Presenters in detail


September 2012 Irv-37Prof. Irvin Yalom

will be interviewed by video link from California.  Professor Yalom is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, having been a psychiatrist and psychotherapist on the faculty of the department of psychiatry there since 1963.  His book on the Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy, written from a Sullivanian perspective, has run into five editions.  He has also written textbooks on inpatient groups and on existential therapy, but has become most famous through his writing for the general public, including an account of a psychotherapy co-written with the client–Everyday Gets a Little Closer–collections of case histories, and novels with an existential theme, including When Nietzsche Wept, The Schopenhauer Cure and The Spinoza Problem.   A film about his life, Yalom’s Cure, will also be shown.

Keynote Speakers and Invited Speakers


Prof. Emmy van Deurzen

Emmy van Deurzen photoEmmy van Deurzen, PhD is a philosopher, existential psychotherapist and counselling psychologist, who has published fourteen books on existential therapy, which have been translated into a wide range of languages.  She founded both the School of Psychotherapy and Counselling at Regent’s and the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling, both in London and she continues to be Principal of NSPC today.
She was instrumental in establishing existential therapy in the UK and Europe by founding the Society for Existential Analysis and its journal of the same name. She is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. She is visiting Professor of Psychotherapy with Middlesex University and has been a professor with Regent’s College and an honorary professor with Schiller International University and the University of Sheffield as well as visiting associate fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge. She was the first chair of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy and external relations’ officer to the European Association for Psychotherapy and representative to the European Commission and the Council of Europe for many years. Amongst her books are the bestsellers Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling in Practice (3d edition 2012, Psychotherapy and the Quest for Happiness (Sage, 2009) and Everyday Mysteries (2nd edition Routledge, 2010) and Paradox and Passion (2nd edition Wiley, 2014).  She is co-chair of the conference.


 Dr. Kirk Schneider

Kirk Schneider photoKirk J. Schneider, Ph.D., is a leading spokesperson for contemporary existential-humanistic psychology. Dr. Schneider is past editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology (2005-2012), vice-president of the Existential-Humanistic Institute (EHI), and adjunct faculty at Saybrook University, Teachers College, Columbia University, and the California Institute of Integral Studies. A Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), Dr. Schneider has published over 100 articles and chapters and authored or edited 10 books. He is the recipient of the Rollo May Award from Division 32 of the APA for “Outstanding and independent pursuit of new frontiers in humanistic psychology,” the “Cultural Innovator” award from the Living Institute, Toronto, Canada, a psychotherapy training centre which bases its diploma on Dr. Schneider’s Existential-Integrative model of therapy, and an Honorary Diploma from the East European Association of Existential Therapy. Dr. Schneider is a founding member of the Existential-Humanistic Institute in San Francisco, which in 2012, launched one of the first certificate programs in Existential-Humanistic practice in the U.S.A. In April, 2010, Dr. Schneider delivered the opening keynote address at the First International (East-West) Existential Psychology Conference in Nanjing, China, and has been a frequent speaker at various venues in the U.S., China, Japan, Lithuania, and Germany.



Prof. Alfried Längle

Alfried Langle photoAlfried Längle, M.D., Ph.D. (psychology) is founder and president of the International Society for Logotherapy and Existential Analysis (Vienna), scholar and former collaborator of Viktor E. Frankl. He is professor of psychotherapy at the Moscow’s HSE-university and Vienna’s Sigmund Freud University, as well as extraordinary professor at the psychological faculty of the Univ. of Klagenfurt, Austria, and guest professor at the Sigmund Freud Univ. Vienna. He founded the training school of Existential-Analytical Psychotherapy, which received state approval in Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Rumania. He has published more than 300 works and received two honorary doctorates and three honorary professor degrees. Alfried Längle, studied medicine and psychology at the Universities of Innsbruck, Rome, Toulouse and Vienna. After years of hospital work in general medicine and psychiatry and in an outpatient department of social psychiatry he started a private practice in psychotherapy, general medicine and clinical psychology in Vienna (since 1982). In 2011 he received the Golden Medal for Merits for the Republic of Austria.


Invited Speakers Day One


Alice Holzey-Kunz photoDr. Alice Holzey-Kunz

Alice Holzhey-Kunz, Ph.D., is a philosopher and Daseinsanalyst. Alice Holzhey-Kunz developed Daseinsanalysis by introducing a hermeneutic theory of psychic suffering. She is president of the Society for Hermeneutic Anthropology and Daseinsanalysis and co-founder and co-president of the Daseinsanalytic Seminar in Zurich, Switzerland. She has published three books and numerous articles on Daseinsanalytic theory and on developing a new dialogue between psychoanalysis and existential philosophy. She was co-editor of the new edition of selected works of Ludwig Binswanger.


