Constitution & Bylaws

Download AAGT Constitution and Bylaws 2016 (Pdf)


AAGT-AIC Preamble

These By-Laws provide rules, as specified by and in compliance with the Articles of Incorporation, for the governance of the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy – An International Community (also herein referred to as the Association, and by its initials, AAGT-AIC and AAGT), and for the functioning of the Association’s Board of Directors (also herein referred to as the Board) which shall develop and set, consistent with the mode of functioning of this organization, all Association policy, and for the Association’s Executive Council (also herein referred to as the Council, or as the Officers of the Association, or as the EC) which shall provide leadership for the Association and carry out the decisions of the Board to the best of its ability.

The Association is organized and certified as a non-stock, non-profit corporation entitled to engage in any lawful act or activity exclusively for educational, scientific, and charitable purposes except that no part of the activities of the Association shall consist of the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to intervene in any of these Articles, nor otherwise engaging in activities not permitted to be carried on by an organization exempt from Federal Income Tax under Section 501(c)(3), or by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170(c)(2), of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).

ARTICLE I: Name and Purpose

Section 1. Name:
The name of this professional organization is the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy – An International Community, also referred to by its initials, AAGT-AIC, or its original initials AAGT, and also, herein, as the Association.

Section 2. Purpose:
The purpose of the Association shall be to support the professional and personal associating and advancing of persons interested in participating in a forum committed to the preservation and advancement of the philosophy, theory, practice, and research of Gestalt therapy and its various applications. In furtherance of this purpose, AAGT shall encourage the development and application of principles and practices in the organization consistent with the following tenets:

  • That an organization can be created, rather than imposed, and that it will grow out of our contacting; and
  • That a structure will emerge in response to our shared needs, interests and concerns; and
  • That by believing in the unity of theory and practice, an organization which so creates itself, is itself an experiment, an on-going organic process of Gestalt formation and destruction, in which old forms are destroyed and new figures emerge through contact that is bright and lively, energetic, graceful and fluid; and
  • That such an organization provides the ground for the enrichment, articulation and support of the constantly emerging figure that is Gestalt Therapy!
ARTICLE II: Registration, Offices and Agents

Section 1. Association Registration
The Association is registered as a legal entity with The Secretary of State in the State of Delaware and is filed accordingly with The Register of Deeds in Delaware as a non-stock and non-profit corporation. The filing of these documents was accomplished on 24 November 1992.

Section 2. Permanent Address
The permanent address of the Association is that of the Association’s “Registered Office” which is located at 201 North Walnut Street, Wilmington, County of New Castle, Delaware 19801; Telephone # (302) 575-0440; FAX # (302) 575-1346.

Section 3. Registered Agent
The “Registered Agent” of the Association is The Company Corporation, which is located at the above address of the registered office.

Section 4. Working Office
The “Working Office” of the Association is that office where Association archives and records are maintained which shall be located at the home office of the Founding Secretary and Association Archivist, Dr. Ansel L. Woldt, 511 Beryl Drive, Kent, Ohio 44240, until such time that other suitable location(s) may be designated by the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE III. Constituency, Membership and Privileges

Section 1. Constituency
The Association is a voluntary organization of individuals and training institutes expressing their interest(s) in Gestalt Therapy. Participation shall be open to persons of all nations in the world, who shall be treated with respect and without discrimination on the basis of race, gender, national or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, mental or physical disability. The Association shall undertake and encourage activities and may also develop programs which have as their goal the amelioration of conditions that may restrict members from full participation in the Association.

Section 2. Membership
There are two classifications of membership in AAGT – Individual and Organizational. Association Members shall be persons interested in the history, development, preservation, and/or advancement of the Gestalt approach and otherwise meet the standards prescribed by these By-Laws. Members must pay an annual membership fee (the amount of which shall be designated by the Board of Directors and paid to the Treasurer by each member annually). Annual dues is payable on or before the first day of May each and every year (multiple-year membership payments excepted). The designation Member, as used in these By-Laws, shall be deemed the preferred classification of all persons and organizations belonging to the Association. Within the Individual Membership category, AAGT has determined to provide a reduction in annual dues for certain groups such as couples, students, new members and retired members. Membership may be terminated by the Membership Committee or by the Executive Council for non-payment of dues and for other criteria to be determined by the Board of Directors and approved by the membership.

Section 3. Membership Privileges
Members shall have the right and be encouraged to express their individual opinions and convictions, to secure fair consideration, to vote at Annual Meetings, to hold office (providing prerequisites are met), and to have their voices be heard in this Association. Membership in the Association is not credentialing nor is it intended to imply or to convey that members have met any minimum standards of training, any criteria for certification, any level of knowledge, nor the mastery of any skill as a Gestalt therapist or as a Gestalt therapist training program.

