Lars-Eric Uneståhl, Ph.D., Founding President of ISMTE and
Jitendra Mohan Ph.D., Present President of ISMTE
The first nation to start a Society in Mental Training was Sweden (1977). At that time the applications of Mental Training had already been transferred from Sport to School, Work, Health and other areas of the Swedish society. Thus, it was decided to have a society with five sections, one for theory and research and four sections of applications, namely:
1. Sport and Performing Arts
2. School and Education
3. Work and Business
4. Health and Clinical areas
Internationally, Mental Training was a part of ISSP – International Society of Sport Psychology, until 1989, when ISMTE was founded. As a Board member of ISSP in the eightees Uneståhl realized that Sport Psychology had become more and more distant from the practical sport and from issues of concern among athletes and coaches. This was also the reason for complementing NASPA with AAASP in USA.
Thus, In the world congress in Sport Psychology, which he organized in Copenhagen 1985, he suggested that mental training should become a society in itself. Another reason for that was that Mental Training could be useful in many other areas besides Sport (like in Sweden). However, the realization of this proposal was delayed four years for several reasons.
Then, in combination with the next world congress (Singapore 1989), where Uneståhl was also a member of the organizing committee, he organized a post-congress meeting at Port Dickson in Malaysia. In this 4-days meeting with attendance of 60 people from over 20 countries, ISMTE – the International Society of Mental Training and Excellence – was founded and Uneståhl was elected as the first president. The sections became the same as in the Swedish society. It was also decided to organize world congresses every fourth year and to start in Örebro Sweden 1991.
Thus the first world congress was organized through Örebro University with Unestahl as President, the 2nd in Ottawa, Canada 1995 (Ottawa University) with Professor Terry Orlick as President, the 3rd in Salt Lake City, USA 1999 (University of Utah) with Professor Keith Henschen as President. and the 4th in St Petersburg, Russia 2003 (Lesgaft University) with Professor Pavel Bundzen as President. The 5th was planned to be held in Kuala Lumpur 2007 invited by the National University and the National Institute of Sport. However, it had to be cancelled and the 5th Congress was instead held in Beijing, China in combination with the Olympics 2008. Due to special circumstances the number of participants were limited to just 100.
In planning the congress in Beijing the ISMTE board decided to change the name of the world congresses from “World Congress of Mental Training in Sport and Life” to “World Congress of Excellence in Sport and Life”. The reason for that was to state the goal of Mental Training in the title instead of just the way. Another reason was to include additional roads to excellence like developmental Coaching, Hypnosis, NLP, Yoga, etc. These areas had in earlier congresses been included as parts of Mental Training, but now they were able to have their own sub-conference.
At the next world congress in Kosovo 2011 (Prishtina University) Professor Jitendra Mohan was elected as the new President with the task to organize the next world congress in India 2015. Thus, that congress will be held at his University in Chandigarh 19-23 October, 2015. The main subcongress will be the 7th world congress in Mental Training and Excellence, but like in the Congresses 2008 and 2011 there will be subconferences in Coaching, NLP and Developmental Hypnosis. There will also be a subconference, which focus on “Asian philosophy and methods” like Yoga, Meditation (and Mindfulness), Qi Qong, Tái Chi, etc. This is especially interesting as Eastern philosophy and thinking had a big influence on Uneståhl, when he started Mental Training in Sweden in the early sixtees. Pre- and Post-congress activities will also be organized in combination with the Congress in India.4
Best Regards & Welcome!