Established in 1953 as the IUFO Commission on Marriage and Marriage Guidance (subsequently: Commission on Marriage and Interpersonal Relations) it adopted its current title in 2001 so as to make clear the focus of its work. Its extensive international membership includes organisations and individuals involved in couple and family therapy, relationship education, social work, mediation, psychology and psychiatry, research, social policy, family courts and the law, and family organisations. The Commission serves as a catalyst for the networking of professionals in the public and voluntary sectors who are involved in work with couples and families, through an annual conference, the publication of conference papers and reports, and through a website.
The ICCFR believes that stable, flourishing communities are based on thriving couple and family relations. It dedicates itself to the advancement and worldwide dissemination of knowledge about those relationships, and to activities promoting their well-being. The Commission provides an international forum in which individuals and organisations can engage in a multidisciplinary dialogue about the issues and challenges couple and family relations face, and about the means by which the related professions can collaborate in responding to them.
The annual international conferences address topics reflecting the current activities and concerns of the membership. Those events bring innovative activities and new thinking about couple and family relations to the attention of their participants and result in publications which reach a much greater readership, worldwide. The conferences also expand and revitalise the Commission’s active international network of family-related professionals and organisations and promote collaborative activity.