Shaogang YangDr. Yang Shaogang

Yang Shaogang  is Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Center for Mental Education, South China Business College,Guangdong University of Foreign Studies.  He has been the author or editor of 11 books, including ‘Search for the truth of existence. Wuhan: Hubei Education Press’,  Humanistic psychology and education. Haerbin: Heilongjiang Education Press, and the  The spiritual pursuit: Mysterious Jung. Haerbin: Heilongjiang People’s Press.  He has also written numerous journal papers and book chapters.  He has held many grants on the moral development of children, and is the Deputy President of the Guangdong Society for Ethics


Mick Cooper pasteProf. Mick Cooper

Mick Cooper, Ph.D is a Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Roehampton, London; and a practising counselling psychologist and existential psychotherapist.  Mick is author and editor of a wide range of texts on existential, person-centred, and relational approaches to therapy, including Existential Therapies (Sage, 2003), Working at Relational Depth in Counselling and Psychotherapy (Sage, 2005, with Dave Mearns), Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy (Sage, 2011, with John McLeod), and The Handbook of Person-centred Psychotherapy and Counselling (Palgrave, 2003, with Maureen O’Hara, Art Bohart and Peter Schmid). Mick has also led a range of research studies exploring the process and outcomes of humanistic counselling with young people, and is author of Essential Research Findings in Counselling and Psychotherapy: The Facts are Friendly (Sage, 2008).



Chair of the Roundtable Debate Day 1:

Evgenia Georganda photoDr. Evgenia T Georganda

Evgenia T. Georganda DPsych holds a Masters degree in Counselling from Tufts University and a Doctorate in Psychology from Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. Her primary orientation is Humanistic-Existential and is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and of Division 32. She is a certified psychotherapist and member of the European Association of Psychotherapists (EAP), a member of the Greek Association of Psychologists (ΣΕΨ) and of Greek Psychotherapists (ΕΕΨΕ). Since 1986 she has had a private practice in Athens working with individuals, groups and couples. She has worked extensively with individuals with chronic and life threatening illnesses and is interested on the impact of death awareness on psychological change and growth. She also teaches psychology and lectures extensively at seminars and congresses. She is the author of four books and has written articles for journals and book chapters.

In 2002, she initiated a series of workshops in Athens for Existential Psychotherapy which led to the formation of the core group of gignesthai in 2004, the Hellenic Association for Existential Psychology. The training program in Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling at gignesthai, where she is a trainer and supervisor, was launched in 2009. In 2013 she was elected secretary of the National Organization of Psychotherapists of Greece (NOPG).


Invited Speakers Day Two

Topic: Cultural, Political and Spiritual Challenges.

paul-wongDr. Paul Wong

is Professor Emeritus of Trent University and Adjunct Professor of Saybrook University’s Clinical PhD Program. He is a Fellow of APA and CPA, and President of the International Network on Personal Meaning ( and the Meaning-Centered Counselling Institute. Editor of the International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy, he has also edited two influential volumes on The Human Quest for Meaning. A prolific writer, he is one of the most cited existential and positive psychologists. The originator of Meaning Therapy and International Meaning Conferences, he has been invited to speak worldwide.



Susanna Signorelli photoDr. Susana Signorelli

Susana Signorelli was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is a psychologist graduated from the Universidad de Buenos Aires.  Early in her career she felt that existential phenomenology answered her way of looking at the world, and together with Pablo Rispo developed her profession. She specialised in Rorschach psycho-diagnostic contributing to it with the existential approach. She conducted community projects related to preventive psychology. She was awarded the Lanfranco Ciampi award for her research about adolescence.

Currently she presides over the Latin-American Association of Existential Psychotherapy, is the director of the semi-annual Latin-American publication on Existential Psychotherapy and is president of Fundación CAPAC in Argentina. Furthermore, she supervises cases of psychological practice, is member of research panels and arbitration committees, director of preventive psychology programmes, honour member of the Peruvian Society of Phenomenological Existential Psychology and of Congresses, and author of books, chapters in books and articles in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.


Xuefu Wang photoDr. Xuefu Wang

Wang Xuefu, PhD, obtained his degrees in the fields of theology, literature, psychology and pastoral counseling. He is the founder as well as the executive director of Zhi Mian Institute for Psychotherapy in Nanjing, China. His past experience has been teaching at universities, seminaries, and psychological institutions. Dr. Wang is an active promoter as well as a pioneering practitioner of professional counseling and pastoral counseling in the Mainland of China. He developed an indigenous Chinese approach called “Zhi Mian Therapy” out of his experience of psychology practice and inspiration drawn from the modern Chinese thinker and writer Lu Xun. The approach of Zhi Mian resonates deeply with the Western humanistic-existential psychology. Wang is also involved in international institutions as visiting scholar at Fuller Seminary Graduate School of Psychology, and editorial board member of American journals, such as The Journal of Humanistic Psychology and Pastoral Psychology. Wang has published numerous articles and authored six books. He is the recipient of the Charlotte and Karl Buhler Award, granted by the Society of Humanistic Psychology of APA (2013).


