top of page


Vera Zimprich_edited_edited.jpg

Doctor of Philosophy
Vera Zimprich

Lecture "The Effect of War on the Souls of Children"

Doctor of Philosophy Vera Zimprich is a clinical and health psychologist, integrative Gestalt psychotherapist, and child and adolescent psychotherapist in private practice. Founder and chairwoman of the Austrian Society for Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy "Ökids" and head of the "Ökids" training program for child and adolescent psychotherapy. She is internationally active in the field of child psychotherapy. Numerous publications. 


Many people often suffer from the physical and psychological injuries that children experience in war for the rest of their lives. How can children be helped in a situation of absolute defencelessness? Where parents themselves are unprotected and at risk, child-centered networks are needed to enable children to develop without fear. This presentation will show how children can playfully express their frights and anger without fear of punishment.

Halyna Katolyk_edited_edited.jpg

Professor Halyna Katolyk

Lecture "War and Children: The View of a Ukrainian Child   Psychotherapist"

Halyna Katolyk is a Professor of the Department of Practical Psychology at the Institute of Management, Psychology and Security of Lviv State University of Internal Affairs. Head of the Crisis Counselling Centre at the Institute of Management, Psychology and Security at Lviv State University of Internal Affairs. Head of the Ukrainian Institute of Child and Youth Psychotherapy and Psychological Counselling. Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Association of Practicing Psychologists of Lviv Region. Head of the UUP Section for Child and Youth Psychotherapy.



The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine reported on November 29, 2023 that at least 511 children were killed as a result of Russia's armed aggression in Ukraine. More than 1,100 were injured. And this is only according to officially confirmed data. The real figures may be several times higher than the official ones.


The war in eastern Ukraine has become a great challenge for everyone. It has become a psycho-traumatic factor for many children, including those who survived the occupation or are under occupation. Those who were tortured, raped or witnessed these events. Those who witnessed the death of their parents, sisters and brothers. Also, those who, after massive abuse and rape of their own bodies, became silent, sometimes forever (because this is how the Brock Centre functions), having no other means of compensating for their experiences. Those who sit in bomb shelters every night and day, have panic attacks... The list goes on and on. 


Psychological assistance and support for children of war, whose number in Ukraine alone reaches more than a million, is the focus of special attention of Ukrainian scientists and practitioners. The war has posed new challenges to Child Psychotherapists, in particular due to the need to create Ukraine's own system of psychological assistance to children and adults affected by the war.

It has been proven that psychological assistance to children cannot be provided only by individuals; it must permeate all dimensions of life: family, peer groups, community, society, and culture in general. Currently, the situation in the field of assistance to children of war is rather crisis: on the one hand, there is foreign experience accumulated over the years, and on the other hand, it is partly contradictory and difficult to adapt to the realities of modern Ukraine, where the war is still ongoing, and therefore it is too early to talk about a completely safe space in which effective psychological assistance can be provided. In this presentation I will share new achievements of Ukrainian Child Psychotherapists. 

Mykhailo Pustovoit_edited_edited.jpg

Professor Dr.
Mykhailo Pustovoit

Lecture "Clinical and Psychopathological Characteristics of Children and Adolescents of Internally Displaced Persons who Suffered from Hostilities in Ukraine"

Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Mykhailo Pustovoit is a Psychoanalyst and Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Narcology, and Medical Psychology at Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University (Ukraine).

War not only has a destructive effect on normal child mental development but is also associated with a high risk of stress disorders, affective disorders, psychosomatic disorders, and co-morbidities. Additional pressure on the psyche is the need to leave their homes and the subsequent integration into society in a new place. This problem poses a significant risk for the whole of Ukraine, so it should become an object of scientific interest and discussion.

Kateryna Dzivak_edited_edited.jpg

Assistant of Professor
Kateryna Dzivak

Medical doctor Kateryna Dzivak is a psychiatrist, teacher assistant on department of psychiatry, narcology and medical psychology at Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University (Ukraine).

The situation our country is facing is one that is beyond normal human experience. Active military operations, information attacks, forced displacement and evacuation - all this causes a significant disruption in people's daily life, in particular, it concerns children.

In Ukraine, this issue is very relevant and requires further research.

Lecture "Clinical and Psychopathological Characteristics of Children and Adolescents of Internally Displaced Persons who Suffered from Hostilities in Ukraine"

Irena Bezic_edited_edited.jpg

Doctor of Science
Irena Bezić

Lecture "The Games which Children Play in Times of War"

Doctor of Science Irena Bezić, Gestalt psychotherapist and EAGT licensed supervisor,  in private practice in Zagreb, Croatia. Since 1996 leader of educational training in Gestalt-psychotherapy for IGW-Croatia. She has PhD in clinical psychology and PhD in social politics/social work. Since 2005 she is a delegate for Croatia in EAP, later chairing Ethical guidance committee, and National umbrella committee – now she is the President of EAP. Through these years Irena Bezić was fighting for the Psychotherapy Law in Croatia, until 2018, when the national law was established. From 1991 until 2001 she worked with war-traumatized people, in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo in different roles – as UNICEF national program officer for psychosocial rehabilitation, trainer and supervisor in psychosocial projects, and psychotherapist for various victims of war. 

Irena Bezić will present us about
the games which children play in times of war.

Patricia Hunt_edited.jpg

Former EAP President
Patricia Hunt FRSA

Chair of the Symposium

Patricia Hunt is Former President of the European Association for Psychotherapy, Chair of the UUP and EAP Collaborative Group, and Chair of the Symposiums.  In 2022 she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts in recognition of her work as President of EAP, and in the Health and University Sectors in the UK.  She is a World Council for Psychotherapy Board Member. Patricia was Head of Department for Psychotherapy and Counselling at the University of Nottingham UK.  She founded a new Psychotherapy Department in the University of Ningbo, China, Nottingham University’s international campus.  Former Vice Chair of the UK Council for Psychotherapy and International Officer. Patricia is a Psychotherapist, Consultant and Advisor.

Patricia Hunt FRSA is the Chair and Moderator of the Symposium.

Oleksandr Myronenko_edited_edited.jpg

Alexander Mironenko

Alexander Mironenko, psychotherapist working in Person-Centered and Experiential Approach. Member of the UUAP, EAP and WAPCEPS. Registrar of the National Awarding Organization of the UUAP.

For more than 30 years he worked as Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy for postgraduate training, Lviv National Medical University. Now he is a lecturer of the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Ukrainian Catholic University.

Ukrainian Umbrella Association for Psychotherapy

bottom of page