Task Force Report 2013

Report 2013

Task Force on Community Psychology


Nicholas Carr (Convenor)


EFPA General Assembly in Stockholm on


July 13-14, 2013




Community Psychology (CP) goes beyond Clinical-and Organizational Psychology, seeing an individual as a member of communities, as part of a social network and in certain living conditions. CP is well-organized globally, and there are six European associations (see appendix) organizing approximately 1000 psychologists, with the common goal of organizing a broader European basis for training and applications.


CP is oriented toward the individual as a being with a sense of community, and is defined by its explicit value orientation (emphasizing human rights). CP is known by its special targets and subjects of analysis (relationships between individuals, social contexts, organisations/communities), and its focus on changing social and environmental conditions.


EFPA asked the Task Force (TF) to provide a description of the Professional Competencies needed for psychologists working in communities and social systems, and to develop a Competence model for training psychologists in CP.

During the working period from May 2012 until July 2013, the TF has had 3 meetings at different European locations, and one online meeting. The members have all been actively participating in making progress towards the goals, and the activities have been shared between members. Not all five goals have been achieved within the working period, which in effect has lasted one year from our first meeting. There remains some important work to be done for EFPA, and the TF proposes ways to take this further.



The TF-CP was launched as the result of a proposal from the French Association of Psychology (Thomas Saias) at the GA; ECP2011. The idea came from the Norwegian President of NPA during the 7

The European Congress of CP in Paris, 2009, during the pre-Conference Workshop, and was received with interest by the delegates.

The history of Community Psychology(CP) has many origins before it was called CP (Bennett et al. 1966): Its roots go back to studies of the effects of unemployment on the Community (Marie Jahoda 1932), Field-theory (Lewin 1943), Community organizing (Alinsky 1989), Community Mental Health (Bloom 1973), Conscientiacion (Freire 1996), Action Research (Fals Borda 1991), Italian Democratic Psychiatry (Basaglia 1968) all of which have greatly influenced European Community Psychologists, and the global field of CP. In Europe the first conference of Community Psychology was organized by Donata Francescato in Rome in 1994 and in the following years there has been a strong European Network of professionals, organizing bi-annual European Conferences, summer schools and workshops, attracting more than 2000 participants.


CP today has its own identity in Europe based on six formal National CP Associations: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Romania. Only 3 of these nations are represented in the TF. Other countries have established professional CP societies and groups (UK, Spain and Norway). Conceptually, the field has oriented itself towards a systemic view of social and psychological problems, by integrating individual and group levels, community, organizational and societal levels of analysis.


The concept of CP and its diversity reflect a variety of regional and individual scholarly stories (1). Integrating personal value systems with interdisciplinary research and practice, CP today has the potential to be one of the most powerful applied psychologies in civil society.


In some countries, CP is not only part of the psychological profession, but is well known among other health-and social professions.


The TF perspective of CP is that it offers added value to the professional field by training psychologists at BSc-and Master’s levels. The need to investigate the impact of EuroPsy on the training in CP will be a next step.


The initial question asked by the TF, was about representing the diversity of CP from all of Europe, including Eastern Europe, and the importance of including all CP traditions and histories. All 9 members of the TF were approved by EFPA, as also were the 5 corresponding members, leading to 14 members in all.


CP is represented by seven peer-reviewed international journals (American Journal of Community Psychology (Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA) journal); The Australian Community Psychologist (Journal of the Australian Psychological Society); Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology (international journal); Journal of Community Psychology; Journal of Rural Community Psychology (e-journal); Psychosocial Intervention/Intervención Psicosocial (published in both Spanish and English); Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice Doc



In the first letter of invitation, formally establishing the TF on 21.02.2012, it is stated that CP is of major importance to the development of the profession, to secure its relevance for the future. The GA agreed on the proposed TF goals to describe the professional competencies needed for psychologists working in Communities, and the need for guidelines for professional training.


The activities requested by EFPA reflect the strategy chosen in the working plan. This working plan was set up according to the mandate related to the goals for the TF:


Goal 1


To provide a description of the professional competencies needed for psychologists working in communities and social systems (see appendix).




The collection of information on education, training and professional practice in Community Psychology in Europe.



