceptionally outstanding service to IAGP and to the fields of group psychotherapy and group process.
B. The title of Fellow of the IAGP shall be bestowed upon members of the IAGP who have fulfilled criteria of meritorious service and leadership in IAGP and other related organizations.


The Board of Directors determines individual and organisational membership procedures and fees, which may include different levels depending on personal and professional status (for individuals), number of members (for affiliate organisations) and country band (for individuals and affiliate organisations). These are reviewed every year to ensure that IAGP’s income from membership fees and other sources is sufficient to cover the organisation’s expenses.
IAGP offers annual membership. After two reminders, failure to renew by three months after membership has lapsed results in termination of membership. A rejoining fee may then be required for future membership.
No annual renewal is required for individuals who have paid the Life Membership fee.
Affiliate organisations that have had a lapse of membership of more than four years must submit a new membership application.
In addition, affiliate organisations must notify IAGP of any changes to their Bylaws, goals or organisational structure. If the Membership Committee determines that these changes/ amendments alter the original accepted application for membership in a significant way, a new membership application will be required.


Governance of the Association rests in the following parts and levels
1. The General Assembly of Members, GA, is the overriding structure, which has the ultimate responsibility, and the overarching decision-making authority, and directs the organization and its current affairs, elects members of the Board of Directors and the members of its Executive Management Group. The GA also elects the chairperson of the Ethics and Professional Standards Committee. Ordinary General Assemblies for the overall government of the organization, and for elections of its administration, will preferably be called for in conjunction with the International Congresses arranged by, or sponsored by, IAGP. Such International Congresses of IAGP shall be scheduled at three year intervals if possible. The membership of the GA can also meet, physically or virtually, at specific extra meetings, called for by the Board of Directors, or by 20 % or more of the membership with voting rights, according to what is regulated in Articles VII and VIII. At the triennial GA there shall be one report each from the President, the Treasurer, from one Auditor and the Committees.
2. The Board of Directors, which is responsible for the IAGP work and affairs between GA meetings, has a maximum of 27 members, all of whom have a single vote on the Board. It comprises:
a) the Executive Management Group, the Chairs of Sections and the Chairperson of CAOA, all of whom are elected directly by the General Assembly
b) General Board members, also elected directly by the General Assembly, and from whom the Board will appoint Chairs of the Finance Committee, the Membership Committee, the Education Committee, the Fellowship Committee and the Governance and Bylaws Committee.
The Chair of the Nominating Committee (elected by the Board from outside the Board) and the Chair of the Ethics and Professional Standards Committee (elected directly by the General Assembly) do not become Board members. Chairs of Ad Hoc Committees (appointed by the EMG) may or may not be board members.
The Board of Directors meet at least twice a year, face to face in connection with particular events or in virtual meetings according to Article IX. Previous Presidents are permanently invited to join the Board meetings as non-voting participants.
3. The Executive Management Group, EMG, a constituent part of the Board, consists of the six leading IAGP officials, as specified in Article VII: the President, the Vice President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Senior Executive Member and the Young Professionals’ Executive Member. They have, individually and together, as the EMG, responsibility for performing the ongoing, daily affairs of the organization between Board meetings as specified in Article VII.
4. The Committees with their chairpersons and steering assemblies as specified in Article XI
5. The Sections, with their respective chairpersons and coordinating committees as specified in Article XII.


The IAGP Official Leading Posts are the President, the Vice President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Senior Executive Member and the Young Professionals’ Executive Member. They are all full voting members of the Board of Directors and constitute, together, the Executive Management Group of the Board. A quorum for decisions in the EMG consists of not less than three participating members.
A. The President is the Executive Official of the IAGP and shall, as a rule, chair Board meetings and meetings in the EMG, unless there is a meeting or a specific issue that requires an independent chairperson, such as obvious risks from conflicts of interest, according to Article X below. The President leads, directs and promotes the ongoing work of the Association on behalf of its members, in close cooperation with the rest of the Executive Management Group. When votes are tied, during decision-making of the Board or its EMG, the President or the actual Chairperson has the Casting Vote.
B. The Vice President has a competence equivalent to that of the President. He or she stands in as Acting President, upon decision by the EMG, during shorter, and more occasional, absences of the President that prevent him/her from performing his/her duties. The Vice President has independent responsibility for primary planning and negotiating the next upcoming International IAGP congress and for other Board defined tasks, all in close co-operation within the EMG. If the President becomes indefinitely absent from and not able to exert his/her office, the Board of Directors may promote the Vice President to President of IAGP for the rest of the mandate period.
C. The Senior Executive Member is elected, in general membership elections for the administration, from the ranks of either the immediate past president of the organization or other IAGP past presidents or from other similarly experienced and highly trusted members of the association, who have successfully served in official roles of the organization. The Senior Executive Member has full voting rights in the Board and the EMG and will have some specific independent responsibilities as designated by the Executive Management Group or the Board.
D. The Young Professionals’ Member of the Board, and its EMG, is also the Chairperson of the Young Professionals’ Section of the organization, elected as such by the membership of IAGP in general membership elections for the administration. The Young Professionals’ Member has full voting rights and may have some specified responsibilities within the EMG as designated by the Board or its EMG.

