In some ways, PCSR is, ideally at least, as much a culture as an organisation: an attitude of mind rather than a set of rules and regulations. Taking action and initiative matters, providing an alternative to, or complementing the way the bigger ‘professional’ therapy organisations operate.
PCSR is a membership organisation. A key function of PCSR’s steering group is to support PCSR members to develop events, activities and groups which are of interest to them, in line with PCSR’s aim and purpose. The steering group guides the day to day operation of PCSR, but does not see its role as necessarily setting the agenda for events. Ideas from the membership are much welcomed, with the steering group supporting members to organise and plan particular events. Similarly, the membership are encouraged to set up both regional and issue-focused groups, something which has happened a lot more in the past, e.g. around working with asylum seekers, ecopsychology etc.
Things happen largely along the lines of work democracy; those members who are interested in a particular project or conference theme (including ‘pop up’ events, happening at relatively short notice) talk to someone on the steering group about their idea and get support from some steering group members for that event/initiative. The same ethos is present in the steering group; if a particular steering group member has a particular idea for a theme for a conference or event they share that with the rest of the steering group and, if it’s viable, develop the idea from there, sometimes with the support of non-steering group PCSR members.