The IAC Executive Council has Regional Representation From Every World Region.
Dione Mifsud (Malta)
Dione Mifsud is the President of the International Association of Counselling (IAC) and Head of the Department of Counselling at the University of Malta. He is also a former Head of the Department of Psychology at the same university, a former Head of the University of Malta Counselling Unit and a former President of the Malta Association for the Counselling Profession (MACP). He designed and presently coordinates the first Masters in Counselling programme offered by the University of Malta. He also co designed and co-coordinates an international Masters programme in Transcultural Counselling previously with the University of Maryland at College Park and currently as a collaborative degree with the University of New Orleans USA. His research interests include topics around counselling ethics, counselling supervision and transcultural counselling.
Courtland Lee (USA)
Courtland Lee is a Professor in the Counselor Education Program at the Washington, DC campus of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He is the author, editor, or co-editor of seven books on multicultural counseling and three books on counseling and social justice. He is also the author of three books on counseling African American males. In addition, he has published numerous book chapters and articles on counseling across cultures. Dr Lee is a Past-President of the International Association for Counselling. He is also a Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, the only American to receive this honor. Dr Lee is also a Fellow and Past President of the American Counseling Association. He is also a past President of the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development. In addition, Dr. Lee is a past President of Chi Sigma Iota, the international counseling honor society. He is a charter member of Chi Sigma Iota’s Academy of Leaders for Excellence.
David Paterson (Canada)
David Paterson is a former President and Hon. Life Member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, President of the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors in addition to his service as President-Elect for the International Association for Counselling. Dr Paterson is a counsellor educator who teaches and works in the graduate counselling program of Simon Fraser University. He also serves as Associate Dean within the SFU Faculty of Education.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Naoise Kelly (Ireland)
Naoise Kelly is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the International Association for Counselling (IAC). He previously served on the IAC Executive Council, and as National Director of the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) for seven years. Naoise is a board member of Northern Ireland’s Independent Counselling Service (Contact NI). He holds an M.Sc. in Mental Health (Hons - 1st) from Trinity College Dublin (TCD), and a Psychology degree (Hons) also from TCD. His master thesis focused on counselling’s contribution to suicide prevention. Naoise has over 20 years of leadership and senior management experience in the mental health and non-profit sectors, both in Ireland and internationally, including seven years’ service as manager of the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, Ireland. He has extensive organisational development, governance and strategic planning experience. Other interests include working with victims of crime (as a volunteer and board member with Ireland’s Crime Victims Helpline) and the development of mental health services. Naoise believes that IAC’s greatest strength lies in the large numbers of Counsellors practising throughout the world, and that IAC can consolidate that strength to become a leading organisation in the quest to improve global mental health and well-being.
Dr. John Prysor-Jones (Wales)
Dr. John Prysor-Jones is a Counsellor and Psychotherapist and has held senior management positions in the National Health Service (NHS) and Local Government in the UK. An accredited member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) he has worked for over 40 years in mental health in the UK including hospital Occupational Health and community based health centres. He counselled in India for some years. He is a very experienced practitioner trained in a number of modalities. Now retired, John practices with Compass a community based counselling and training charity in Liverpool. As a Practitioner-Researcher he leads an International Research Project through IAC into counsellor’s hope experiences including Canada’s Indigenous community, Botswana and Jamaica. He has presented widely at international conferences, training workshops and University courses and contributed chapters to two books. Other research interests include spirituality, forgiveness, and reconciliation in counselling perspective. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Blythe Shepard (Canada)
I am a Canadian of British and Indigenous (Mohawk) ancestry. I obtained my PhD in 2002 in Educational Psychology with a specialty in counselling psychology from the University of Victoria, British Columbia. Currently I am a full professor in counselling psychology at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta. I am an active member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and have gained the experience and expertise necessary to promote the profession and its contribution to the mental health and well-being of all. My experience with CCPA includes: four years as a national Board member, six years as an Executive Committee member including President of the Association, four years as Chair of the Certification Committee, and three years as co-chair of the Inter-Provincial Mobility for the Counselling Profession project. I have been very involved in the regulation of the counselling/psychotherapy in Canada: as a member of the BC Task Group for the Regulation of Counselling and a co-developer of the entry to practice