E. The Secretary shall maintain the records of the association and be responsible for the framework of communications and its maintenance, including maintaining the online archives, among them the special archive containing Policies and Procedures Manual – as specified in ARTICLE XIII – and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors and its EMG.

F. The Treasurer shall have custody of IAGP funds and shall maintain full and adequate records of all transactions with records available for inspection as required by EMG members, directors and other inspectors and auditors and also for inspection in accordance with its Non-profit Status under the Swiss Civil Code.
The Treasurer shall manage IAGP funds in such banks as chosen by the Board of Directors.
By resolution, the Board shall determine additional signatories and other conditions for disbursements of IAGP monies.
The Treasurer may be required to give bond for faithful discharge of duties in such amount and with such securities as the Board of Directors may require and present, as specified in Article VI, mom. 1, at the regular General Assembly meetings, a report containing accounts approved by one Auditor.
The Treasurer, assisted by the Finance Committee, as specified in Article XI, shall also initiate the EMG and the Board, commissioning a book keeper to keep the books, an Accountant and Audit in agreement with demands in Swiss Civil Code Article 69 b.

G. Conditions for election and for re-election.
i) To promote a diverse, democratically elected Board
Any individual member of IAGP is eligible for election to the Board. There should ideally be more than one candidate for each individual post. The candidates shall represent, as far as possible, the diversity of the IAGP membership.
The term of office for all positions on the Board is three years. Individual re-election is required to serve additional terms.
ii) To promote an experienced leadership
Candidates for CAOA Chair and all positions on the EMG apart from the Young Professionals Executive Member are required to have prior Board experience from within the last three terms.
iii) To promote innovation and maximise opportunities on the Board
No person may serve as President for two consecutive terms.
Board members may serve for a maximum number of two consecutive terms, i.e. six years, apart from the circumstances in Article VII G iv, when standing for a third consecutive term is permitted. After the maximum uninterrupted tenure of six/nine years, a Board member may not stand for any Board position until a three year interval has elapsed.
iv) To promote continuity
If fewer than 50% of current Board members are eligible to stand again in a particular election, all Board members who have already served for two consecutive terms may stand for a third term only.
H. The Nominations Committee is, in the first instance, responsible for, gathering a list of vacancies for the next election, and further for collecting nominations and selecting appropriate persons, for preparing candidate lists for general elections of the IAGP administration and reporting these lists to the Board for further handling (see more below in Article XI, Committees!)


