SAPC Constitution

Click here to download SAPC Constitution Dec 2017



The South African Psychoanalytic Confederation
(S A P C)
Founded 22 November 2009


Psychoanalytic psychotherapy can be defined as a specific body of knowledge and a method of treatment that concerns itself with the relationship between conscious and unconscious mental processes as well as with the relationship between the clinician and the patient or group. It is a therapeutic process which helps patients understand and resolve their problems by increasing their awareness of their inner worlds and its influence over relationships, both past and present. Psychoanalytic treatment is concerned not merely with symptom alleviation but with self-discovery and the re-integration of projected, split-off and repressed parts of our psychological life. It aims for deep-seated change in personality as well as emotional and interpersonal development.

The South African Psychoanalytic Confederation (SAPC) unites under one organization groups of clinicians from diverse professions whose therapeutic work with individuals, couples, families, groups and communities is informed by psychoanalytic theory and praxis. The concept of the analytic attitude undergirds the diverse approaches of the SAPC membership.

Professionals in South Africa adopting the analytic attitude in their clinical practice include colleagues from different training backgrounds. This includes psychologists, social workers, nurses, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, lay counselors, as well as analysts, some of whom qualified internationally. This is in line with widespread international practice and is based on the profession seeking to maintain its own high standards of ongoing training. The SAPC is founded on the belief that our common analytic attitude unites as professionals across our diverse backgrounds and provides a widely acknowledged treatment for people suffering from psychological distress.

The name of the umbrella body of psychoanalytic groups in South Africa shall be the South African Psychoanalytic Confederation and abbreviated to SAPC.

2.1 The SAPC was founded to form a confederal structure that represents and supports psychoanalytic thinking and practice in South Africa.
2.2 The SAPC commits to the following:
2.2.i To further diversity and inclusivity within the different psychoanalytic approaches (their theories, practitioners and clientele) and communication across diverse South African identities. This includes but is not limited to differences in race, gender, language and educational access. 2.2.ii To foster the establishment of psychoanalytic practice as a distinct professional identity. 2.2.iii To thereby contribute to the well-being of people living in South Africa. This will be in accordance with the South African Constitution and the South African Bill of Rights.

3.1 This purpose will be fulfilled through achieving the following aims:

3.1.i To promote and broaden access to psychoanalytically oriented therapy
3.1.ii To foster the growth of psychoanalytic thinking, studies, training and research in an African context
3.1.iii To foster dialogue with the public health sector and the general public sector, including the relevant professional statutory bodies
3.1.iv To promote cooperation between component organizations
3.1.v To promote the maintenance of high standards of training, practice and ethical conduct To hold Congresses

4.1 The SAPC shall function as a confederation.
4.2 Membership is through the component groups that form the SAPC. A minimum of three people constitutes a group. These include any group that is interested in psychoanalytic theory and/or practice and its diverse attitudes and applications. This includes but is not limited to reading groups, study groups, clinical seminar groups, journal clubs, study institutes, educational institutions such as university courses studying psychoanalysis and non-governmental and non-profit organizations applying psychoanalysis in their thinking and practice.

4.2.i  Groups elect their representative(s). Each group has at least one representative on the Group Representative body. Each group will submit a list of their members, the number of members and the names of their representatives to the EXCO on the 1st of February of every year. Groups will decide on how many representatives they think necessary according to their internal structures, based on the recommendation of one representative for every 10 members. EXCO will apply a moderating function on the number of representative a group may have, in relation to other groups.
4.2.ii  Groups can decide whether they want to send one representative holding their multiple of votes, or as many representatives as they have votes, to AGMs and Special Meetings.
4.2.iii  Each group that meets separately will pay a group fee. The group fee is the amount calculated by multiplying the members of the group by the fee rate per member fixed annually by the Executive Committee
4.2.iv  The group fee is payable within 60 days of the date on which the Executive Committee fixes the fee rate. The representatives of any group that has not paid its group fee in full by the due date will not be entitled to participate in any of the structures of the SAPC until such time as the group fee has been paid in full.
4.2.v  Each group is autonomous. According to this principle each group will determine the terms of office of their representative.  Group Representatives elect the Executive Committee, to be known as the SAPC EXCO and the EXCO decides on the allocation of portfolios to its elected members. Members can change portfolio positions within EXCO at the discretion of the EXCO when there is good reason to do so.

5.1 The SAPC shall be administered by an executive committee (SAPC EXCO) in line with the purpose and principles established
5.2 The Group Representatives are elected by their members.
5.3 The SAPC EXCO is elected by the Group Representatives. Only Group Representatives may stand for election to the EXCO.

5.3.i The SAPC EXCO shall comprise persons elected by secret ballot at an Annual General Meeting of SAPC to hold the following portfolios for a term of office of two years:

(a) Chair
(b) Secretary
(c) Treasurer
(d) Registrar
(e) Ethics
(f) Diversity
(g) Any additional portfolios that have been created in terms of 5.3.ii below