Community-based research competencies

 Capacity-building


 Ecological skills


 Activation and counselling of citizens, movements, organizations, political structures


 Facilitation of co-operation and network building


 Advocacy and consultation skills


 Communication and Cross-cultural competencies


 Social interventions (e.g. influencing group dynamics, leadership education)



Goal 2


To develop a competence model for Community Psychology as a basis for training of psychologists working in communities (see appendix)




Analysis of existing programmes:


Collation of existing CP programmes in the EU


Cooperation with the EU MAHP Project


Summer schools at Universities


Critical consideration of the development of European educational capacity




General educational models/ strategies:


  • Encourage the establishment of BSc, MSc, PhD programmes in CP within ongoing professional education


  • Enrich existing BSc, MSc, PhD programmes in CP within ongoing professional education


  • Enable critical reflection and action in CP


  • Enable students to understand the complexity of community life and to change life circumstances in collaborative ways on different levels applicable for European contexts


Goal 3


To analyze the need for post graduate training and professional development for community psychologists working in the educational and health system (see appendix)


Activity: Survey of all national associations and known CP persons in Europe to obtain figures on Community psychologists, and working places. Very few postgraduate programmes were found in the search (Norway, Portugal, Italy and UK).


Results; This resulted in figures from most European Countries adding up to approx.1000 Community Psychologists (ECPA bulletin, 2012). Figures were reported from the following countries; UK (250), Portugal (70), Spain (90), France (100), Italy (70), Turkey (20), Romania (70), Germany (100) and Norway (120).


In addition a large and extended use of Community Psychology practice was found in many institutional and social contexts.




Wolfgang Stark´s University of Duisburg-Essen based Organizational Development Lab hired a researcher (Stefan Tewes) to perform an internet search, and results were analyzed (Bernd Roehrle and Wolfgang Stark). This produced a survey of practical working definitions of CP from national associations and the CP network, including assessment of the capacity to provide formal training and in-practice training for Community Psychologists (see appendix).


The editorial board of European Psychologist does not include anyone affiliated with CP. The TF will propose a member for the editorial board of the European Psychologist. A list of CP journals and editors has been created and journal editors will be invited to write statements on the significance of CP. An important review of CP presented by Maritza Montero at ICP 2012 in Cape Town and previous EFPA TF reports have been collected. A "dropbox" has been created to share TF documents and materials. (Caterina Arcidiacono). The work produced by the TF will be used to generate a CP brochure and a book.



  1. Brussels, EFPA Head Office, Grasmarkt 105/39, First and Constitutive meeting, May 2nd 10 am –15.45 pm 2012 This meeting was hosted by EFPA and chaired by our Liaison Tor Levin Hofgaard. The mandate was set up as lasting from July 2011-July 2013, with at least one physical meeting per year, supplied with Skype meetings. As TF convenor, Nicholas Carr ( Norway) was appointed by EFPA.
  2. Naples, Regional Community Psychology Association , 16th November 9.30 am –18 pm 2012 The second meeting was hosted by Caterina Arcidiacono( Italy), and represented an important step to reach the TF goals.
  3. Skype meeting on the 30th of January, 2013, at 12 hours GMT
  4. Munich, Former President of Ecpa’ Office, 19th –20th April 9.30 am –18 pm 2013 This meeting was hosted by Wolfgang Stark, former president of Ecpa in Munich on the 18th to 19th of April.



The General Assembly is asked to take notice of the following:


a) To develop a competence model for CP as a basis for training, the TF will need more collaboration with institutions and universities teaching CP at graduate and postgraduate levels. The strategy to reach these goals has been outlined as a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods with a network-survey, interviewing key personnel, researchers and practitioners in the field (see appendix)


b) Our main goals for the next period will be to develop guidelines for Training in CP and initiate a European Master of CP, affiliated to more than 3 major European Universities.


c) The strategies to reach the main goals will be to use the new network of National CP Contacts (Arcidiacono). We plan to involve these people in our work to achieve a sustainable basis of knowledge about CP education and progress in each EFPA member country.


d) The TF has invited members of other Boards and Committees as consultants and advisors, and looks forward to co-operate with the Boards on Prevention and Education and the Task force on Cultural Psychology.







Referring to the accomplished goals, and some left according to the TF working plan, the General Assembly is advised to accept one of the following proposals:


1- To prolong the TF with a period of two years, from July 2013 until July 2015.


2- To establish a Standing Committee on CP with a new working plan.


Members of the Task Force



Caterina Arcidiacono



Nicholas Carr



Bernd Röhrle



Serdar M. Değrmencioğu



Jacqui Akhurst



Thomas Saias



Haris Pischos



Tor Levin Hofgaard



Wolfgang Stark


Corr. member

Lisa Wagner


Corr. member

Zina Paidonomou


Corr. member

Teemu Ollikainen



Borrik Schjodt


Corr. member

Fernando Chacon-Fuertes


Corr. member