The International Federation for Psychotherapy invites you to the 23rd World Congress of Psychotherapy, to be held in Casablanca, Morocco on 9-11 February 2023. This conference has as a primary objective to demonstrate the importance of evidencebased psychotherapy in everyday practice across all clinical settings throughout the world.

What are the common curative factors in psychotherapy? Research studies validate the clinical observations that specific aspects of psychotherapy practice are curative. These include: empathy (with sub-components of compassion, affective sharing, synchronized mirroring, listening to expressed intense emotions while maintaining composure and serenity), goal consensus and collaboration, establishing a therapeutic alliance (through safety, consistency, attunement, properly anticipating and attending to emotional needs), positive regard and affirmation, mastery, congruence/genuineness, and mentalization (developing the capacity to understand nuances of emotions, the emotional world of the self, the emotional world of others, and how emotions drive actions and one’s actions impact the emotions of others, resulting in either proximity, intimacy or alienation). These factors constitute the main transformative elements in psychotherapy.

In addition, in all psychotherapies affective regulation (regulation of emotional reactions, decreasing amplitude and over reactivity that may interfere with successful relationships) is of essence. In cognitive behavioral therapies maladaptive patterns are identified and cognitive distortions corrected, such as catastrophic thinking. Traumatic memories can be remembered in disjointed ways when emotional memories surge and overwhelm the person. Narrative reconstruction has the effect of helping persons who experienced trauma effectively release negative emotions and decrease hyperarousal and avoidance. In psychodynamic therapies conflicts that may be outside of conscious awareness are uncovered and verbally processed. Revisiting past experiences, especially traumatic ones, helps understand how to connect past experiences with present concerns or symptoms to forge a better future. Psychotherapy is thus practiced along a past-present-future continuum.

Psychotherapy, in addition to providing symptomatic relief, promotes gains in functioning and improves quality of life. Researchers have demonstrated that psychotherapy not only decreases medical morbidity but also reduces mortality.

A psychotherapy process oscillates from dealing with the here and now, doing retrospective analyses and narrative reconstructions and prospective planning.

Psychotherapy pays special attention to the developmental milestones that are relevant to each phase of life, such as trust, autonomy, initiative, industry, identity, intimacy, generativity, integrity, and balancing self-reliance with interdependence.

Neuroimaging findings corroborate that structural changes and changes in metabolic rate in the brain occur as a result of psychotherapy. With advances in neuroscience, we now understand that psychotherapy may be considered a biological treatment. As with medication treatments, there is a dose effect with psychotherapy and most individuals obtain greater benefit from either longer-term treatments or rigorous short-term therapies. Episodic psychotherapy could be beneficial when a commitment to long-term therapy or a standardized rigorous short-term protocol is not possible.

This conference invites international delegates from all continents who are members of IFP member societies and clinicians and academics from all mental health disciplines.

We seek to provide a forum for the collegial exchange of diverse ideas and theoretical constructs to advance the practice of psychotherapy treatments. This conference will include Plenary Sessions, Symposia, Panel Discussions, Interactive Workshops,

Review Courses and Case Presentations. In addition, there will be two Poster Session tracks, clinical and research, to give opportunities to trainees, researchers, and clinicians from all over the world to present their work in a collegial setting.

IFP is inclusive and all treatment modalities will be featured, including cognitive behavioral and third wave therapies, motivational interviewing, supportive psychotherapy, psychodynamic psychotherapies, provided in individual, group, outpatient and structured settings. Conference participants will be able to compare theoretical approaches and integrate modalities to better tailor treatments. Common factors of all therapies will be discussed, and cultural adaptations will be highlighted.

Plenary speakers, symposia presenters, and workshop facilitators will cover a wide range of relevant topics. These include, among others, evidence-based CBT and MI treatments of addiction, CBT cultural adaptations, Third-Wave psychotherapies, psychodynamics of psychopharmacology, end of life care, psychotherapy in underserved areas with high volume and low resources, integrating psychotherapy modalities, evidence-based psychotherapies for psychosis, psychotherapy in medical settings, psychotherapy education, religion and spirituality and psychotherapy, psychotherapy and culture, and contemporary psychoanalysis.

We would like to thank the University Hassan II Casablanca, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, for so graciously hosting the IFP World Congress of Psychiatry, and express gratitude to all the member organizations for their dedication and cooperation to ensure success and academic rigor.

It is with enthusiasm that we invite you to join us Casablanca for this historic conference.


C sar A. Alfonso, M.D

Co-Chairperson, Scientific Committee, 23rd World Congress of Psychotherapy
Council Member, International Federation for Psychotherapy
Chairperson, World Psychiatric Association Section on Psychotherapy

For additional information about the congress, please contact :
International Federation for Psychotherapy