ARTICLE IV: Meetings, Conferences and Conveyances

Section 1. Annual Meeting
There shall be an Annual Meeting for members of the Association, presided over by the President, for the purpose of including members in the activities of the Association. This shall include but not be limited to the election and appointment of Officers and Board of Directors and for the transaction of such other business as may come before the membership. The time and place of Annual Meetings shall be decided by the Board of Directors. Members shall be notified by the President or his/her designee as to the time, place and tentative agenda of Annual Meetings. Notice shall be given in the AAGT Newsletter and the AAGT Members Listserv. The announcement of Annual Meetings and the known agenda shall be distributed to the membership forty-five (45) days prior to the meeting. Members shall be invited to submit additional agenda items and the forty-five (45) day notice does not restrict the right of any member to add a new issue to the agenda on any meeting of the membership.

Section 2. Other Meetings
The Board of Directors may call special meetings or hold special conferences at locations, for the furtherance of the purposes of the Association and shall give notice of said meetings to the members in the AAGT Newsletter and on the Members Listserv.

Section 3. Meetings as Form, Forum and Process
The form and forums of all meetings shall be based on Gestalt Therapy principles of organismic self-regulation, good figure/ground formation, quality contact and respect for the functional resistance necessary for structure that supports sufficient flexibility to provide nourishing ground for personal and professional integrity, meaningful interpersonal interaction, inclusionary decision-making, personalized networking, and professional development among the members of the Association. In accordance with the Gestalt principles which precipitated and guided the inception and development of this Association, the form and forum for the decision-making process of the Association shall be concerned with the human and decisional processes as well as with the outcome and products of those decisions. Community Meetings were developed for the presentation and discussion of issues pertinent to the Association. The Association’s founders placed a high priority on major decisions being made in an open forum where face-to-face contact is possible and where consensus is sought, rather than voting as accorded by “Robert’s Rules of Order.” Consensus encourages the expression of feelings and dissenting opinion, whereby both majority and minority views are aired openly on the decisional issue before the body. If time permits, each member shall have a voice if s/he so wishes to express it, providing it pertains directly to the task/issue at hand. After a consensus has been reached there shall be an attempt to include the minority/dissenting part into the whole. In situations or cases wherein consensus cannot be reached or time constraints do not permit the full expression and articulation of the opinions and feelings of all present, the act of a majority of members present in the meeting shall be the treated as the act of the Association unless otherwise precluded by law or these By-Laws.

Because Gestalt therapists encourage, respect and support alternative voices, value non-confluent relationships by owning and expressing differences, engage with resistances as “the energy, not the enemy,” identify and work with polarities in the field, and honor dialogical processes as the heart and soul of Gestalt methodology, the “Covenant of Community” was developed and approved at AAGT’s 2002 Gestalt Conference, with a recent addition of item “I” at the 2013 Annual General Meeting following a months-long AAGT members’ Internet dialogue on social equality and justice. This was done to provide supplemental guidance for and a commitment to creating and sustaining dialogue in our Gestalt community. The “Covenant of Community” invites AAGT members to subscribe to the following dialogical processes, particularly when encountering dramatic differences:

  1. We will undertake and encourage one another to engage in ongoing dialogue with one another and to remain open and in contact when choosing to withdraw temporarily from dialogue.
  2. We will undertake to recognize, acknowledge and own our projections and to check out our assumptions.
  3. We will undertake to maintain community through patience and understanding.
  4. We will undertake to support the needs of the members of our community.
  5. We will undertake to stay with even difficult dialogue, acknowledging the need for space and refreshment when hungry, tired and frustrated, but not abandoning one another.
  6. We will undertake to get and remain interested in the impact our behavior, words and intentions have on one another.
  7. We will undertake to put our desire for and interest in power (in whatever form) out on the table along with being honest and direct in other arenas.
  8. We will undertake to attend carefully to language or other communication that objectifies the other.
  9. Moreover, We will undertake in whatever way emerges through our experience with the larger social field to support the purpose and ethical values of our community, which include the human worth and dignity of every person. In this way we declare our commitment to social equality and justice among persons within our community and in the wider, external community.

Notice: Forty-five days’ notice is to be given to the membership via e-mail for any item to appear on the agenda of any meeting open to the membership and at which a vote of the membership is required. This does not restrict the right of any member to add a new issue to the agenda at any meeting of the membership.