A. Meetings in the Executive Management Group, the Board of Directors, the Committees and the Sections as well as General Assembly meetings and elections, are organized primarily as face-to-face meetings. This is the preferred form of meeting, when possible, being the more established format.
B. A face-to-face meeting may, in addition, have virtual participation from a minority of members with voting privileges, provided sufficient, professionally valid, technical arrangements can be made. Proxy voting by absent members with full voting rights may also be used.
C. Decisions can also be made during virtual meetings, using dependable electronic and computer-aided technologies. Virtually aided decisions can, when carefully selected and prepared, be a good enough alternative to postponing pending decisions for too long
D. The aforementioned decision alternatives may be used in one way or another, provided that all applicable following measures are fulfilled:
The frames and techniques used, strictly and carefully follow written instructions from the Governance and Bylaws Committee, appointed by the Board. These instructions are to be found as mandatory addenda to the Bylaws and are continuously amended and updated.
All decisions are made in accordance with this Constitution and Bylaws and the Policies and Procedures Manual as stated in ARTICLE XIII – APPLICATION DIRECTIVES.
Any decision is carefully written up in minutes and the minutes found correct by the Chairperson and the deciding assembly.
Any decision arrived at through virtual means, is ratified, when and if so demanding, at the earliest available, following, face-to-face meeting.
Any assembly using internet-aided decision-making also has regularly occurring face-to-face meetings, where a quorum of assembly members is present.
E. Decisions according to this Article presupposes that a necessary quorum for valid decision making is maintained – quorum in the meaning of amount of participating voters compared to the total amount of members with voting rights:
In a General Assembly meeting of no less than 20% of the individual and/or organizational members with the right to vote.
In a Board of Director’s meeting of no less than 33% of its membership with privilege of vote,
In the Executive, in Section and Committee meetings of no less than 50 % of the voting membership of the assembly in question. In the EMG the quorum thus is 3 voters.
F. Decisions according to this Article are valid provided that written necessary information, needed for proper conduct of a decision, is sent out through the appropriate channels:
Minimum four weeks before General Assemblies and before decision-making and elections involving the general membership,
Minimum two weeks before Board of Directors meetings or decision making,
Minimum one week before decisions in other decision making instances.
G. Each individual member has the right to vote in IAGP decisions and assemblies, provided that they have fully paid their dues. The designated representative of an affiliated organization also has voting rights provided that the organizational membership fees have been fully paid. It is the responsibility of the EMG to maintain the prescription of these voting rights.


Active democratic participation in the organization pre-supposes free access to relevant information about facts and developments within, and between, different parts and holders of different posts of the IAGP. In this way every member has a principal Duty of Information, applied throughout the organization concerning matters of general importance to the membership as a whole.
Confidentiality shall only be applied in the following circumstances:
A. Facts and information about on-going, sensitive negotiations or planning work. After due conclusion the duty to inform others in the organization returns again. This point concerns economic, scientific, ethical and a variety of other material to be specified, in the last instance, by the Board of Directors and/or the General Assembly.
B. Facts and information about personal circumstances which have to be confidential in order to protect individual integrity. This applies, among other similar examples, to interviews performed by the Nominating Committee prior to making decisions for official lists of candidates.
C. Confidentiality will also cover sensitive information regarding cases of complaints about maltreatment and malpractice brought to the knowledge of the Ethics Committee and the Board, during processing the material, before official recommendations for action are made.
D. Facts and information obtained in confidence in experiential endeavours – e.g. small and large groups, workshops – during training, conferences and seminars arranged by, or sponsored by, the IAGP in accordance with the Policies and Procedures Manual.


Notwithstanding demands in the Swiss Civil Code Article 68 section 1, that states that “Each member is by law excluded from voting on any resolution concerning a transaction or dispute between him or her, his or her spouse or lineal relative on the one hand and the association on the other” the following shall also be taken into account:
If a member of a decision making assembly of the IAGP can be expected to have a greater than negligible personal gain from a decision about a specific issue – or if a close relative or beloved one, or close friend, can gain similarly – then that member shall not take any active participation in negotiations or voting about that issue. The same restriction shall be applied to anybody chairing the meeting when working with such an issue or writing the official protocol for it.
The possibility of a conflict of interest shall be considered in all IAGP decision making throughout, if necessary also leading to legal consultation before taking part in debates and decision-making. It is everybody’s personal responsibility to keep this in mind, especially for those chairing decision meetings.
The restriction does not concern election campaigning for one’s own candidacy for posts in the organization’s administration, nor does it concern voting by ballot for one’s own candidacy in its elections.


