SCTRI is a non-profit organization that supports training and research in the systems-centered approach. We are an international association of over 230 members from around the world and most of what we do is done by action groups of volunteer members. Our members include therapists, organizational consultants, pastoral educators, managers, educators, administrators, and curious people.
The Systems-Centered Training & Research Institute (SCTRI) was established in 1995 under the wing of Resources for Human Development, a not-for-profit organization providing support for fledgling public service groups.
As of July 3, 2006, SCTRI is an independent non-profit organization, recognized as a charitable organization under IRS code 501(c)(3).
Knowledge and Research. A primary purpose for this organization is to contribute to knowledge with the theory of living human systems and to do related research in long- and short-term change strategies.
Education and Training. A primary purpose for this organization is to continue development of methods of systems-centered education and practice and to train systems-centered practitioners to serve the community.
Community Development and Contribution. The organization will introduce SCT strategies for change to organizations, groups and individuals in private, public and clinical settings.
The Goal of Trademark Licensing: to maintain the integrity of SCT methods and to ensure their practice within the following values:
1. Respect for the dignity and worth of all human beings.
2. Respect for context: members’ behavior congruent with the norms of the environment and the norms of SCT.
3. Multi-level thinking: self-centering within a systems-centered context.
4. Empowerment of groups: authority residing with the group.
5. Decentralized authority: maximum local autonomy.
6. Commitment to develop a systems-centered environment: differences are discriminated and integrated in the service of the goal.
7. Creativity: to express our creativity, while affirming the creativity of others.
8.Open communication: communicating thoughts, feelings and concerns directly.
9. Diversity: no discriminatory behavior around race, ethnicity, culture, education, economic status, age, disability, religion, gender and sexual orientation.
10. Organizational integrity: strive to live our values, saying what we mean and being open to hearing others’ differences.
11. Accountability: quality service adjusted through an ongoing collaborative process with consumers.
Name and General Provisions
Section 1. Name. The name of this organization shall be Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, hereinafter referred to as SCTRI.
Section 2. Incorporation. SCTRI, the organization, was incorporated July 3, 2006 under the provisions of the General Laws of the State of Georgia as a not-for-profit organization, exempt from Federal Income Tax under Section 501(c)(3). Net earnings of the organization shall not accrue to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual; no substantial part of the resources or activities of the organization shall be used to attempt to influence legislation not related directly to the practice of systems-centered theory and methods; and the organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including publishing or distributing statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
Section 3. Trademark. SCT®, Systems-Centered® and Systems-Centered Therapy® are registered trademarks of Yvonne M. Agazarian and the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute.
Section 1. Knowledge and Research. A primary purpose for this organization is to contribute to knowledge with the theory of living human systems and to do related research in long- and short-term change strategies.
Section 2. Education and Training. A primary purpose for this organization is to continue development of methods of systems-centered education and practice and to train systems-centered practitioners to serve the community.
Section 3. Community Development and Contribution. The organization will introduce SCT strategies for change to organizations, groups and individuals in private, public and clinical settings.
Organizational Structure and Authority
Section 1. Organizational Management. The Management Group (Article III, Section 2) has responsibility for the overall governance and management of SCTRI according to its mission and values. The group meets twice each year, unless otherwise determined by the Management Group, at a time and place decided by the group one year in advance and recorded by the Secretary, to:
a. Explicitly review the structure and function of SCTRI and the Management Group;
b. Train and mentor each other in management roles to ensure continuity in the structure and function of organizational management;
c. Maintain accountability for implementation of decisions of the Management Group;
d. Review use of trademarks and any issues related to the rights and responsibilities of license holders with trademark holder(s);
e. Select the Director, Secretary and Treasurer, Steering Group and consultants based on functional criteria.
Section 2. Management Group/Board of Directors. The Management Group shall be the Board of Directors of the organization and consist of all those members that have become part of the Management Group, as it is constituted from time to time to have no less than one member and no more than forty-five members. A quorum sufficient for making organizational decisions shall consist of those members present. Members who have successfully completed the intermediate level of training through completion of the Authority Issue Group are eligible to join the Management Group, and become members of the Management Group by attending the regularly scheduled meetings and being recorded by the Secretary. Criteria for self-selection include:
a. Time, energy, resources, and willingness to commit to attending two meetings per year (one for members who live abroad), including the two-day experiential training prior to each meeting;
b. A commitment to contribute to the Management Group goals;
c. Taking up leadership in SCTRI;
d. Agreeing to decision by consensus and withdrawing from Management Group membership if unable to do so.