Section 4. Conveyances and Publications
The Association may publish and distribute such materials, newsletters, journals, tapes, films, or other matter that may be of interest to the membership as may be authorized by the Executive Council and/or Board of Directors. The official publication for the conveyance of information relative to the functioning of the Association shall be the AAGT Newsletter to be published on a regular basis and edited by the Newsletter Editor and pre-reviewed by the Communications Director and President. Endorsements appearing in any publication of the Association shall be approved by the Executive Council. The Administration and direct management of AAGT publication activity shall be under the auspices and direction of the Communications Director in consultation with the President and/or his/her designee from the Board, and/or member(s) of the Association with expertise in editing and publication.

Section 5. Biennial International Conferences
AAGT shall conduct an International Conference to be held biennially in conjunction with the Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) to maximize the number of participants able to participate in the direction and course of action of AAGT. It is intended that these conferences will provide opportunities for AAGT membership and others to associate and advance Gestalt therapy through both planned and spontaneous activities such as community meetings, process groups and socializing opportunities, and sharing research, works-in-progress, theoretical knowledge, strategies and values through peer-reviewed presentations, plenary sessions and experimental workshops.

A Conference Location Proposal Request Form will be available through the AAGT Web site and Newsletter. Gestalt institutes, persons or groups interested in hosting a conference will submit a proposal request to the AAGT Board for consideration, preferably at least two (2) months prior to the AGM two (2) years preceding the proposed conference. AAGT is committed to engaging in dialogue with differences and no country or region will be excluded from consideration. Upon receipt and discussion of proposals, the Board will prepare a recommendation to the AGM for review, discussion and decision by members present. The Board will encourage and facilitate an online conversation around the biennial Conference site selection, the Host Organizing Team and On-site Conference Coordinators. If at the end of the Annual General Meeting the membership is unable to reach consensus in determining the venue and coordinators for the next biennial Conference, the Board will make this determination. In the event there are no Conference proposals, the Board will of necessity recruit an ad hoc Conference organizing committee to determine the best possible Conference venue and coordinators.

ARTICLE V:Organizational Structure and Governance

Section 1. Board of Directors
The activities and affairs of the Association shall be the responsibility of the Board of Directors (Board), a body of Association members determined by these By-Laws to include an Executive Council and other Board Members. Only members of the Association shall be eligible to serve on the Board. The Board is expressly authorized, in accord with the AAGT Articles of Incorporation, to make, alter or repeal Association decisions within the constraints provided by Delaware law pertaining to non-profit, non-stock corporations, to wit, “the Board of Directors shall not exercise any power of authority conferred herein or by Statute upon the members.” To facilitate the smoother functioning of the Association, the Board may delegate to the Executive Council all the powers of the Board necessary to carry on the management of the Association’s activities and affairs.

A. Composition of the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors shall consist of:

1. The Executive Council (Association Officers)
The Executive Council (EC) is part and parcel of the Board of Directors and shall be composed of five (6) Association Officers — the President, President-Elect/Vice President, Past President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Continuing Education Officer.

2. Additional Members of the Board of Directors
Composition of the Board of Directors shall be determined at the Association’s Annual Meetings. In addition to the Executive Council, people elected or appointed to the following offices shall constitute the Board of Directors: Association Archivist, Communications Officer(s), Newsletter Editor, Membership Chair(s), Organizational Members’ (OM) Representative(s), Regional Contact Persons’ (RCP) Representative, Coordinator(s) of Interest Groups, Scholarship Co-Chairs, Regional Development Fund Chair, Research Liaison Chair, and Associate Continuing Education Officer.

B. Election Procedures
Officers and other Board members shall be elected or appointed (as designated in these By-Laws) at the Annual Meetings of the Association by those members present. As with other decision-making processes described in these By-Laws, the election or appointment to positions on the Board shall be by consensus of members present at the Annual Meetings unless consensus is impossible or improbable within the time constraints of the meeting; in which case, a majority vote (over 50%) of those present shall suffice to determine the outcome of the election. The Vice President shall be responsible for the preparation and organization of the election, including the recruitment and presentation of nominees.

If an Elections Committee is to be utilized, it shall be the responsibility of the Vice President to organize such a committee as an ad hoc group for the purposes of recruiting and nominating members who meet the requirements of the office as stated herein and who are willing and able to serve AAGT as leaders on the Board of Directors. Fair notice of open positions on the Board and the terms of office shall be announced in the AAGT Newsletter prior to the Annual Meeting; such announcement being the responsibility of the Vice President. Members interested in running for office should notify the Vice President or a Board member and shall be invited to submit a position paper containing information relevant to the position being sought to be published on the AAGT Website, in the AAGT Newsletter and shared at the Annual Meeting.

