Executive Council

The IAC Executive Council has Regional Representation From Every World Region.

PRESIDENT: William Borgen

William Borgen

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.

TREASURER: Blythe Shepard

Blythe Shepard, Ph.D. is of British and Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) ancestry and a professor in Counselling Psychology at the University of Lethbridge. She served on the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) Board and Executive for 10 years and is now President Emerita. She co-chaired the CCPA Clinical Supervision Competency Framework project which culminated in a national clinical supervision symposium in 2018. Dr. Shepard is the treasurer of the International Association for Counselling (IAC) and chairs the IAC Indigenous Roundtable.  She offers supervision to clinical supervisors in Canada.

SECRETARY: Nate Perron

Nathan Perron serves as a core faculty member with the Master of Arts in Counseling Program of The Family Institute at Northwestern University in Illinois, USA. Dr. Perron obtained his PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision at Northern Illinois University in 2015, and has remained engaged in research and writing to explore elements of international counseling. Other areas of scholarship include children & adolescents, law enforcement wellness, and faith integration in counseling. Dr. Perron has a wide variety of experiences practicing professional counseling since 2005, and currently sees children, adolescents, adults, and couples in a private practice in his community where he lives in New Hampshire, USA, and online with clients in states where he is licensed. He is also a national certified counselor (NCC) with the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), and has been a Master Trainer with the NBCC’s International Division in an effort to promote mental health knowledge and awareness internationally. Dr. Perron has been increasingly involved with the work of IAC since 2013. He has served as a Member at Large with the Executive Council since 2018, and Chair of the Counselling Practitioners’ Round Table since 2016. He has also been involved with other responsibilities including Chair of the 2018 Conference Scientific Committee, IAC Program Certification Reviewer, and Editorial Reviewer for the IAC journal, International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling (IJAC).

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER: Naoise Kelly

Naoise

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.

PAST PRESIDENT: Dione Mifsud

Dione Mifsud

Dione Mifsud is the Past 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.

 MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY: Ruth Falzon

Ruth

I joined IAC in 2007 when I attended the Cork conference in preparation for the 2008 Malta Conference.  My interest in the profession of counselling is due to the non-medical and empowerment model of the profession and my passion for the wellbeing of the individual for effective citizenship and healthy communities and nations.  I am involved in a number of organisations, namely: Elected Board Director and Treasurer of the European Dyslexia Association (EDA), elected Executive Council member of the International Association for Counselling (treasurer 2010-2016); an Executive Council Member (Treasurer 2010- 2018) of the Malta Association for the Counselling Profession (MACP);  secretary of the Malta Dyslexia Association (MDA) and treasurer to the  International Society for Policy Research & Evaluation in School-Based Counselling (ISPRESC). I am also involved in the Maltese Personal and Social Development Association (MPSDA) and am the president of the School Council of my home-community primary school. I am a senior lecturer within the Department of Counselling at the University of Malta. My first degree is a Bachelor of Education from the University of Malta (1978-1982), after which (1982-1983) I read a master in Learning Disabilities at Northwestern University (Illinois) and a doctorate (2008-2012) at Northumbria University (Newcastle).  My areas of expertise and research interest include Personal and Social Development Methodology, Specific Learning Difficulties - in particular, how emotional literacy, transversal/soft skills, performance auto/ethnography and counselling affect the quality of life of persons with dyslexia in the short and long term. I am also involved in training for dyslexia and helping skills with several colleges and universities in Bangalore, Chennai and Tamil Nadu.  I publish in journals, am invited to write chapters in books, have co-edited a first textbook on Wellbeing and am in the process of co-editing the second volume of this series of textbooks.  I am married with two adult children.  My daughter is also a counsellor specialising in Transcultural counselling, whilst my husband is a professor in Banking and Finance and my son immersed in Mathematics.  I believe that, inasmuch as literacy is essential to coping in today’s civilisation, technology has advanced so much that persons for whom literacy is challenging can use technology to access literacy and present work in the literate form. I further believe that self-esteem and self-confidence are crucial to successful education and good Quality of Life.  This is why I focus on PSD methodology and research in counselling.  ruth.falzon@um.edu.mt

