History of the family psychotherapy in Latvia

History of the family psychotherapy in Latvia

The family therapy was started in Latvia in 1995.

The first training was launched in the systemic family therapy which was offered and provided by registered family psychotherapists and supervisors: Linde von Keyserlingk, Arist von Schlippe, Michael Grabbe and other family psychotherapists from the Osnabrück University (Germany).

19 family psychotherapists were trained who had a variety of basic education – psychologists, pedagogues, social workers, medics and a theologian. This project was carried out in collaboration with the Latvian Family Center whose manager was the psychotherapist Anita Plume.

In 1999, the first Latvian family psychotherapists acquired the diploma of the Osnabrück University and Latvian Medical Postgraduate Institute of Training and Further Training.

In 1999, the program by Linde von Keyserlingk received an award from the Institute for Family Therapy in Weinheim (Germany) “For work in difficult circumstances”.

After receiving education, the first family psychotherapist practices were opened by: Ilona and Gatis Buss, Liga Ravina, dr. Aldis Miglinieks, Maija Biseniece, Zinta Biseniece, dr. Iveta Plavina, dr. Gunta Jakovela, Sandis Ratnieks, Vita Karklina, Arnolds Cerbulis, Sandis Kristers Duselis, Aina Poisa, Inta Snorina.

Juris Blumbergs, dr. Juris Batņa, dr. Indra Upmina, dr. Andis Kalviskis and dr. Viesturs Rudzitis integrated the acquired knowledge into their psychotherapist practice.

In 1997, the Latvian Family Psychotherapist Association was founded, see www.gimenespsihoterapija.lv.

It was in family psychotherapy that the sand play therapy was used for the first time, particularly in work with children.

In 2002, after obtaining the qualification of a licensed trainer, 10 family therapy trainers established a training program in family therapy that provided the opportunity of receiving a quality education from the local trainers.

In 2004, 22 more family therapists obtained the family psychotherapist qualification. The program was implemented and managed by Jurii Mannik, child psychiatrist, family therapy trainer and supervisor from Stockholm (Sweden). The guest trainer – Bo Montan, family psychotherapist, supervisor and family therapy trainer with a private practice in Stockholm (Sweden), certified family therapy trainers from the Estonian Family Therapy Association – Kiira Jarv, Iris Podar, Aita Keerberg, Ulle Luts, Reet Montonen. The project was financially supported by the East European Committee (Sweden).

In 2006, the Latvian Family Psychotherapy Association joined EFTA, European Family Therapy Association.

In 2011, in collaboration with the Essen (Germany) Institute of Systemic Family Therapy, Supervision and Organization Development, 21 family psychotherapists received the systemic supervisor education.

In 2011/2012, 2 new training programs in systemic family therapy were launched.

1.”Dzimtaskoks” – manager Maija Biseniece and a team of lecturers; with invited trainers from abroad.

2.”Baltic Systemic Institute” – systemic therapy training that is done by the “Family Psychotherapy Common Practice” Ilona and Gatis Buss in collaboration with the Institute for Systemic Therapy In Weinheim (Germany).


The Latvian Family Psychotherapy Association, now being the Latvian Association of Systemic and Family Psychotherapists and its members have participated in several public procurements of the Riga City Council.

In 2013, 2014 and 2015 “Public lectures for Riga parents”, “Non-violent resistance to a child’s aggressive behavior”, “Positive child management and development” and others.

Lead author: Ilona Busa