Winds of Hope

Acceptance and capacity for change


Tihany (Hungary) 18-22 October 2023

18 November 2022, h. 16.00 - 18.00

Web Conference: Acceptance and capacity for change

To get closer to the theme of the next international congress, IFOTES organises the web conference "Acceptance and capacity for change" on 18th Nov 2022. 

The framework for the first reflections on the congress theme will be outlined with the support of two distinguished speakers.

CONSEQUENCES OF THE PANDEMIC AND WAR ON MENTAL HEALTH AND COPING POSSIBILITIES - Prof. Dr. Dóra Perczel-Forintos, Dep. Clinical Psychology, Semmelweis University, Budapest (HU)

A pandemic is not just a medical phenomenon; a war is not just a political issue. It affects individuals and society and causes disruption, anxiety, stress, stigma, and xenophobia. The behavior of an individual as a unit of society or a community has marked effects on the dynamics of a pandemic and war, that involves the level of severity, and aftereffects. 

HOW LISTENING CAN LEAD TO ACCEPTANCE - Prof. Martin Debbané, Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Geneva (CH)

The characteristics of listening that echo the need to look at oneself in a way that does not stimulate so many emotions such as helplessness, shame and guilt, and thereby begin a trajectory toward acceptance and change. 

The web-conference will be held in English with simultaneous translation in German and Hungarian.

Registration is required to take part in the web conference. More information


Winds of Hope

Acceptance and capacity for change

Human beings face small or large changes throughout their life, sometimes by choice, sometimes because circumstances and events are forced upon them. This can happen in a sudden and dramatic way and involve not only individuals, but communities and society as a whole, as with the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent armed conflict in Europe.

Sometimes changes forced upon us are not easy, but acceptance is the prerequisite to resilience. We should acknowledge that unwelcome change can also open prospects for personal and social maturing.

Individuals and society generally have the personal and collective resources to cope and accept change, to keep a balance, even when everything seems upside down. But it can be difficult.

Helpline volunteers know this only too well, given that for 60 years they have listened to people and supported them in the most critical moments of life, in those periods when accepting or changing is crucial to restore hope and to build or re-build the future.

For its next international congress IFOTES proposes to reflect on these abilities that only human beings have, to experience changes, moving between the capacity for acceptance and the desire for further transformation

Message from IFOTES president
Sonja Karrer

Dear volunteers and members of IFOTES,
we are very happy that 4 years after the last congress in Udine we will have the next congress in 2023 in Hungary.
We are looking very much forward to meeting many of you at the congress. I’m sure that it will be a wonderful experience for all of you in this beautiful and welcoming region.

See you at Lake Balaton!

Sonja Karrer
President of IFOTES

Welcome from LESZ president
Erika Dudás

It is a great pleasure for us to organize the IFOTES Congress at Lake Balaton, in Hungary, in 2023.
We are looking forward to welcome you here!

In the name of all the Hungarian volunteers,

Erika Dudás
Chair-woman of LESZ

Draft Program

2023 IFOTES Congress
"Winds of Hope"

18-22 October 2023


october 2023 Wednesday


15.00 - 19.00 Arrival and registration
19.00 Welcome reception


october 2023 Thursday

Topic of the day

09.00 - 10.30 Plenary
10.30 - 11.00 Coffee break
11.00 - 12.30 Parallel Lectures / Workshops
12.30 - 14.30 Lunch
14.30 - 15.30 Parallel Lectures / Workshops
15.30 - 16.00 Coffee break 
16.00 - 17.00 Parallel Lectures / Workshops
20.00 Socio-cultural evening


october 2023 Friday

Topic of the day

09.00 - 10.30 Plenary 
10.30 - 11.00 Coffee break 
11.00 - 13.00 Parallel Lectures / Workshops 
13.00 - 14.30 Lunch 
15.00 - 17.30 Social Programs and Tours
20.00 Socio-cultural evening


october 2023 Saturday

Topic of the day

09.00 - 10.30 Plenary 
10.30 - 11.00 Coffee break 
11.00 - 12.30 Parallel Lectures / Workshops 
12.30 - 14.30 Lunch 
14.30 - 15.30 Parallel Lectures / Workshops 
15.30 - 16.00 Coffee break 
16.00 - 17.00 Parallel Lectures / Workshops 
20.00 - 00.00 Farewell evening


october 2023 Sunday

Topic of the day

09.00 - 10.30 Plenary
10.30 - 11.15 Coffee break
11.15 - 12.00 Outcome of the congress 
12.00 - 12.30 Closing ceremony


The region: Lake Balaton

Hungary is the hosting country of the 2023 IFOTES congress.

The location is near the Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Europe.  Balaton, located southwest of Budapest, is Hungary's number one tourist spot; despite being primarily associated with summer, is an increasingly popular destination in autumn as well. In addition to the magnificent colors of the season and the numerous resorts with guesthouse and restaurants always open to welcome visitors, many vineyards and wineries surround the lake. One of the Hungary's leading wine regions becomes the center of attention in fall, with tours, wine testing and themed menus.  

Outdoor adventures are also a must, with numerous hiking opportunities, visits to nature reserves and boat tours. 

The place: Tihany

The historic village of Tihany is located in a beautiful setting on the northern shore of Lake Balaton, situated on the Tihany peninsula. At the centre of the village is the Benedictine Abbey, founded in 1055 AD.

Have you ever heard of Tihany's famous echo? This fascinating phenomenon, the Tihany Echo, began here since the church monastery was once again rebuilt in the 19th century. It is believed that the most sonorous echo is heard on cold winter days.

Enchanting lavender fields surround Tihany; lavender can be used in various ways; here you will find many products obtained from it.

Come and discover all the beauty of Tihany!

Where is Tihany

Organizers & Partners
Steering Committee and Scientific Committee

Members of the Steering Committee

  • Sonja Karrer, IFOTES president - Chair of the Committee
  • Erika Dudás, LESZ president – Congress project manager
  • Eva Brandisz, LESZ member and IFOTES vice president
  • Michael Grundhoff, IFOTES vice president
  • Petronella Varga, LESZ member
  • Diana Rucli, IFOTES director - Congress coordinator

Members of the Scientific Committee

  • Yaël Liebkind, member of IFOTES Int. Com., director of la Main Tendue Genève (CH) – Chair 
  • László Udvardi, LESZ vice-president, psychiatrist 
  • Astrid Höpperger, member of IFOTES Int. Com., director of Telefonseelsorge Innsbruck (A) 
  • Melinda Medgyaszai, LESZ member, psychoterapist and microbiologist 
  • Mit Van Paesschen, member of IFOTES Int. Com., director of Tele-Onthaal Vlaams-Brabant en Brussel (B) 
  • Reka Szente, LESZ member

Registrations will open in April 2023