 

REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES 

Anna Maria Mora (Regional Representative for Caribbean)

   

On July 17, 2017, I received an acceptance letter from President Dionne Mifsud, welcoming me to the IAC, after my application for “interim” Regional Member-Caribbean was accepted. The position became vacant because the previous member resigned.  I occupied the position until the IAC’s Moncton AGM, in May 2019.  I was then elected the Regional Representative-Caribbean for a two-year term. I reside in the southernmost islands of the archipelago of Caribbean islands: Trinidad and Tobago.  The Caribbean still has a very “distant” relationship with the idea and practice of Counselling. Counselling is not embraced as an activity which really makes a positive difference in citizens’ lives.  IAC’s vision resonated with me.  “A World where Counselling is Available to All” is a vision in which I firmly believe. I resigned from our Government Service as a Guidance Officer, on my return from Columbia University in New York, where I obtained my M. Ed., and M. A. in Counselling Psychology. Here, I learned that behaviour change is possible through the professional counselling interaction. On my return I founded Mariama Children’s Museum & Teen Turf: The Counselling and Activity Center for Children and Adolescents. This community-based, non-profit organization has been in operation for 29 years and is largely self-funded. I worked at Secondary Schools for over 10 years before obtaining my degrees, worked at a Family Counselling Service titled “Families in Action” and with Employee Assistance Programmes. I also travelled the Caribbean working at what was needed to transform organizations and communities for the better. I have been a Past President of the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Psychologists (TTAP), having served two (2) two-year terms of office.  I am a long-standing member of a lobby group of TTAP, working to impress upon present and past Governments (over ten years) for a National Psychological Trauma Center. In Trinidad and Tobago, many of our citizens are victims of very traumatic events.  I am also a regular columnist in our local newspapers about parenting issues and creating an awareness of the value of counselling. Since my involvement with IAC, I have also formed partnerships with the Caribbean College of Family Physicians (CCFP) and hope in this term to create a working relationship with PAHO/WHO- Trinidad and Tobago to assist with getting IAC’s vision out to as many islands of the Caribbean as possible. 

Jessica Bertolani (Regional Representative for Europe)

Jessica

 

 

 

 Jessica Bertolani earned her Ph.D in Counseling from the University of Verona, where she worked 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).

Regional Representative (Middle-East): Kabeer N.V.

 

 

Regional Representative (Africa): Dominic Nsona

Dominic Nsona is a Psychosocial Counsellor who is a general practitioner and a strong believer in the client centered approach. Dominic works with Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation as a technical Advisor in HIV Counselling and Testing services( HTS) in Malawi old capital Zomba. Dominic has qualifications in counselling and health management programs and have great experience working in hospital settings. Dominic has in the minimum, 4!hrs of counselling time with clients every month. Such sessions range from grief and loss, marriage counseling, addiction related among others. Dominic is the President of the Malawi Association of Counselling (MAC). Dominic has also a successful career working for many years in church/faith based organization, counselling in hospital settings and working hand in hand with Malawi ministry of health in HIV related counselling and supervision, curriculum development, training standards, HIV testing and counselling policy formulation and reviews among others. Dominic is an affiliate of Health Choices, a South African based employee wellness program firm that specializes in EWP and has worked with so many of its clients in Malawi. Dominic lives in Zomba with his wife Gloria and their three children.

Personal Statement — I’m delighted to have been elected to the IAC Executive Council as the Regional Representative (Africa). I am a strong believer of the counselling intervention and that people of the world need it in all life’s scenarios be it in life’s decisions, career development, behavior change, almost every area. I believe I will contribute effectively to its growth in Malawi, Africa and the entire world wide. As a national President of MAC —  I am especially well-placed to contribute to IAC. MAC is currently working in the counselling policy that will contribute to the acknowledgment and recognition of counselling as a profession in Malawi. I believe the work of IAC can be best progressed through ongoing attention to research, training standards, accreditation, continuing professional development, and ethics: And specifically progressed by connecting groups and associations in areas of the world where counselling is more developed, with those in areas of the world where they are starting. I am delighted to be part of this global initiatives that aim at growing counselling both as a profession and plausible intervention that no one should ignore. 

