History


The International Council came into existence in 1979 at the first International Congress of reflective practitioners of Pastoral Care and Counselling held in Edinburgh, Scotland. There had been gatherings from as early as 1972 of various European and American practitioners but Edinburgh 1979, where over four hundred people from all the continents gathered, provided a watershed for Pastoral Care and Counselling networks and organization.

Through the experience of working together, ICPCC members and congress participants have been increasingly challenged to become aware of and effectively respond to issues stemming from a diversity of contextual, cultural and spiritual expectations and understandings, and the impact this has on the practice of pastoral care and counselling.

For a detailed reflection on ICPCC's developoment and history read Dr. Ulrike Elsdoerfer's paper Approaches to a History of Care & Counselling in Europe and British psychiatrist Dr. Irene Bloomfield's paper on The European Movement for Pastoral Care and Counselling here.

Embracing a four yearly cycle of International congresses, the Council has now facilitated nine Congresses, in different regions of the world. Regional congresses are held in the interim biennial years. Drawing from the local context the congress themes seek to address the current and emerging themes in pastoral care and counselling within a global contexts.

  • August 1979
    Edinburgh, Scotland - The Risks of Freedom
    "The kind of world we know today, with its insidious pressures, its serious stresses and its severe strains, demands new insights into pastoral care and new understandings of human behaviour and relationships." Rev'd Denis Duncan: Chair of Congress.
  • August 1983
    San Francisco, USA - Symbols and Stories in Pastoral Care and Counselling
    Pastoral counsellors and teachers from different continents presented traditions and stories of healing. In this congress it became clear that we needed to develop care and counselling for systems and structures, not only for individuals and families.
  • August 1987
    Melbourne, Australia - Pastoral Ministry in a Fractured World
    The first presentation of liberation theology by basic ecclesial community perspectives from Latin America. Cultural diversity broadened further through the attendance of a large proportion of Asian participants.
  • August 1991
    Noordwijkerhout, Netherlands - Pastoral Care and Context
    Clarification of the Council's work: A body which enables communication to take place at an international level. A co-ordinating committee of 12 representatives formed to enable focus on the contextual setting and needs between congresses.
  • August 1995
    Toronto, Canada - Babylon & Jerusalem: Stories for transition in a strange land
    Problems become more visible: how to address the political context of PCC; how to address spiritual diversity (Christian/Jewish relations)
  • August 1999
    Accra, Ghana - Spirituality and Culture in Pastoral Care and Counselling
    Seilsorge: Soul Care – Care of the total person
  • August 2004
    Bangalore, India - Global Economy, a challenge for Pastoral Care, Counselling and Religious Traditions
    The call to pay attention to the impact of social, cultural, political, economic and environmental issues within the struggle for power and territory within a shrinking world. Seeking to understand how pastoral traditions relate to long-standing and emerging spiritualities and religious faiths.
  • August 2007
    Krzyzowa, Poland - Treasure in Earthen Vessels
    Care of Souls facing Fragility and Destruction - Individual and Systemic Perspectives In the destruction of life foundations, not only individual species or humans are threatened but all living things..."Within such vulnerability, every day is a new opportunity to be the clay pots we are created to be - fragile, porous, prone to molding, expecting only of ourselves that we bear in some modest way the kind of hope and vision and love and justice that points beyond our limited energies, our days, our wisdom to that which is eternal and ultimately reliable." Kathleen Greider.
  • August 2011
    Rotorua, New Zealand (Aotearoa) - Rituals of Encounter in Healing: Pastoral Care & Counselling
    The Maori ritual of welcome signifies to both host and guest that the encounter ritual is a sacred exchange of both self and soul – incorporating four elements for wholistic healing and wellbeing.
    Te Taha Tinana (Physical well-being of land and body)
    Te Taha Wairua (Spiritual well-being)
    Te Taha Hinengaro (Mental & Emotional well-being)
    Te Taha Whanau (Family and Social well-being)
  • Next congress: October 15 - 21, 2015  in San Francisco, USA. - "Care in our Global Village"