Chair of the Round table debate, day two :

Dr. Louis Hoffman

Louis Hoffman photoLouis Hoffman, PhD, is an executive faculty member and director of the Existential, Humanistic, and Transpersonal Psychology Specialization at Saybrook University. A past president of the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32 of the American Psychological Association), Dr. Hoffman has five books to his credit, including “Existential Psychology East-West.” He also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, The Humanistic Psychologist, Janus Head, and PsycCRITIQUES: APA Review of Books. Dr. Hoffman has been active in promoting multiculturalism in existential psychology in the United States and engages regularly in international dialogues pertaining to existential psychology, particularly in China and Southeast Asia where he helped found the International Conference on Existential Psychology held bi-annually in China. He also has been engaged in clinical practice and supervision throughout his career, including developing a training center with practicums, internships, and postdocs in existential psychology while he was residing in Colorado.

Invited Speakers Day Three

Topic: Time, Death and Development through the Life Span

Martin-AdamsMartin Adams

Martin has worked as a psychotherapist in a variety of Statutory and Voluntary organisations. He has worked at SPCP since 1994. He currently works as a psychotherapist in private practice and as a Lecturer and Supervisor. He is Book Reviews editor for the journal Existential Analysis and is also a sculptor.

Dr. Dmitry Leontiev

Dmitry Leontiev photoDmitry Leontiev Ph.D., Dr. Sc., is Professor of psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State university and head of the research lab of positive psychology and quality of life studies at Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia. He is the founder and the head of Institute of Existential Psychology and Life Enhancement (EXPLIEN) in Moscow and received the Promotional Award of the Victor Frankl Foundation of the city of Vienna (2004).

Dmitry Leontiev strives to integrate the existentialist approach to human personality with a cultural-historical activity theory approach and synergetic views on human self-regulation and self-organization. He is the author of numerous publications in the psychology of personality and motivation, the theory and history of psychology, the psychology of art and empirical aesthetics.

Dr. Erik Craig

Erik Craig photoErik Craig, PhD is a psychologist in private practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico who has been teaching and practicing humanistic and existential psychotherapy for over 40 years, serving on the full-time graduate faculties at Assumption College, University of New Mexico, and Pacifica Graduate Institute. His primary interest is in developing existential foundations for critical issues in psychological theory, research, and practice with the hope of achieving a comprehensive, existential approach to depth psychology and psychotherapy. Erik has edited two groundbreaking anthologies in existential psychology, Psychotherapy for Freedom: The Daseinsanalytic Way in Psychology and Psychoanalysis (1988) and Depth, Death, and Dialogue: New Inquiries in Existential Depth Psychotherapy (2008), both being special double issues of The Humanistic Psychologist. Over his career he has collaborated intensively with existential psychologists such as Medard Boss, Gion Condrau, Clark Moustakas, and Paul Stern. For the past 10 years he has been studying Eastern approaches to psychotherapy with the Founder of Tao Psychotherapy, Dr. Prof. Rhee Dongshick in Seoul, South Korea. Dr. Craig is currently the president-elect of the New Mexico Psychoanalytic Society and is a past president of the Society for Humanistic Psychology.

Chair of the Round table debate, day three:

Digby Tantam photoProf. Digby Tantam

Digby Tantam PhD FRCPsych is a psychiatrist, psychologist and psychotherapist.  He is emeritus professor of psychotherapy at the University of Sheffield, an honorary visiting senior research fellow at the University of Cambridge in developmental psychiatry, and deputy principal of NSPC.  Digby is chair of the Society of Psychotherapy, on the scientific committee of Research Autism, and on the executive committee of the Society for Existential Analysis.  Previously he was the second chair of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (after Emmy van Deurzen), and was the first registrar of the European Association for Psychotherapy.  He trained originally as a group analyst at the Institute of Group Analysis (London), and as a psychodynamic therapist at St. George’s Hospital, London,  but these days combines group and existential approaches in his practice.  Digby has edited or written 13 books, and 162 papers and book chapters. He is co-chair of the congress, and webmaster of this site.

In the video room:

By video link:

Dr. Betty CannonBetty Cannon photo

Betty Cannon, Ph.D, is the founder of Applied Existential Psychotherapy (AEP). AEP interlaces the insights of existential philosophy and contemporary psychoanalysis with interventions drawn from Gestalt therapy, body-oriented psychotherapy, and other experiential approaches. Betty is the author of numerous articles, chapters, and an internationally acclaimed book on existential therapy: Sartre and Psychoanalysis. She is a member of the editorial boards off three professional journals: Existential Analysis,Sartre Studies International, and Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry. She is Emerita Professor at the Colorado School of Mines, Adjunct Professor at Naropa University, and President of the Boulder Psychotherapy Institute. The Institute has trained graduate students and mental health professionals in AEP since 1989. BPI is currently working on an international online component that will include a summer institute plus a video and webinar platform. Betty is a licensed psychologist who has worked with individuals, couples, and groups in Boulder for over 30 years. Her mentor was Hazel E. Barnes, who translated Sartre’s Being and Nothingness and Search for a Method into English. Betty is Hazel’s literary executor. The guiding inspiration for AEP is Sartre’s philosophy of freedom.