C. Terms of Office

In order to maintain optimal levels of awareness, organizational interaction and vital contact, the terms of office on the Board shall be for terms varying from 1 to 3 years, with terms of office being as follows:

  1. Executive Council

        President: 2 year term, Elected at Annual Meetings during Biennial Conferences. [Next due in 2020, 2022, etc.]

       Vice President / Past-President: 1 year term continues after Presidency as Vice President until next Annual Meeting.

       President-Elect/Vice President; 2 year term, Elected at Annual Meeting during Biennual  Conferences with the first year as the President Elect and the second year as the Vice President [Next due in 2020, 2022, etc.]

      Secretary: 2 year term, Elected at Annual Meeting during Biennial Conferences [Next due in 2020, 2022, etc.]

      Treasurer: 2 year term, Elected at Annual Meeting during Biennial Conferences [Next due in 2020, 2022, etc.]

      Continuing Education Officer: 3 year term, Appointed initially in 1997 [Next due in 2021, 2024, etc.]

  1. Additional Board Members

      Interest Groups’ Coordinator(s): 3 year term, Elected initially in 1992 [Next 2022, etc.]

      Communications Officer: 3 year term, Appointed initially in 1993 [Next 2020, 2023, etc.]

      Newsletter Editor: 3 year term, Appointed initially in 1993 [Next 2020, 2023, etc.]

      Association Archivist: 3 year term, Appointed initially in 1994 [Next 2021, 2024, etc.]

      Membership Chairperson(s): 3 year term, Elected initially in 1995 [Next 2022, etc.]

      OM Representative(s): 2 year term, Elected initially in 2004 [Next 2020, 2022, etc.]

      Scholarship Fund Chair(s): 3 year term, Elected initially in 2014 [Next 2020, 2023, etc.]

      Regional Development Liaison Officer: 2 year term, Appointed initially in 2014 [Next 2020, 2022 etc.]

      Research Liaison Officer: 2 year term, Appointed initially in 2014 [Next 2020, 2022, etc.]

      Associate Continuing Education Officer: Year-to-year Board appointment at the discretion of the Continuing Education Officer

      At Large Board Members: Year-to-year Board Appointments

3. Ex-Officio Board Members
Ex-officio Board members are regularly on Board conference calls and participate in Board discussions. These include:
AAGT Administrative Assistant and Conference Coordinators of AAGT’s forthcoming conference.

D. Board Quorum
It shall be necessary to have a majority (over fifty percent) of the Board members involved in the consensus and/or voting process, to constitute a quorum.

E. Manner of Acting as a Board and AAGT Decision-Making Process

1. Form and Forum for Consensus
In accordance with the Gestalt principles which precipitated and guided the inception and development of this Association, the form and forum for the decision-making process of the Board shall be the same as that of the Association; namely that it shall be concerned with the human and decisional processes of the Board as well as with the outcome and products of those decisions. Board decisions will be made preferably through consensus-seeking rather than by majority vote, whereby protocol encourages the expression of feelings and dissenting opinion; and whereby both majority and minority views are aired openly on the decisional issue before the body. Each member shall have a voice if s/he so wishes to express it, providing it pertains directly to the task/issue at hand. After a consensus has been reached there shall be an attempt to include the minority/dissenting part into the whole. In situations or cases wherein consensus cannot be reached or time constraints may not permit the full expression and articulation of the opinions and feelings of all present, the act of an absolute majority of the Board members present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the Board except where otherwise precluded by law or these By-Laws. Board conference calls are typically conducted Online, on Sundays at the most convenient time for all Board members with video streaming available at no cost to Board members.

2. Association Grievance Policy
AAGT is committed to conducting all of its activities in strict conformance with the ethical guidelines of all professional associations and societies. AAGT is dedicated to complying with all legal and ethical responsibilities to be non-discriminatory in all respects toward members as individuals and groups of members, including conference activity such as promotional materials, program content and in the treatment of program participants. Monitoring and assessment of compliance with these standards of professional conduct shall be the responsibility of the Board members as pertains to their particular area of interest and of the Conference or Program Coordinator in the case of AAGT programs.

AAGT’s Covenant of Community was created with the hope of diminishing dissensions and creating a communicational foundation to prevent grievances. While AAGT goes to great lengths to assure fair treatment for all members and conference participants and attempts to anticipate problems, occasionally issues will surface and come to the attention of the Board or conference staff that requires intervention and/or action on the part of AAGT processes or conference programming. Complaints that have been directed towards AAGT processes in the past have been addressed by the Board and on occasion have resulted in having a Board member serve as a liaison and facilitator to resolve a grievance. In the case of grievances registered about conference or programs, the on-site coordinators have consulted with the President and/or other officers to assist with a satisfactory resolution.