Regional Representative (Asia): Anasuya Jegathevi Jegathesan

Dr Anasuya J Jegathesan is a counsellor and supervisor. She is the Program Director of Psychology at a Private University in Malaysia (Taylor's University.) She specializes in grief and loss, Adolescents and Counsellor Education... Dr. Anasuya has a Doctorate in Counselling and is the Treasurer of  the PERKAMA International, the largest Counselling Association in Malaysia. Dr. Anasuya supervisors Counselling Interns for numerous non-profit organizations including KECHARA Soup Kitchen, PT Foundation and Malaysian Invisible Illness Association. She sees clients privately in issues ranging from grief and loss, trauma and suicide, spirituality, sexual identity, LGBT issues and adolescent-parent relationships. Dr. Anasuya has edited a book on Multicultural Counselling and developed therapy cards Journeys Through Life, to be used in a multicultural setting. Dr. Anasuya also does talks and workshops for young people on self-esteem, identity and Hinduism. The is a member of the SAI Organization and conducts value classes for teens weekly.

Personal Statement — I’m delighted to have been elected to the IAC Executive Council as the Regional Representative (Asia). I believe counselling and mental wellness is essential in supporting individual and social development as it proactively the development of healthy relationships. In Asia, counselling is predominantly focused on when trauma and issues arise, with age-old stigmas attached. There is a call to bring to light the power of counselling to proactively develop relationships and support societal development, to see Counselling not as just a tool for healing, but a tool for building healthy connections and buffering support systems to enhance emotional and cognitive resilience. I believe IAC will be an important bridge to support the development of counselling in Asia. As an inherently multi-cultural Organization IAC understands the need for the localization of approaches while maintaining international standards. I believe IAC provides an excellent platform to advance multi-cultural research, training standards, accreditation, continuing professional development, and globlization of ethical standards. The strategy if IAC to work with local non-profits supports global  connection and professional development. One of the best but side benefits of IAC is meeting interesting, engaging and amazing people from all over the world. This network enhances lives professionally and personally in a multitude of interesting ways. And I am grateful to meet all of you. 

Regional Representative (Oceania): Di Stow

Dr Di Stow is a counsellor and supervisor specialising in grief and loss. Di works in private practice in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Di has qualifications in education and counselling, including a Masters in Education, a Masters in Counselling, and a PhD titled ‘Looking Up and Out: Transcending Techniques in Counselling for Grief and Loss with Philosophy’. Di is the President of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA). Di works with clients presenting with grief and loss, anxiety and depression, and quite a range of other concerns, such as drug and alcohol, and domestic violence matters. She is a trauma informed practitioner. Di has also had a successful career working for many years in government in Education, and Justice: Teaching (primary and secondary), curriculum development, training standards, and in human resources — managing performance, grievances, and change. Di is a member of Rotary and a Paul Harris Fellow. Di lives in Hobart with her husband Nick, and their three girls and five grandchildren.

Personal Statement — I’m delighted to have been elected to the IAC Executive Council as the Regional Representative (Oceania). I believe counselling should hold a place on the international stage for the greater good of the world’s people — their health and well-being. As a private practitioner, a counsellor working particularly with grief and loss, I can make a big contribution; make a big difference. As national President of PACFA — the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia, I am especially well-placed to contribute to IAC. I am working in the profession privately, and professionally through my national association, and I am across a wide range of counselling matters. I have been on the PACFA Board for over eight years now, serving as a general Board member with the specific responsibility of Conference Convenor, and also serving as Secretary, Vice President, and now President. I believe the work of IAC can be best progressed through ongoing attention to research, training standards, accreditation, continuing professional development, and ethics: And specifically progressed by connecting groups and associations in areas of the world where counselling is more developed, with those in areas of the world where they are starting. Indeed, the work of IAC offers considerable opportunities to be relational and connect with colleagues across so many countries, to listen and support each other, to work together to develop creative ideas for advancing the organisation. 

