The SCT® Trademark

The SCT Trademark and the trademark licensing process is the avenue by which the SCT values, norms, standards and quality of practice are protected. It is through the trademark licensing process that members can be licensed as SCT practitioners and authorized to represent SCT within the SCT community and in the larger environment. A licensed practitioner can call themselves an SCT practitioner in their work context, whether in training, therapy, consulting or education and can be depended upon by others to practice SCT in a consistent and reliable manner. It is the licensed practitioner who carries the values and standards in their practice and in their contribution to maintaining the SCTRI community and its organizations that put theory into practice. SCT and Systems-Centered are registered trademarks in the US, European Union and Sweden and are jointly by Dr. Yvonne M. Agazarian and the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute.

Protecting the Trademark

Trademarks can be lost! Legally, a trademark must be protected. Officially maintaining the SCT license requires that only licensed members use the words Systems-Centered Therapy or Systems-Centered Training or SCT when advertising their own work. If anyone represents themselves as an SCT therapist or trainer without a license, this introduces a Trademark violation which, if it is not addressed formally, serves to jeopardize the Trademark.

Systems-Centered® Practitioner

A Systems-Centered Practitioner is someone who has: met the training criteria at the Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced levels (assessed by: themselves, SCTRI mentors and peers in training), applied for and engaged in the peer evaluation process for licensing, been recognized by the license holders, and paid the requisite licensing fee. Becoming a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner entitles members to describe themselves as using the Systems-Centered methods, and to use Systems-Centered on their professional and promotional materials. Retaining the license requires ongoing re-licensure, currently set at every five years. The SCT Practitioner license is granted by Yvonne M. Agazarian and the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute who jointly own the legal trademark. They are responsible both for granting licenses and for maintaining the integrity of the trademark. A trademark license certifies competence as a way of maintaining some degree of consistency and reliability over what work is called System-Centered, protecting both the integrity of the method and the values represented by those practicing it.

What to Expect in Training to Become a Systems-Centered Practitioner

For these reasons, training leading to licensing as a Systems-Centered Practitioner is a considerable commitment, taken seriously both by members-in-training and by those responsible for training. Not everyone who starts out to become a Systems-Centered Practitioner will want to “stay the course,” and not everyone who wants to will be able to meet the criteria for licensing.  Many members will simply want to integrate the theory, methods and techniques into their own work, continuing to use the training resources to develop skills.

Individual Authorization for SCT Events

If any unlicensed members believe that they can reliably make a Systems-Centered presentation or want to teach Systems-Centered methods in a workshop, they can contact the holder of the trademark - Susan Gantt, Director of SCTRI and/or Yvonne Agazarian - and apply for a project license for a specific event. Applications consist of a description of the context, goal, design, and a sample of any handouts. Applicants also identify a licensed SCT Practitioner who has agreed to consult with them on the project.

The License Agreement

There are two License Agreements:
(click links to download)

  • Licensed SCT Practitioners' Agreement. This is for those who have completed the intermediate core curriculum and met the goals of intermediate level training; have an ongoing case consultation with a licensed SCT Practitioner; have been recommended for licensure by a licensing group of their peers; and have been ratified by the licensors.
  • Single Project License for Non-licensed Practitioners. Members who are not licensed SCT Practitioners can apply for a Single Project License. This is for those who believe that they can reliably make a Systems-Centered presentation and want to explicitly use Systems-Centered methods in a workshop. Contact the holders of the trademark - Yvonne Agazarian and/or Susan Gantt, Director of SCTRI - and apply for a project license for a specific event. This requires working in consultation with a licensed SCT practitioner approved by the licensors.

SCT Materials

SCT materials for workshops and presentations are available to all licensed practitioners in the Members section of the website under SCT Training Materials. Unlicensed SCT practitioners may apply to Yvonne Agazarian for authorization to use Good Enough Press materials for a single special event.

Protecting the SCT Organization

Without the trademark there would be no licensing, and no way of ensuring that those who officially practice SCT have been trained to do so. Through theoretical, developmental, technical and observational training, practitioners have developed the capacity to understand the functioning of individuals, couples, groups and organizations from the perspective of a Theory of Living Human Systems and have learned to apply methods and techniques in the context of the system development.

Practicing the letter of the SCT law, with the spirit of attunement at the heart of training, equips us with the knowledge of how to introduce techniques with the awareness of the system context. Without this awareness, techniques become mechanical and inappropriate. Understanding the sequence in the process of defense modification, selecting each skill that builds on the skill that was learned before while at the same time laying the foundation for the skill that comes next is essential in SCT practice. The skills that modify individual defenses are the same skills that modify the restraining forces to the development of the SCT system into an enabling context for both individual and group change.