[esnr] AW: important query re Byelaws

  • From: "Ute Strehl" <ute.strehl@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <esnr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2004 12:11:26 +0200

I only can abet Annies vote!
Ute Strehl

Dr. Ute Strehl; M.Sc.
Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology
Director: Prof.Dr.Niels Birbaumer
University of Tübingen
D 72074 Tübingen
Tel. ##49 7071 2973244
Fax ##49 7071 295956

  -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
  Von: esnr-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:esnr-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]Im Auftrag 
von Frick, Ann
  Gesendet: Donnerstag, 8. Juli 2004 08:21
  An: esnr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Betreff: [esnr] important query re Byelaws

  I have been unable to check emails for the past week or so. As a result, I 
was surprised to read the posting by the Board a few hours ago containing the 
amendments to the byelaws and the rationale for their acceptance. Perhaps I 
missed a prior reference, but this appears to be new information. Please let me 
know as I do not believe that it is appropriate for us to be asked to vote on 
any document that we have not been specifically allowed to discuss first. 

  I am concerned about the procedures in general, but, in addition, I am 
concerned about one matter in the proposed byelaws. I was previously told by 
several members of the Board that the section of the originally proposed 13 
points relating to SAN as an international organisation would be deleted. 
Technically that is the case. There is no mention in the byelaws proper of 
anything international other than II.5 which reads, "Advancement of 
international integration, cooperation and sharing of knowledge with other 
societies." However, in the rationale in favour of Amendment 1, it is stated 
that "This will be an international society and not be restricted to Europe." I 
think this is a very, very important feature of this new organisation. I think 
it needs to be specifically voted on by the members of the organisation. 

  While I am ultimately in favour of an international organisation, I believe 
that it is irresponsible of us to expand to that level before we have worked 
out the most fundamental issues upon which this organisation will depend. Some 
of the issues that we have not yet grappled with include:

    1.. What will constitute our version of evidence-based applied 
    2.. What will be the standards of ‘best practice’ to which we will hold 
our members? 
    3.. How we will train and certify our clinical practitioners? 
    4.. How will assess those who have attended our training programs to be as 
sure as possible that they will not practice in any manner that will cause risk 
to our organisation? 
    5.. How we will be sure that those that practice with our sanction do not 
stray from these standards?
  These are relatively short questions, but none of them have short or easy 
answers. Yet, how we resolve these things will affect the field of 
neurofeedback and its relation to the scientific community for a long time to 
come. I think that it is crucial that the groundwork be properly constructed in 
our own region. It will be no small feat and will require extensive debate and 
participation as well as many, many hours of unpaid, tedious labour from our 
Board. I think that the challenge is large enough in Europe alone. 

  I would like a procedure where I might suggest we keep 1.3 of the current 
byelaws and write it as "The area served by the Society covers the following 
European countries…," As it has in the past, this does not mean that speakers 
or attendees at our meetings have to be limited to Europeans. Indeed, speaking 
at or attending meetings does not constitute membership. The BFE has had a 
decade’s worth of meetings with people from all over the world and it is an 
organisation without a single member. When we have successfully dealt with the 
major issues that we face, then the procedures are simple to introduce an 
amendment to our byelaws and change ourselves to an international organisation 
in a very straightforward manner.

  I think that the challenge we face is large enough in Europe alone. If we are 
spread too thin and are unable to maintain our standards, then I am afraid that 
this new organisation will join the others before it that have passed out of 
existence. In the meantime, we may have done some harm to the field of 
neurofeedback and self-regulation in general.

  I propose that we delay the vote and allow members of our organisation to 
discuss this document and to propose alternative language for our new byelaws. 
Otherwise, the only recourse is to vote NO on these byelaws and try to begin 
this process again.


  Ann Frick, Imperial College London

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