competencies for the profession (2006) and the revised edition (2016); a member of the The Federation of Associations for Counselling Therapists in BC (FACTBC); and a member of The Federation of Associations for Counselling Therapists in Alberta (FACT-Alberta). Recognizing that clinical supervision is an essential component of ongoing professional development, I have been instrumental in creating the national Canadian Certified Counsellor- Supervisor Certificate (CCC-S); in developing and instructing a graduate course in supervision sponsored by CCPA; in co-authoring Supervision of Counselling and Psychotherapy: A handbook for Canadian Certified Supervisors and Applicants; co-editing the textbook, Supervision of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Profession; and co-editing the newly revised Canadian Counseling and Psychotherapy Experience: Ethics-Based Issues and Cases and the revised CCPA Standards of Practice. I currently chair the IAC Indigenous Roundtable. Promoting the profession of counselling/psychotherapy has been my life focus for many years in Canada and I am excited at the opportunity to take my energy into international initiatives headed by the International Association for Counselling
MEMBERS AT LARGE
Tim Bond (UK)
Tim Bond is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Bristol and Adjunct Professor to the University of Malta. His extensive research and publications about professional ethics include Standards and Ethics for Counsellors in Action (Sage Publications). He has a strong interest in how professional ethics and counselling practice take account of cultural differences. He is currently a consultant to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy on professional ethics and standards and a member of the Ethics Committee for the British Psychological Society. He was elected as a member of the Executive Council of the International Association for Counselling in 2014.
He is learning rapidly how to take advantage of the opportunities that the digital age offers for on-line dialogues about ethics, webinars and counselling practice. His interests include for ‘counselling futures’ as a contributor to physical, mental and social wellbeing, ‘trust’ as a point of reference for counselling ethics across cultural differences and within cultures, and ways of listening that enrich human interactions. His passions are his family, bird watching and the natural environment.
William Borgen (Canada)
William Borgen is a professor of Counselling Psychology and Head of the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education at the University of British Columbia. Dr Borgen has conducted research and has developed programs in the area of life transitions and career development for several years. He is a registered psychologist in BC and Alberta. His work has been translated and adapted for use in Bhutan, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, and Sweden. In 2005 Dr Borgen was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Umea in Sweden for his leadership in the development of counsellor education in Sweden. Dr Borgen is a member of the Canadian Working Group on Evidence-Based Practice in Career Development, a group of researchers from six Canadian universities and the Canadian Career Development Foundation. Dr Borgen was elected to a four year term as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance in 2011.
Valentina Chichiniova(Regional member for North America)
Valentina Chichiniova is the clinical lead for the Mood Disorders Association of BC, Vancouver, Canada. Part of a multidisciplinary team, she works with the management team on the further development and expansion on the counselling services offered by the agency. Valentina also provides individual and group therapy. Her clinical practice and research interests are in the area of trauma and complex trauma.
Valentina has Masters in Counselling psychology, including a one year post-graduate internship, further specialising in work with complex trauma. Valentina is a member of various professional organizations including the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association, the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, the EMDR International Association, and others. She has also presented at a number of national and international conferences. Valentina also co-facilitates the IAC’s Students Round table and maintains and updates the IAC’s social media sites.
Audrey Pottinger (Regional Member for Caribbean)
Dr Audrey M. Pottinger, PhD, is senior lecturer in the Department of Child and Adolescent Health at The University of the West Indies (UWI) and consultant clinical psychologist, University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), Jamaica. She is the coordinator of a national counselling programme (in partnership with an ecumenical group of churches) that is striving to make counselling more accessible to the public. Her research interests include mental health implications for children arising from caregiver loss as well as loss related to fertility and assisted reproduction. A member of the American Psychological Association, American Counselling Association and Jamaica Psychological Society.
Esnaty Obetile (Regional Member for Africa)
Ms Esnaty Obetile is the President for Botswana Counselling Association. She is a School Counsellor who works for the Ministry of Education and Skills Development as Senior Teacher Guidance and Counselling at Marulamantsi Secondary School. She graduated her Master of Education Degree in Counselling and Human Services in 2010 from the University of Botswana. She has been a researcher and TV panelist for the Teacher Capacity Building Project in HIV and AIDS for the Ministry of Education since 2009. She is the Chairperson for South East Region Wellness Executive Committee, and Cluster Schools. She sits in various intervention committees of the Ministry of Education in psychosocial support as a trainer. Her research interest are in HIV and AIDS, Character Building and Drug and Substance Abuse.
