Identification - History

The Beginning...

The history of our College is heavily tied to the development of counselling and psychotherapy in Greece. In 1987, the Intercultural Symposium of the Person-Centred (PC) Approach was held in Greece. That Symposium was the inspiration for the birth of ICPS and the dissemination of the PC Approach in Greece. Two years later, in 1989, as a result of the Symposium activities, Mrs Polly Iossifides, Person-Centred Counsellor and Psychotherapist, Dr. Ioulios Iossifides, Professor Emeritus in the University of Athens and Dr. Charles Devonshire, close associate of Carl Rogers, initiated the Institute of Person-Centred Approach, the first institution offering professional education in Person-Centred Counselling and Therapy in Greece and one of five overall in Europe (the rest in Italy, France, England and Switzerland). Gradually, the Institute began to develop a variety of programmes relevant to counselling and psychotherapy issues and expanded its educational activity and presence from Ireland to Romania.

The First Great Recognition...

In 1994, the British state University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, have already been informed of the excellent training that is taking place at the Institute in Athens and at the University's own request,  the core Person-Centred Counselling Programme of ICPS is recognised and certified by University of Strathclyde. Based on the agreement between the two institutions, graduates are awarded with the Postgraduate Diploma.

Ascending Course...

Since 1994, the Institute has had a leading part and participation along with other institutions in the constitution of the Greek Counselling Association (Polly Iossifides was the first president), the European Counselling Association, the National Psychotherapy Association of Greece, the Universal Corporation of Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy and Counselling, the European Association of Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy and Counselling Institutions, the Greek Association of Person-Centred Approach. At the same time, it took part as an organisational member in institutions like the European Association of Psychotherapy, the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, etc.
In 1995, the Institute organised the 6th Universal Symposium of Person-Centred Approach in Leptokaria Pierias. The Symposium was successful with the participation of psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists and other professionals from the field, as well as students from all over the world (Britain, France, Germany, Austria, USA, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Japan and so forth).
In 1999, a meeting of representatives of European institutions of Person-Centred Counselling took place in Athens, under the auspices and sponsorship of the Institute. The foundation of the European Association of Person-Centred and Empirical Psychotherapy and Counselling Organisations is on course.
In 2000, the Training Center for the Person-Centred Approach (TCPCA) is established and absorbs all the activities of the Institute.
In 2002, TCPCA became the basic sponsor for the publication of Tony Merry’s book, “Invitation to Person-Centred Psychology”, while the at-that-time President of TCPCA, Dr. Ioulios Iossifides, was in charge of the translation of the book into Greek.

Vision Creation...

Since 2006, the College has entered a new development path, both internally and academically. Ioulios and Polly Iossifides, with a team of close collaborators, envision the organisation's evolution into a unique center of study and research in the field of Psychology and its specialisations.
The Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology was designed and certified by the British University of Central Lancashire. The affiliation with the particular University evolved into a franchise agreement for the Master’s Programme in the Psychology of Child  Development. 
This is a crucial moment for ICPS since 1994, as for the first time a specialised postgraduate programme for child psychologists is offered in Greece. 
Those programmes were highly recognised within the Greek market and greatly accepted both for their quality and their philosophy. At the same time, a series of very successful seminars workshops are being held.
In 2007, the College operates facilities both in Athens and Thessaloniki, offering programmes by Psychology, Counselling, Management Education, Lifelong Learning and Research Departments. In order to cover all its activities, it is renamed Institution for Counseling & Psychological Studies (ICPS).

Big Steps...