F. Official Board Minutes
The Secretary shall keep a copy of the Official Minutes of all meetings of the Executive Council and Board. A copy of the minutes shall be distributed in a timely manner for additions and corrections by the Secretary to members of the Board prior to being posted on the AAGT Website.

G. Board Vacancies
In the event of illness, absence, or any other reason causing inability of an officer to serve, the Board of Directors may act to fill the office until the next regular election or until the officer is able to return to her/his office.

Section 2. Executive Council
The Executive Council, also referred to variously as Council, Association Officers and EC is constituted by and empowered to function in behalf of the Board of Directors and the Association. The Association designates to the Executive Council all the powers of the Board necessary to carry on the management of the Association’s activities and affairs. It shall consist of AAGT’s President, Vice President Elect, Vice Past President, Secretary, Treasurer and Continuing Education Officer. Succession of all offices shall take place during the Association’s annual meeting. The officers and their duties are as follows:

A. President
Becoming the Association’s President involves a five-year commitment. The first year of a President’s term is as President-Elect (is like an intership), which coincides with the first year of the current President’s two-year term. The President-Elect then becomes Vice-President the year before taking office as President, as the previous president transitions out of the Vice President role. The third and fourth year terms are as the organization’s President. The fifth and final term is as the Vice President, which coincides with the first year of the acting President and President Elect.

As the Presiding Officer of the Association the President shall preside over and provide leadership for the Executive Council, the Board of Directors and the Association of members. It shall be the responsibility of the President to perform the following duties:

  1. Chair all meetings of the Executive Council, Board and Association.
  2. Oversee and exercise general administration of the affairs of the Association.
  3. Unless someone else is so designated, affix the signature of the Association to all papers, conveyances, obligations, and instruments in writing that may require the same.
  4. Supervise, subject to the control of the Board, all officers, agents, and employees of the Association.
  5. Assist the Treasurer with the preparation of an Annual Budget for the Association.
  6. After consultation to seek consensus with other members of the Board, appoint members of ad hoc and advisory committees, associate editors, and other Association representatives.
  7. Be the representative of the Association, or so designate a Board member who is agreeable to all parties, to coordinate the Association’s Annual Meetings and activities pertaining thereto with the conference coordination personnel.
  8. Network with other Gestalt organizational leaders regarding Gestalt therapy within the global community.
  9. Serve as Vice President of the Association and member of the Executive Council during the year immediately following service as President.
  10. Provide an Annual Report for presentation at the Annual General Meeting.

B. President Elect and Vice President
The Vice-Presidency provides for involvement in the leadership of AAGT both as an “intern” (as President-Elect) and as an experienced mentor (as Vice/Past President). The first year in office as President-Elect is equal to the year succeeding the Past-President’s presidency, serving as Vice-President in the year before taking office as President (i.e., the 2nd year of the previous presidency). In the year following his/her Presidency (i.e., the 1st year of the next presidency) the Past-President is again a Vice-President.

The President-Elect shall be elected at the Annual Meeting during AAGT’s Biannual Conferences for a one (1) year term and shall serve in this office on the Executive Council and Board of Directors with the intent of it being a “presidential internship,” while simultaneously fulfilling the role of Vice President, prior to assuming the duties of President. It shall be the responsibility of the Vice-President to perform the following duties:

  1. Consult and collaborate with the President and Board members in developing short and long-term goals for the Association.
  2. In the absence of the President, or due to her/his inability to act, one of the Vice Presidents shall perform the duties of the President and, when so acting, shall have all the powers of and be subject to all of the restrictions upon the President.
  3. Vice President-Elect shall serve as the Chairperson for Elections. If an Elections Committee is to be utilized, it shall be the responsibility of the Vice President to organize such a committee as an ad hoc group for the purposes of nominating members who meet the requirements and who are willing and able to serve AAGT as leaders in the Executive Council and/or on the Board of Directors. An important role is the recruitment and nomination of prospective members for offices, which may necessitate considerable dialogue to communicate the essence of any open position on the Board. Being responsible for the election also necessitates the preparation of an announcement of available offices for the Membership Listserv and AAGT Newsletter well ahead of the Annual Meeting. If a ballot vote is to be cast, it shall be the Vice Presidents’ responsibility to prepare a ballot of nominees for each office due for election, and present the nominees to the membership at/or prior to the Annual General Meetings.
  4. Provide an Annual Report for presentation at the Annual General Meeting.