Appointments are made by the Board of Directors after proposals from the President and the Executive Management Group, unless otherwise specified.
If vacancies occur between meetings of the Board, they will be filled, upon suggestions from the President, by appointment by the EMG, informing the Board within four weeks. If vacancies among the Chairpersons of the Nominating Committee, the Government and Bylaws Committee or the Ethics and Professional Standards Committee occur between GA meetings, they will be filled for the rest of the mandate period upon suggestions from the EMG, by appointment from the Board, reported to the GA membership within four weeks.
The NC will, from information they have got about vacancies to be filled in the next election,
Prepare a list of candidates for the Official Leading Posts and Directors.
To the extent possible, seek out a wide array of nominations representative of countries, regions, cultures and specialties of group psychotherapy and group process frames of reference and,
In a balanced list, be striving to find more than one candidate for each Official Post and,
Hand this list to the outgoing Board of Directors for their review and approval by majority vote.
The list of candidates will, upon approval, be presented by the Board, to the membership in a minimum of four weeks before the election.
The NC chairperson is elected by the Board of Directors. The elected Chairperson, in consultation with the EMG, selects four more committee members, two from the membership and two from the Board of Directors to form the NC. All members of the Nominating Committee shall be experienced members of the Association, since three years or more, also having good and rich knowledge of the membership of IAGP.
This committee consists of the EMG plus five more members from the country where the next IAGP International congress is to be held. Presiding officials for the Pre-congress and Congress will also be members of the COC. The COC will be responsible for choosing responsible leadership, negotiating overall conditions for the endeavor with special regard to national law and other relevant conditions, and convey relevant authority for the congress leadership in order to support them to establish a Local Organizing Committee, Scientific Program Committee and other needed structures, which will all be cooperating closely with the IAGP COC committee.
The Committee has a main task of finding a site for the next International IAGP congress with the best conditions for serving the varied interests and frames of reference among the IAGP membership and in accordance with its overriding aims. The Vice President is the chairperson of the committee. The Vice President shall appoint other members of this committee with the consent of the EMG.
The committee shall submit to the Board of Directors any measures facilitating the development of the membership and implement them after approval. It shall review both individual and organizational membership applications and submit them to the Board for approval. The chairperson will be appointed by the Board. The chairperson will select committee members from the Sections, from Affiliate Organizations and the individual membership, the number to be at the discretion of the chairperson, and the committee, as much as possible, representative of the membership composition.
The GBLC committee will have as its main task the study and the review of the actual ongoing application of the current bylaws, to formulate and review binding procedures and guidance rules regarding decision making, voting and other effects of the Bylaws – on the background of ongoing dynamics and other developmental processes in the Association.
The Committee has a Chairperson, who is elected by the Board of Directors, upon suggestions by the NC. The GBLC committee shall have four more members, two from the Board of directors, and two from the general membership, promoted by the GBLC chairperson, after consultations with the Board.
The GBLC chairperson, or a member of the committee, may also act as Parliamentarian, supervising rules of order of discussion and voting at Board meetings upon the call of the President or the presiding Board member.
The Finance Committee is responsible for assisting the Treasurer and the EMG with managing the finances of IAGP in accordance with the goals of the organization and in accordance with its non-profit status under the Swiss Civil Code.
The Finance Committee is to help develop and monitor the budget established by the Treasurer and the Executive and approved by the Board.
It should also assist the Treasurer, the Board and the EMG with making decisions about investment and other matters to do with the financial concerns of the organization.
The Finance Committee shall also assist the Treasurer, initiating, and the EMG and the Board, deciding on appointing the Auditor, an Accountant and a book-keeper to ensure that the organization maintains financial policies and recordings in accordance with its goals, non-profit status and Swiss Civil Code. This is also further specified in the Policies and Procedures Manual according to Article XIII.
In order to ensure continuity the Finance Committee shall consist of a minimum of two members, preferably, but not limited to, a former Treasurer and a former Finance Committee member. Members should be able to show an ability to engage with issues of managing the finances of the IAGP.
The task of the Ethics Committee is to promote the development of and respect for ethical behavior in IAGP endeavors and government. More precisely:
To consider complaints and ethical issues brought to its attention;
To recommend statements and other actions for the EMG.
To be led in its making recommendations by the mandate stated in the IAGP Ethical Guidelines and Professional Practices for Group Psychotherapy.
To submit to the approval of the Board of Directors and to the vote of the membership changes in the Guidelines in order to keep them up-to-date with current thinking in the professional communities.
To develop and keep updated, as a separate document, Ethical guidelines for Organizational and group Process Consultations.
The EthC reports on its general, overall work to the General Assembly, but makes recommendations, in specific cases or issues, to the Board of Directors.
In its reports the Ethics Committee shall apply what is stated before in Article IX with regard to Duty of Information and of exceptions for confidentiality.
The Committee shall have one Chairperson plus two more ordinary members, all three elected by the General Assembly in ordinary elections for IAGP administration. All three shall be highly experienced professionals, members of IAGP since more than three years. In actual, specific, cases of complaints the EthC can co-opt more members with special competence – be they legal, methodological or cultural etcetera – relating to needs arising from the case being worked with.
IAGP sponsors projects and workshops in countries or areas where educational facilities and training in group processes and concepts are underprovided or lacking. The Education Committee is an umbrella committee that insures consistent standards for workshops and projects offered by IAGP co-operation with the local group and the IAGP Section, Task Force or Committee. It is responsible for coordinating and developing curricula and appointing the staff team for each project run by or sponsored by IAGP. It has a Chairperson elected by the Board of Directors on proposals by the EMG. The Chairperson, in cooperation with the EMG and the Board of Directors selects further members of the Committee to work with him/her.
The Fellowship Committee will make decisions about recommendations to the Executive Management Group in order for them to appoint Distinguished Fellows and Fellows of IAGP. The Fellowship Committee has a Chairperson or Co-chairpersons, elected by the Board of Directors and further committee members according to the discretion of the leadership of the committee.
The CAOA comprises representatives of paid-up affiliate organisations (one per organisation). Affiliate organisations choose their representative. A person may only be the official representative of one affiliate organisation. When an affiliate organisation’s official representative cannot attend a meeting, he/she may appoint someone else to attend and vote in his/her place.
Can be appointed for certain, specified purposes by the EMG, informing the Board within four weeks.