Section 3. Steering Group. The Steering Group is assigned plenipotentiary authority between Management Group meetings to maintain the vision and policies, and oversee the daily operational function of SCTRI. This group meets weekly, unless otherwise determined by the Steering Group, and can call upon the Management Group as needed to consult or meet by notice of no less than three days. Members are selected from the Management Group on a semi-annual basis, serving from one Management Group meeting to the next, and have responsibility to:
a. Implement policies and programs as directed by the Management Group;
b. Inform the Management Group regarding progress and developments between meetings of the Management Group;
c. Inform the Management Group of emergent organizational issues and any recommendations regarding these issues.
Section 4. Organizational Decisions. Systems-centered methods, particularly functional subgrouping, are employed to resolve conflict and build consensus in making decisions. Consensus means that every member of the group agrees to support decisions of the group and make them work whether or not he or she agrees with them.
Work of the Organization
Action groups form as needed to implement the work of SCTRI. Action groups are filled by volunteers from membership.
Section 1. Eligibility for Membership. Persons who are in sympathy with the objectives and purposes of SCTRI and support its mission and values shall be eligible for general membership in the organization.
Section 2. Term of Membership. Membership shall be year to year, activated and maintained by payment of dues for the current year.
Section 3. Dues. Membership dues shall be set by the Management Group.
Section 4. Financial Consideration. A central value of the organization is that no one be kept from membership due to lack of financial resources. To implement this policy, fees and assessments are designated “more or less,” with an understanding that an individual may pay more if he or she wishes to, or negotiate to pay less if he or she cannot afford the set fee.
Section 1. Director. The Director must be a member of the Management Group who demonstrates mastery of the theory of living human systems and its application to work with individuals, groups and organizations and whose work exemplifies the values and mission of SCTRI. He or she is responsible for ensuring that the work of the organization is in alignment with the theory, values and vision of SCT, for monitoring official communications between SCTRI and outside organizations, and for holding the Management Group accountable for fulfilling its roles and responsibilities.
Section 2. Secretary. The Secretary is responsible for preparing, compiling and authenticating the records SCTRI, including records of the Management and Steering Group meetings.
Section 3. Treasurer. The Treasurer is responsible for making the financial report to the Management Group, selecting the fiscal year, and ensuring that appropriate tax filings and records are completed.
Section 4. Appointments and Terms of Service. The Director, Secretary and Treasurer are selected and serve at the discretion of the Management Group, who shall have full authority to make decisions regarding length of service in accordance with Article III, Section 4 of these bylaws.
Section 1. SCTRI holds an annual meeting, open to all members, and interested others of the public in observer roles.
a. The annual meeting shall be held at the time and place of the annual conference.
b. If there is no annual conference in any given membership year, notice of the time and place of the annual meeting shall be made to all Members at their recorded addresses provided in the organizational directory at least three weeks prior to the scheduled meeting.
Amending the Bylaws
Section 1. The bylaws can be amended by approval of two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Management Group.
Section 2. Dissolving the organization. The organization may be dissolved by decision of the Management Group in accordance with Article III, Section 4, and Article VIII, Section 1. The Management Group has responsibility for the distribution of organizational assets in a manner consistent with the organization’s charitable purpose.
Article VI Officers, is hereby amended to include:
Section 5. System Mentors. The System Mentors are responsible for monitoring and mentoring the function of SCTRI as a whole. They demonstrate mastery of the theory of living human systems and its application to work with individuals, groups and organizations and their work exemplifies the values and mission of SCTRI. They are responsible for ensuring that the function of the organization, its members and practitioners, is in alignment with the theory, values and vision of SCT.
On and effective October 15, 2006, the Management Group recognized the longstanding functional role of System Mentors as Officers of the organization and approved this amendment by two-thirds majority vote of the full Management Group, in accordance with Article VIII, Section 1, of these Bylaws.
Article VIII Amending the Bylaws, is hereby amended as follows:
Section 1. The bylaws can be amended by consensus of the Management Group, as defined in Article III, Section 4.
On and effective April 22, 2007, the Management Group approved this amendment by consensus.
Article III Organizational Structure and Authority, is hereby amended to include:
Section 1. Organizational Management.
e. Select the Director, Associate Director, Secretary and Treasurer, Steering Group and consultants based on functional criteria.
On and effective October 23, 2010, the Board of Directors approved this amendment by consensus.
Section 4. Appointments and Terms of Service. The Director, Associate Director, Secretary and Treasurer are selected and serve at the discretion of the Management Group, who shall have full authority to make decisions regarding length of service in accordance with Article III, Section 4 of these bylaws.
