Reflecting on Psychotherapy Practice for Psychologists: Towards Guidelines for Competencies and Practices


  • Anne Plantade-Gipch
  • Nady Van Broeck
  • Koen Lowet
  • Eleni Karayianni
  • Maria Karekla


In 2017, the European Federation of Psychologists Associations made a statement on psychotherapy. It recognizes that psychotherapy is a “special competence” practiced by psychologists, and that psychologists practicing psychotherapy receive specific education, including supervision. The statement also stresses that they have demonstrated competencies in scientifically validated or established theories on human emotions, cognitions, and behavior, and on processes of development, as well as the application of these methods to achieve change. Moreover, the declaration recognizes that they are trained in the scientific application of the methods of change based upon these theories. Within the Standing Committee of Psychology and Health in collaboration with the S-EAC, the group on Psychotherapy is presently working on a conceptual framework and on guidelines for psychotherapy practiced by psychologists. This document is starting to define the necessary skills and competencies for European psychologists practicing psychotherapy. It also makes recommendations for basic training, for the development of practical skills and competencies, for continuing professional development, and for ethical decision making. It especially puts forward psychologists’ scientific approach to psychotherapy.