5.3.ii The SAPC EXCO may, at any time, create additional portfolios on the Executive Committee when there is good reason to do so, but no decision to create an additional portfolio will remain in force beyond the next Annual General Meeting of SAPC unless it is ratified by a majority vote of the Group Representative Body at that Annual General Meeting
5.3.iii The SAPC EXCO may co-opt members from the Group Representative Body to serve on it until the next Annual General Meeting of SAPC to fill a vacancy that has arisen on the SAPC EXCO or to fill an additional portfolio that has been created. At the first Annual General Meeting of SAPC after a member has been co-opted onto the SAPC EXCO, an election shall be held to fill the portfolio s/he has been occupying and s/he may stand for election to that portfolio. 5.3.iv SAPC EXCO will communicate with the component bodies that form SAPC through the Group Representatives and Group Representatives will communicate with SAPC Exco.
5.3.v SAPC EXCO may form sub-committees SAPC EXCO members will serve for one two -year term of office. An additional one- or two-year term, motivated for by EXCO and endorsed by members, may be added if deemed necessary to preserve institutional memory and promote continuity. The past-Chair will be available as a consultant to EXCO for an additional year.
5.3.vii SAPC EXCO may call on an EXCO member to resign by a 2/3 majority vote of EXCO
5.3.viii An EXCO member can resign upon one month’s written notice being given and accepted by the EXCO.
5.3. ix No person may remain on the EXCO if s/he ceases to be a member of a group affiliated to SAPC, but a person elected to the EXCO at a time that s/he was a Group Representative will not lose his/her office on the EXCO if s/he ceases to be a Group Representative.
5.3.x The EXCO will meet through regular teleconferences. The regularity of this to be determined by the Chair but these meetings will take place at least 4 times per year.
5.3.xi An EXCO quorum is 2/3 of its members

6.1 An AGM shall be held in November of each year.
6.2 All SAPC GRs shall receive notification of the AGM at least 6 weeks before the meeting
6.3 A quorum for an AGM requires the presence of 2/3 of the members of the EXCO and 2/3 of the Group Representatives.
6.4 Attached to the notification of the AGM shall be a proxy voting form. Any Group Representative who is unable to attend the AGM may complete that proxy voting form authorising another Group Representative to vote on his/her behalf at the AGM.
6.5 Elections for members onto the Executive Committee will be by secret ballot and shall take place as follows:

6.5.i Before any voting takes place, two scrutineers will be appointed to oversee the voting process.
6.5.ii The Chair will call for nominations to EXCO.
6.5.iii If only one nomination is received, the Chair will declare the nominated candidate to have been elected to the SAPC EXCO.
6.5.iv Where more than one nomination is received,
6.5.iv.1 the Group Representatives will vote by secret ballot for the candidates on a ballot form prepared and printed in advance of the AGM;
6.5.iv.2 if any one candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, the Chair will declare that candidate to have been elected to the SAPC EXCO.
6.5.v Where there is more than one EXCO vacancy, voting will be counted in ranked order until all the vacancies on EXCO are filled.

6.6 All votes other than elections for the EXCO will be by show of hands (unless a Group Representative calls for a secret ballot, in which case a secret ballot will be held). No resolution will be carried unless it is supported with a 2/3 majority of the votes cast.
6.7 Unless the EXCO decides otherwise, the location of the AGM will alternate between Johannesburg and Cape Town.
6.8 An agenda with proposals for voting on will be circulated via email to all groups 6 weeks prior to AGMS.
6.9 Groups will be responsible for travel costs of their representatives to the AGM. The travel costs of the EXCO portfolio-holders will be paid for from national funds where necessary, to ensure their attendance at the AGM.
6.10 Each portfolio holder is required to submit a written report of their portfolio to the Chair and Secretary 3 weeks before the AGM by email and to present such report at the AGM. If they are unable to be present they will delegate another Exco member to deliver their report. The Exco portfolio reports will be available for circulation to the Group Representatives.
6.11 The Chair has the power on reasonable notice to call an extraordinary meeting of the Exco or of the Group Representative Body where s/he believes it is necessary to do so.


7.1 The SAPC deems to set, develop and maintain standards to safeguard psychoanalytic practice in South Africa.

7.2 It sets minimum criteria for admission to its register through minimum standards of personal therapy and supervision and will review these criteria as its component professions develop within South Africa.

7.3 This allows for the inclusion in the register of all psychoanalytic practitioners who meet the criteria in 7.2 within the application of the practitioner, and where applicable within their scope of practice (e.g. individual therapy, group therapy) 7.4 Submission of clinical work to peer review occurs within the component groups.


Members of the SAPC are to be guided by the ethical code adopted by the SAPC

9.1 The assets of the SAPC will be held in a dedicated account administered by the treasurer with the two other signatories to the account being the Chair and the Secretary.
9.2 The treasurer will be responsible for circulating a financial statement to component groups 6 weeks before the AGM and presenting the statement at the AGM. Each AGM will be requested to adopt a resolution adopting the financial statements.
9.3 Group fees:

9.3.i Member groups will be required to pay an annual group fee to the SAPC. This money will be collected by each group and paid as one annual sum.
9.3.ii Each group that meets separately will pay a group fee and the group fee is a multiple of the number of members in that group.
9.3.iii Subsidy for NGOs and NPOs will be available on application.
9.3.iv NGOs and NPOs applying for subsidy will need to submit audited financial statements and tax certificates to the Treasurer.
9.3.v Groups not paying their annual group fee by the due date (see 4.2.iv) will be omitted from Group Representative communication.

9.4. Fees will be subject to inflationary adjustments annually


10.1 The constitution may be amended with the approval of at least 2/3 of members present at an AGM, or Special Meeting of which at least 14 days notice will be given. For AGM and Special Meeting purposes a 2/3 majority means all Exco members and Group Representatives voting together 10.2 The notice of any meeting to amend the Constitution must include the text of the proposed amendment.

Should the SAPC evolve into another association, or should its life and functions be terminated at any time, any assets in its account will be donated to the most similar body existing in South Africa, as determined by the outgoing EXCO. Should there be no appropriate body its assets will be donated to an NGO or NPO most closely associated with the aims of the SAPC, as determined by the outgoing EXCO.

The SAPC is a non-profit, voluntary association for the pursuance of our professional aims as above. The SAPC and its EXCO members, as well as its Group Representatives cannot be held liable for acts of omission or commission in the pursuance of its aims.