Regional Representative (Latin America): Desiree Carlson

Desiree Carlson is a psychotherapist with extensive professional experience. Desiree has developed and implemented a wide variety of therapeutic programs for youth, adults, men, women, singles, and couples. Desiree is a renowned national and international therapist, designer and instructor, who is skilled at facilitating seminars, workshops, trainings, and conferences, as well as providing individualized counseling services for individuals and groups. Desiree has experinece of collaborating with executive leadership, community stakeholders, local government, and media to accomplish mutually beneficial goals and objectives. Desiree is licensed as a counsellor, psychotherapist, and skills coach. She joined the IAC Executive Council in May 2019, in order to bring connection and evolution to counseling in Latin American countries. Desiree has dedicated over 10 years to the development of a therapy without borders through a phenomenological perspective. Developed a therapeutical tourism program where families and groups combine therapeutical experiences with traveling and/or connection with nature to habilitate sacred and safe spaces for more connected relationships. In Cozumel, Mexico, Desiree runs a non-profit organization with her husband which develops ecological understanding and promotes recycling.  

Regional Representative (North America): Matt Lyons

Member-at-Large: Amalia Madahie

Amalia Madihie

 

 

 

 Member-at-Large: Jochen Becker-Ebel

 

As a new member at large to the EC Adj. Prof. Dr. theol. Jochen Becker-Ebel wants to serve within IAC to improve the availability of counselling services to the people in more countries; especially to those countries where counselling is still lesser known. Apart from his home-country Germany he works as a private educator and training organizer in India, where counselling is neither clearly organized nor officially professionalized. Among others, he serves as an Adjunct Professor for Palliative Care and Adj. Prof. for Psychodrama at the Medical College of the Yenepoya University, Mangalore, India as a Diploma course conductor for Geriatric Palliative Care (Medical Counselling) and Certificate Course conductor for Psychodrama. He is EC member of the IAPC (Indian Association for Palliative Care) and within science committees and advisory boards of the Indian Journal for Palliative Care IJPC and the German Children´s Hospice Association BVKH. He works as Editor and author of books, books series and Journal-articles on Psychodrama and Palliative Care. He is a member of CCPA, ASGPP, IAGP, DFP, DGSv, ISPS. He loves to interact and to help good structures to be built up. His 35-years long running history with India (he lived there by now some 10 years) prompted him to successfully assist the formation of Professionals in Counselling skills and thus develop Counselling as a profession. His future work will see him in some Muslim countries in Asia and Middle East too.

Member-at-Large: Dirk Rohr

Dr. Dirk Rohr joined the Executive Council in May 2019. His goal is to profile counselling profession in research, teaching, practice, and policy. Counselling should be part of the health care system and free of charge all over the world. His vision is the increase of awareness, empowerment, empathy and respect in a world of social justice and peace. ­­Since he is trained in Gestalt therapy as well as in systemic counselling and supervision he integrates the humanistic and systemic approach, focusing on attitudes (versus technique). Actually, he is working on training standards, certificates, and counselling structures. Since 2009 Dr. Dirk Rohr is the Academic Director of the ‘Centre for Advanced Teaching and Learning’ and also of the ‘Counselling Research Group’ at the University of Cologne, Germany. He was appointed professor for communication at the University of Oldenburg in 2004. In 2006 he was Invited Scientist at Harvard University. Furthermore, he is the founder and director of a private certified training institute for counselling in Cologne and an author and publisher of 11 books concerning counselling, teaching and learning. Since 2016 he is the treasurer of the German association for counselling ("Deutsche Gesellschaft für Beratung (DGfB)"). Since April 2019 he is the President of the European Association for Counselling, EAC. The EAC will collaborate with the IAC in the world mapping project which is encouraged by the WHO.