In 2008, ICPS developed rapidly. A new Postgraduate Programme in Child Psychology and Counselling has been designed and offered to graduates of the MSc in Child Development or similar title holders. New cooperation with the worldwide known American Management Association starts, offering its programmes exclusively in Greece. At the same time, it brings together the Potential Advisory Development and Training Company, offering training seminars and coaching to organisations and businesses.
In June 2009, ICPS organised the International Conference “Person-Centred Counselling & Psychotherapy Today: Journey and Challenges” in Athens, which was dedicated in the memory of Ioulios Iossifides. 350 participants from 25 countries and 10 leading academics and professionals of Counselling and Psychotherapy from universities of the USA, Europe and Greece as keynote speakers exchanged knowledge and international practice ways.
In July and October 2009, ICPS was authorised by the Greek Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports and received the License of Establishment and License of Operation, after inspections carried out at its premises by the committee of the College Office in 27 August 2009.
Meeting all the requirements of Law 3696/08 concerning the recognition of Colleges, ICPS transferred all of its activities in a modern building of 1,200 m2, a 5-minute-distance from the Metro station “Ag. Antonios”. Lecture rooms, laboratories, library, administration and academic staff offices and yard cover all of the College’s needs.
In October 2009, ICPS offers for the first time in Greece the Triple Certificate in Coaching. A programme that will later be a guide to Coaching education in our country and over 250 professionals will be trained.
In 2010, ICPS signs a new agreement with the University of Central Lancashire for the MSc in Health Psychology programme. The programme is also approved by the Hellenic Ministry of Education and is delivered successfully during the Academic Year 2011-2012. The specific programme builds the professional profile of health psychologists and gives the opportunity to enroll in the Specialty of Health Psychologist at the British Association of Psychologists an exception to Stage 1 of the Chartership process (an element directly linked to the transfer of professional rights in Greece).
In June 2011, investment in education and staff quality led to expanding cooperation with the University of Central Lancashire in undergraduate studies. An agreement to provide the Bachelor of Science in Psychology is now a fact! This programme is offered on a franchise basis and opposed to many other programmes offered in the Greek market, it allows enrollment in the British Association of Psychologists and the acquisition of the Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) after the completion of the three-year studies. It includes a practice similar to that of public universities and extended training in the specialties of Psychology.
In November 2012, responding to the results of lasting oral and written quality assurance checks of Counselling & Psychotherapy programmes, the conditions for substantial and expanded changes were developed for both the programmes and the teaching staff. The purpose of the restructuring was to renew educational programmes, to incorporate all new developments in the field and to highlight research findings that enhance the effectiveness of the approach while maintaining the character of the experiential education that has always distinguished our programmes. An equally important goal was to improve the experience of our students both at the level of study content and at the level of interaction with our educational staff. These changes ensured ICPS a leading role in the international Person-Centred Community. 

New Dynamics...

In July 2013, the College is being re-authorised the Ministry of Education. At the same time EOPPEP grants a license to the Center for Lifelong Learning Level 2 - ICPS, which will now offer all the professional programmes and certifications of the College.
In June 2014, after an expanded quality control of the College ICPS is certified as the Pearson-Edexcel Training Center, the world's largest professional certification body, offering lifelong and distance programmes in Counselling, Learning Difficulties and Counselling for Couples.
In July 2015, the College, under the approval and support of ICEEFT Canada, starts collaboration with the Greek EFT Network in order to provide the EFT Endorsed Externeship, the only approved programme to meet EFT Therapist criteria. The programme is offered within the Professional Certificate in Counselling for Couples, giving students / alumni the strong advantage of double certification in the subject.
In July 2016, ICPS trainers participate with speeches and workshops at the World Conference on Personal Counselling and Psychotherapy in New York. They are the only Greek speakers in the conference, confirming ICPS's leadership position in the Person-Centred Community in Greece.In July 2017, ICPS became a founding member of the Pan-Hellenic Association of Recognized Colleges. This new association aspires to play a decisive role in the field of education in Greece and to highlight the important work of its members as well as of the cooperating universities abroad.
In the same month and year, following the relevant evaluation process, the MSc in Applied Clinical Psychology and MSc in Psychology (Conversion) in Greece, in association with UCLan, are approved.

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