C. Secretary
The Secretary shall be elected to a two (2) year term of office, beginning in the year 1992 and in the even-numbered years thereafter, and shall serve as a Member and Secretary of the Executive Council, of the Board of Directors, and of the Association. The Secretary shall:

  1. Keep a record, called “Minutes,” of the proceedings of and persons in attendance at meetings of the Executive Council, the Board of Directors, and the AAGT Annual Meetings, and shall provide copies of said Minutes to the Board and membership in a timely manner.
  2. Assist the President and Board with official correspondence for the Association.
  3. Provide a copy of all pertinent Association records, minutes, and documents to the Association Archivist.
  4. To be eligible for election to Secretary it is necessary to have a computer and to be able to type notes during meetings and Board conference calls. To do the latter it is wise to have a speaker phone in order to take notes and participate in the Board calls at the same time. Board conference calls are typically held once per month on Sundays. It will be necessary to respond to Board emails and other correspondence in a timely manner. After each meeting the notes must be typed up and distributed to the board via email for corrections, additions and approval (Board members are responsible for correcting/adding/deleting and getting those changes back to you). Once everybody is satisfied you send the final notes to the AAGT Webmaster to post on AAGT’s web site.

D. Treasurer
The Treasurer shall be elected to a 3-year term of office beginning in 2004 and every third year thereafter. S/he shall serve as a member of the Executive Council and the Board of Directors and serve the Association as Treasurer with the following responsibilities and duties:

  1. Be in charge of, maintain custody of, and be responsible for all funds and securities of the Association.
  2. Maintain an accurate record of all members’ dues payments; this being done in cooperation with the Membership Chairperson.
  3. Receive, safely keep, and give receipts for all funds and moneys due and payable to the Association from any source whatsoever and deposit such moneys in the name of the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy in a federally insured bank or in such savings and loan or trust companies or depositories as shall be specified by the Board.
  4. Keep all financial records in a manner designated by a Certified Accountant and file all forms required by the Internal Revenue Service and any other Tax Boards as necessitated by law.
  5. Make timely payments of all bills and maintain records of all payments, ascertaining that the annual requirements of a not-for-profit corporation are met and all documents filed with proper authorities in our “Registered Office” with the Company Corporation in Delaware.
  6. Report as needed to the Board the status of the treasury, showing bank balances, program expenses, income from dues and conferences, and administrative expenses.
  7. Prepare an Annual Financial Report, including a summary of revenues, outlays, and bank balances, and present it to the Board of Directors and to the Membership at our Annual Meetings.
  8. Prepare, with the President, an Annual Budget to be presented to the Association at the Annual Meeting, which shall include ideas or plans for fund raising during the ensuing year.
  9. When transferring books from one Treasurer to another, the President shall approve of an independent, qualified agent to assist in auditing of the books.
  10. The Board may require the Treasurer be bonded for the faithful discharge of these duties in such sum and with such surety or sureties as the Board determines is warranted; and
  11. In the event of resignation, incapacity, death, or removal from office the President shall designate one of the members of the Association to act in the Treasurer’s stead and shall follow the procedures designated in duty number six (Item # 6. above).

E. Continuing Education Officer
The Continuing Education (CE) Officer shall be appointed by the Board (based on review of qualifications and recommendations by the Executive Council) to a three (3) year term of office, commencing in the year 1998, to serve as a member of the Executive Council and Board of Directors. Certain CE approval systems mandate this to be an executive officer on the Board of Directors. His/her duties and responsibilities shall include:

  1. Direct, administer and coordinate AAGT’s Continuing Education (CE) activities, including such things as completing applications and 5-year re-applications for provider approval, completing and filing annual reports to approval boards and keeping files of CE programs and participants as required by approval boards for a minimum of five (5) years.
  2. Formulate CE policies for approval by the Board of Directors as necessitated to maintain providerships in the various professional societies whose advocacy and involvement we desire in our programs. This necessitates automatic inclusion of the CE Officer on all conference and program planning committees and other committees or commissions pertaining to the educational components of AAGT.
  3. Implement, operationalize and oversee the functional aspects of CE Provider Agreements with regard for policies of the Association in such a manner that is in keeping with ethical practices of professional societies.
  4. Prepare and administer the necessary forms and materials for CE registration at conferences and programs, including the preparation and dissemination of CE Registration forms, CE Program Attendance Compliance forms, Needs Assessment forms, Program Evaluation form, Certificates of Completion for CE registrants, and Certificates of Attendance for patrons not enrolling for continuing education credit.
  5. Serve as Chair of the Association’s Advisory Committee for Continuing Education.