Section 6. Associate Director. The Associate Director is a member of the Steering Group who is responsible for monitoring the function and operation of the organization, supporting communication and cooperation among action groups, and ensuring consistency with the norms and values of the organization.
The Steering Group proposes changing “Management Group” to “Board of Directors” throughout the bylaws. The Board is working at the policy and vision level and the term Management Group no longer fits.
Article I Name and General Provisions, is hereby amended to read:
Section 3. Trademark. SCT® and Systems-Centered® are registered trademarks of Yvonne M. Agazarian and the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute.
The term Systems-Centered Therapy® was not renewed in June 2007.
On and effective October 23, 2011, the Board of Directors approved this amendment by consensus.
The following revisions reflect additional roles and responsibilities that have emerged with the continued development of the organization.
Section 1. Organizational Management.
e. Select the Chair, Director, Associate Director, Secretary and Treasurer, Steering Group and consultants based on functional criteria.
Section 1. Director. The Director is a member of the Steering Group who is responsible for monitoring the function and operation of the organization, supporting communication and cooperation among action groups, and ensuring consistency with the norms and values of the organization. The Director acts on behalf of the Board of Directors in holding the organization accountable to its mission and for ensuring that the work of the organization is in alignment with the theory, values and vision of SCT, and is accountable to the Chair and to the Board of Directors. Working with the Chair, the Director is also responsible for holding the Board of Directors accountable for fulfilling its roles and responsibilities.
Section 4. Appointments and Terms of Service. The Chair, Director, Associate Director, Secretary and Treasurer, are selected and serve at the discretion of the Board of Directors, who shall have full authority to make decisions regarding length of service in accordance with Article III, Section 4 of these bylaws.
Section 6. Associate Director. The Associate Director is a member of the Steering Group who works with the Director in monitoring the function and operation of the organization, supporting communication and cooperation among action groups, and ensuring consistency with the norms and values of the organization.
Section 7. Chair. The Chair shall be a member of the Board of Directors who demonstrates mastery of the theory of living human systems and its application to work with individuals, groups and organizations and whose work exemplifies the values and mission of SCTRI. The Chair is responsible for how SCT crosses the boundary and is represented in the larger world, holding the authority, responsibility, and accountability for the organization’s ownership of trademarks and copyrights. The Chair provides leadership to the Board of Directors, and with the Director is responsible for holding the Board accountable for fulfilling its roles and responsibilities. The Chair is selected and confirmed or removed by the Board of Directors, is accountable to the Board and acts on its behalf in holding the Director accountable for carrying out the responsibilities of the Director role, as determined by the Board.
On and effective December 12, 2017, the Board of Directors approved this amendment by consensus.
The SCTRI Board
of Directors held its spring meeting May 9-12, 2019 at the new Systems-Centered Training & Research Institute's Yvonne Agazarian
Training and Resource Center (SCT Center) in Philadelphia. The Board meets twice a year for
3.5 days each time. The first 2 days are spent in experiential process, working
to reduce restraining forces to taking up our Board roles. The remaining 1.5
days are spent on task, working on the business of the Board, which is to hold
the vision for the organization and oversee its implementation. The Leadership
team for the May Board meeting was Susan Gantt (Task), Mike Maher (Process) and
Ray Haddock (Theory); we continue to explore the driving and restraining forces
for this leadership structure and function.
The Board explored the natural turbulence around emerging
energy in the system related to major changes, specifically around the new SCT Center and around the new financial condition of the organization’s
increased financial assets. We worked to normalize the tension between
structure and function that exists in emergent energy and reminded ourselves of
the SCT norm to “walk the path before planting the grass.”
We engaged in a substantive piece of work on processing the
conference. We recognized and appreciated that the conference was highly
successful both in the highest level of conference participants and revenue in
recent history and in terms of the energy and excitement with the learning at
all systems levels. We also recognized that the conference held turbulence, and
we worked to integrate the energy in the turbulence and contain both subgroups
– the excitement in the learning and the challenge in the distress stimulated
by the actions and reactions of several members. This challenge
holds a leading edge for our system-as-a-whole and the work remains for all of
us to continue to discriminate and integrate what it holds.
One theme emerged around
discovering a pull toward abdication of authority. We recognized that when we become
aware we are abdicating authority or responsibility, we have the opportunity to
do something differently. As the theme of “abdication” emerged, we
also saw that there is accountability and responsibility at every system level,
along with authority. We used aspects of emerging theory regarding open
and closed boundaries from survival roles, recognizing the
challenge in the difference between saying “no” from a closed survival role and
getting balance from using functional subgrouping to take the authority to say “no”
from an open survival role.