A. The Board may, at its discretion establish temporary or continuing Sections based on specialized interest. Action to create a Section may be initiated by an application to the Board from twenty-five (25) paid-up members who subscribe to the following principles and conditions:
Any proposal for a new Section should submit evidence that it would significantly increase the membership of IAGP
In full conformity with the IAGP Constitution and Bylaws, Sections must adopt an identical set of Operating Regulations and elect/select a Coordinating Committee. The Chairperson of every Section will be a Board member with voting rights, elected as such by the whole IAGP membership. Other Board members, including EMG members, can certainly be Section members but preferably should not serve on the Section’s Coordinating Committee.
Each Section will be open to all paid-up individual IAGP members without imposition of special requirements or training qualifications. There will be only one class of Section membership. Affiliated organizations cannot as such be considered members of a Section.
The Section Coordinating Committee will submit to the Board an annual report of membership, budget and activities. Sections will not create publications or virtual contact lists that incur any cost to IAGP without agreement from the Board.
The viability of each Section is reconsidered by the Board of Directors every three (3) years.

B. The present – in 2016 – sections are:
Family Therapy Section
Analytic Group Section (Formerly Group Analytic Section)
Organizational Consultancy Section
Psychodrama Section
Young Professionals’ Section
Transcultural Section

C. At present – in 2016 – IAGP also has several Task Forces, as listed below. The Chair of each Task Force may be a Board member, but is not required to be.
Task force for Trauma/Disaster Management.
Five Regional Task Forces for development in:
Latin America
Non-Latin American Spanish-speaking areas.

D. These lists will be kept updated by the EMG in dialogue with the Board of Directors.


In order to support and carry into real effect the IAGP Constitution and Bylaws, the Board of Directors has the responsibility to decide any accompanying directives and their application, when, and if, needed. These shall be kept together in a separate archive, entitled Policies and Procedures Manual.
Items included in the Policies and Procedures Manual are mandatory and binding for activities and decisions, secondary and in consequence with Articles of the Constitution and Bylaws.
The Policies and Procedures Manual constitutes the First Addition to the Articles of the Bylaws, and shall be open and accessible to anyone interested in the same manner as the actual Bylaws.
Each item of this Manual shall include statements about which Bylaw article or articles it refers to and the time span for which it is valid.
Proposals for Policies and Procedures can be prepared and formulated either by members of the Executive Management Group, and/or by members of the Government and Bylaws Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Ethics Committee, and shall be agreed by the Board of Directors.
The Secretary is responsible for ongoing handling the Archives of this Manual.
The Policies and Procedures Manual shall be revised and amended as necessary, concerning its contents and actuality, at the end of each administrative period so lessons learned can be applied. It should then be reviewed at the onset of each new administration upon the initiative of the Secretary and the Executive.


The Constitution and bylaws may be amended at any general assembly meeting, and decision according to Article VIII, provided that proper notice of the meeting has been sent out, and that the proposed amendments have been circulated to the membership more than four weeks before the decision, and that other requirements in Article VIII have been fulfilled.


Individual and affiliate members shall only be liable for IAGP’s debts and liabilities to the amount of their membership dues. Accordingly, for IAGP’s debts, IAGP’s assets shall be the only funds liable.
In the case of liquidation of IAGP, the remaining assets will be transferred to a tax-exempt charitable organisation with similar goals.


Queries and comments about the above Constitution and By-Laws should be sent to Roberta Mineo, Chair of the Governance and Bylaws Committee, governance@iagp.com

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