Section 3. Additional Members of the Board of Directors and their Duties
In addition to the Executive Council, other Members of the Board shall include members fulfilling the following offices and duties:

A. Director of Communications
The Communications Director shall be appointed by the Board of Directors (based on a review of qualifications and recommendation by the Executive Council) to a three (3) year term of office, commencing in the year 1993 and every three years thereafter, and shall serve on the Board of Directors with the following duties and responsibilities:

  1. Assist the Association with creating and formulating ideas and development of guidelines for Internet communication that utilize the World Wide Web and other digital resources.
  2. Provide assistance that facilitates creative possibilities in the organization for computer-assisted and other technological processes.
  3. Provide guidance in the development of publication efforts of the Association.
  4. Formulate and recommend publications and editorial policies for approval by the Executive Council and/or Board.
  5. Implement, operationalize, and oversee the functional aspects of editorial and publication decisions and policies of the Association in such a manner that is in keeping with ethical journalistic practices of professional societies.
  6. Provide assistance to the President and discharge such other duties as may be called for by the Council and Board.

B. Membership Chairperson(s)
The Membership Chairperson or co-chairpersons shall be elected to a three (3) year term of office, commencing in the year 1995 and every third year thereafter, to serve as a member of the Board of Directors. Her/his duties and responsibilities shall include:

  1. Prepare membership brochures, fliers and other promotional materials.
  2. Actively engage in the recruitment and maintenance of members.
  3. Communicate monthly with the Association Treasurer regarding the collection of membership dues for new members.
  4. Work cooperatively with the RCP Representative and Interest Groups Coordinator to facilitate interest in joining the Association.
  5. Communicate as often as necessary with officers, members of the Board and any other key persons in the Gestalt community regarding the opportunities available through membership in the Association.
  6. Facilitate the development of an active Advisory Committee on Membership to assist in membership activities.
  7. Create and distribute an Annual Report on Membership to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association and any other reports as deemed essential by the Executive Council; and

C. Association Archivist
There shall be an Association Archivist appointed by the Board of Directors (based on a review of qualifications and recommendation by the Executive Council) to a three (3) year term of office, commencing in the year 1994 and every three years thereafter, and shall serve on the Board of Directors with responsibilities for the following duties:

  1. Maintain a library of AAGT’s history and archival information, including, but not limited to, copies of the Association Articles of Incorporation, Constitution and By-Laws, minutes of meetings, notes on proceedings, newsletters, tapes, films, and any other Association documents of historical value.
  2. Be responsible for updating and maintaining a current copy of the AAGT Constitution and By-Laws
  3. Serve as liaison archivist between the Association and the Frederick and Laura Perls’ Special Collections and Gestalt Therapy Archives maintained for posterity and on-site research in the Kent State University Library, Kent, Ohio.
  4. Serve as the liaison person between AAGT and the publishers/producers of Gestalt materials of interest and of historical value to the Association.
  5. Provide an Annual Report for presentation at the Annual General Meeting.

D. Organization Members’ (OM) Representative
The person elected to serve on the Board as the representative of Gestalt Institutes and other Gestalt organizations shall serve a two-year term of office commencing at our Annual Meetings. His/her duties and responsibilities shall include:

  1. Represent the interests of Gestalt institutes, trainers, consulting firms and other affiliated organizations on the Board of directors.
  2. Serve as a liaison between the Association and affiliated Gestalt organizations.
  3. Foster interest amongst Gestalt organizations to submit workshop proposals for our conferences.
  4. Coordinate communications and activities among the Organizational Members, such as surveys and research projects.

Regional Contact Persons (RCPs) [For clarification of role and function, not as Board members.]
Members of the Association who share common professional interests involving Gestalt Therapy and/or the Gestalt Community may desire to organize into Regions, each of which shall have an RCP (Regional Contact Person). The number of Regions in the Association shall be determined by geography and the interest generated amongst the membership. RCPs may be self-nominated/volunteers, or selected by constituents in their respective regions. RCPs may be removed for cause, and may be so done by the majority vote of the Board of Directors upon the recommendation of the RCP Representative. The duties of RCPs shall include, but not be limited to the following

  1. Serve as the RCP of said Region which includes, but is not limited to, chairing meetings in the Region and providing leadership and direction in the creation, development and implementation of goals appropriate to the Association’s purpose and By-Laws.
  2. Participate on all RCP Conference Calls that are feasible and work cooperatively with the RCP Representative in the formulation of ideas of interest to the AAGT membership.
  3. Prepare and submit to the RCP Representative items of interest that can serve as publicity in the AAGT Newsletter and an Annual Report about the activities in the region, plus any additional reports that may be requested by the President or Executive Council.