Organizational Task Work: Vision
receives reports from SCTRI task groups, the Chair, Director, and Steering
Group, and training “satellites” of SCTRI. Information from these is used to
determine the agenda. Agenda items are collected and ranked High, Medium or
Low; we worked with all the High items and began work on Medium items.
The State of the System
We worked in the
knowledge that the organization is both self-sustaining and in a major time of
transition following the death of the founder.
We took time to
appreciate two major changes: the new SCT Center and two bequests that
significantly improved the organization’s financial stability. Yvonne Agazarian
left her house as a bequest to the organization. The house has been sold, and
the proceeds have been used to purchase the SCT Center
space with net proceeds remaining. We
also received a bequest of a house in New Zealand from John Parkes, a
member from New Zealand who died last year. We recognized with deep gratitude both
of these generous bequests which have put our finances into a solid position
and will enable us to further our mission of making SCT more accessible to a
Conference Mission and Goals
We worked to clarify the
conference goals from the Board perspective. Goals include: to take SCT across
the boundary into the world; a place for trainees to come together in a larger
context to engage in learning and take learning back to their own contexts; a
place for system correction; to use large groups as a pioneering context for
the system; and, to generate income for the organization.
The Board recognizes and
appreciates the hard work of the conference Co-Director system – terrific
achievement! Also, the Steering Group will meet with the PPG (Program Planning Group)
for subgrouping to explore issues raised by the PPG in their report to the
Board: decreased number of proposals over the past few years and feedback from
some members who find workshops are redundant. Board members will start working
now to mentor new workshop presenters.
Mission and Vision – Licensed Practitioners Group
mission of the Licensed Practitioners Group (LPG) is to hold the structure and
function of licensing norms for those members who have completed the Authority
Issue Group and wish to pursue licensing. The Board set a clear boundary for
any licensing criteria change: Any change will be for the future and not for
those currently engaged in the licensing process with no retroactive shift in
the licensing process norms.
important vision is to make our theory and methods available to a broader range
of people than are ever likely to want to undertake the full training through
to licensure. This pathway is crucial to
nurture, both within the organization and in members’ outreach in their
Mission and Vision – SCT Center
realized that the vision for the SCT Center will always be emergent as energy and
potential for programming and activities take shape. We explored our current
emerging vision, which includes: a pulsing heart for SCTRI; a seeding place for
trainings; a place for writing and research; a staging area for the conference;
a place to put our values into practice; a fusion generator where theory energy
is fueled by connection and methods energy takes the form of structures; a
place where people in the SCT community can arrange to work and play together.
named Fran Carter and Annie MacIver as volunteer Co-Directors for the SCT Center for the first
year and expressed great appreciation for their experience, skills, and
willingness to work together to support the Center. The SCT Center Co-Directors will
report to the Director and be accountable to the Board. This will require the Board
to be interactive via the Steering Group in supporting this new role. The Board
will continue to explore the vision for the Center at the next Board meeting.
explored criteria for membership in SCTRI. We want participants to have a
success experience in the right context that can support their learning and
development. The current criterion is
that a person is able to work within the norms of SCT training. If a person’s
goals are better met in a therapy context with inner person goals, then a
different context will be recommended. The Board asked the Steering Group to
work with the messaging on the conference website to support these goals by
clarifying the patient/therapist role boundaries around trainings and to suggest
in conference and training announcements that participants assess their
readiness for experiential work, which can be challenging.
Conference Dates and Locations 2020 and 2021
Board criteria for conference locations: proximity to an international
airport, good local amenities, local SCT training groups, and lowest cost for
the organization and attendees.
2020 Conference: April 18-24, Oakland/San
Francisco Bay Area. (Full program and online registration will be available
2021 Conference: March 13-19, Philadelphia.
new members to the Board. If you have completed the Authority Issue Group and
have the time, energy and resources to take up the role, please contact Jim
Peightel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next Board meeting will be held October 17-20, 2019 in Philadelphia.
The Board of Directors:
Claudia Byram, Fran Carter, Rowena Davis, Dick Ganley, Susan Gantt, Dorothy Gibbons, Ray Haddock,
Nina Klebanoff, Juliet Koprowska, Annie MacIver, Mike Maher, Jon McCormick, Irene McHenry, Rich O’Neill,
Jim Peightel, and Norma Safransky
Copyright 2019 by SCTRI.
All rights reserved. SCT® and Systems-Centered® are registered trademarks of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, Inc., a non-profit organization. SAVI® is a registered trademark of Claudia Byram & Frances Carter.