Jessica Bertolani (Regional Member for Europe)
Jessica Bertolani earned her Ph.D in Counseling from the University of Verona, where sheworked for 10 years as a Research Associate and Coordinator of the Master Program. She is an Executive Council Member of the Association Continuando a Crescere, where she coordinates the counseling program. She is an Adjunct Professor at UMass and collaborates with the Center for School Counseling Outcome Research since 2008. She is the coordinator of a founded research project ‘Eccomi Pronto’ on self-directed learningwith Dr. John Carey (CSCORE, UMass). She is a Scientific Committee Member of ANCORE and the Italian Journal of Counseling (AssoCounseling).
Amalia Madihie, PhD is a senior lecturer at the Department of Counselling, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, MALAYSIA. Her teaching foci includes: individual and group counselling; counselling supervision, adolescent counselling, and career counselling information system. She is a registered and licensed counsellors in Malaysia. and also an executive member of the International Counselling Association of Malaysia (ICAM), Amalia's research interests include family, child and adolescent mental health, resilience and self-concept across cultures.
Sue Webb (Regional Member for Oceania)
From New Zealand, Sue is presently a counsellor, supervisor, trainer and consultant, having previously worked as a University counsellor educator for nearly 30 years. She is a Life Member of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors, served a term as its President and is presently Convenor of the Association's Ethics Committee. In addition to ethics, Sue’s professional interests include the social and political context of counselling, counselling and colonisation, the development of the profession, school counselling, and integrating theories into practice. She has a publishing record at home and internationally. Her long involvement with IAC includes serving as Secretary to the Executive Council 2008-2014 and being on the organising committee for the 1993 Auckland conference. She has been an advocate over many years for IAC developing a more genuinely global profile and has experienced working in the South Pacific and West Africa, as well as New Zealand and the United Kingdom.Ümüt Arslan ( Regional Member for the Middle East)
Ümüt Arslan just completed a Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision. His clinical experiences include schools and special education centers in Turkey, and working with Native American youth at schools, Trio Programs, and job corps in the U.S. He was selected as a panelist for the ACA International Student Panel and awarded the International Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) Association Training Scholarship. He received several accolades from the University of Montana, including the Diversity Student Achievement Award, the Bertha Morton Scholarship, the Tough Kids Cool Counseling Scholarship, and the Outstanding Foreign Student Award. He presented at various international conferences all over the world related to ethics, multiculturalism, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). Currently, Dr. Arslan teaches in the Counseling Department at the Mehmet Akif Ersoy University (Burdur, Turkey); he also trains and supervises counselor for SFBT.
Guillermo Garcia Arias (Regional Member for Latin America)
Mr Guillermo Hernan Garcia Arias graduated as an electronic engineer in 1980 and founded his Electronic company DEPLI SRL in 1982. He graduated as a Counselor in 2003 from HOLOS CAPITAL, Argentina’s First School Counseling and Humanistic Psychology School and in 2005 specialized in Personal Development. In 2006 he became Director of HOLOS CAPITAL. Since 2006, the Institution has grown 500%. With nine offices, it is the largest group of Academic Counselors’ Training Centres in Latin America. Mr Garcia Arias has participated in numerous meetings, congresses abd conferences as a speaker, facilitator and organizer over the last ten years. One of them was the 2005 IAC Conference in Buenos Aires. He has been a Rotarian since 1999, was president of ROTARY CLUB OF MONTSERRAT, between 2007 and 2008 and is currently on its Board of Directors. He is also president of STUDIES CENTER FOR CONGRUENCE, the founder and director of GGA and Associates, an agency dedicated to counseling where communities provide comprehensive mental health services. He coordinates groups of reflection and personal development. Mr Garcia Arias has been writing from a young age and has received awards for poetry and narrative in eight national and international competitions. In April 2005 he received the Paul Harris Award, winning the Percy Literary Contest to mark the centenary of Rotary International. He is also the author of four books. Since 2007, he has produced several programs on three different radio stations in Buenos Aires: FM PALERMO, IDENTITY AND FM RADIO WORLD. He lately also become a journalist.