F. Interest Groups’ Coordinator(s)
The Coordinator(s) of Interest Groups shall be elected to a three (3) year term of office, commencing in the year 1992, and every three years thereafter, to serve as a member of the Board of Directors. Her/his duties and responsibilities shall include:

  1. Assist the President with creating and formulating ideas and development of guidelines for Interest Groups and committees that facilitate creative possibilities in the organization.
  2. Be responsible for the recruitment, assignment and nurturance of Chairpersons for Interest Groups.
  3. Provide guidance and leadership for Interest Group Chairpersons, including, but not limited to, developing short and long-term goals with vision of what is possible to accomplish in each area of interest and being a catalyst for creative problem solving in their implementation of goals.
  4. Provide assistance to the President and discharge such other duties as may be called for by the Council and Board.

G. Newsletter Editor
The Editor of the AAGT Newsletter shall be appointed by the Board (based on a review of qualifications and recommendation by the Executive Council) to a three (3) year term of office, commencing in the year 1993 and every three years thereafter, and shall serve on the Executive Council and Board of Directors with the following duties and responsibilities:

  1. Provide guidance in the development of publication efforts of the Association;
  2. Formulate and recommend publications and editorial policies for approval by the Executive Council and/or Board;
  3. Implement, operationalize and oversee the functional aspects of editorial and publications decisions and policies of the Association in such a manner that is in keeping with ethical journalistic practices of professional societies;
  4. Perform such other duties as may be requested by the President, Council or Board.

H. Scholarship Fund Officer(s)
The Scholarship Fund co-chairpersons shall be elected to a three (3) year term of office, commencing in the year 2014 and every third year thereafter, to serve as a member of the Board of Directors. Her/his duties and responsibilities shall include:

  1. Serve on the Board of Directors
  2. Responsible for marketing, soliciting, selection, determination, and distribution of scholarship funds.
  3. Support attendance at all AAGT sponsored events, including the Annual General Meeting, biannual conferences, regional gatherings and research conferences.
  4. Establish funding criteria to allow for transparency.
  5. Provide seed funding for regional events to develop local scholarship funds.
  6. Seek approval of the Board in the allocation of funds among events, of direct and seed monies.
  7. Make all decisions in consultation with the other 2 committee members appointed by the co-chairpersons.

I. Research Liaison Officer
The Research Liaison shall be elected to the Board of Directors to serve a 2 year term of office commencing in the year 2014 and every other year thereafter. The duties and responsibilities of the person in this role shall include:

  1. Chairing the AAGT Research Committee as the primary facilitator for the activities and tasks of that committee in its charge of supporting research within the organization and for organization members
  2. Being the primary facilitator for the maintenance and appropriate distribution of the Research Fund
  3. Representing the AAGT Research Committee to the AAGT Board of Directors and vice versa in maintaining consistent dialogue and collaboration between these two entities in the service of their respective activities and tasks
  4. Being a representative for the AAGT to other organizations and individuals around research-related topics in the service of facilitating consistent dialogue and collaboration between such entities
  5. Providing guidance and counsel to the AAGT Board of Directors around research-related topics and issues
  6. Providing assistance to the President and discharge other research-related duties as may be called for by the AAGT Executive Council and Board of Directors.

J. Regional Development Liaison
The Regional Development Liaison shall be elected to the Board of Directors to serve a 2 year term of office commencing in the year 2014 and every other year thereafter. The duties and responsibilities of the person in this role shall include:

  1. Chairing the AAGT Regional Development Committee as the primary facilitator for the activities and tasks of that committee in its charge of supporting regional development within the organization and throughout the Gestalt world.
  2. Being the primary facilitator for the maintenance and appropriate distribution of the Regional Development Fund.
  3. Representing the AAGT Regional Development Committee to the AAGT Board of Directors and vice versa in maintaining consistent dialogue and collaboration between these two entities in the service of their respective activities and tasks
  4. Being a representative for the AAGT to other organizations and individuals around regional development related topics in the service of facilitating consistent dialogue and collaboration between such entities.
  5. Providing guidance and counsel to the AAGT Board of Directors around regional development related topics and issues.
  6. Providing assistance to the President and discharge other regional development-related duties as may be called for by the AAGT Executive Council and Board of Directors.

K. Associate Continuing Education Officer
The Associate Continuing Education Officer shall be selected by AAGT’s Continuing Education Officer on a year-to-year basis as a resource consultant to assist with the administrative, technical and decision-making responsibilities of this office.

Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy – An International Community

AAGT-AIC Constitution and By-Laws

2015 Update by Ansel Woldt
AAGT Founding Secretary and Archivist
These By-Laws were recorded and written in accordance with revisions and actions of the membership present at AAGT’s 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2015 Annual Meetings.