Training Standards for Psychologists specializing in Psychotherapy
These standards are guidelines for the future. They are open to revision in the light of developments in the field. In some countries they may not yet be attained, but they are standards for the development of training for psychologists specializing in psychotherapy.
1. Basic qualifications (prior to specialization):
5 years university studies including:
1.1 Academic psychology
1.2 Applied psychology training including training in psychopathology and severe mental disturbances and of psychology applied clinically in a health setting. Knowledge of a range of major (mainstream) psychotherapeutic approaches.
2. 2 years experience as a professional psychologist under supervision gaining experience in a broad range of psychological problems including mental illness.
3. Postqualification Training in Psychotherapy : 3 years if training is full time, equivalent hours if training is part time.
This training will include supervision and supervised practice; theoretical & practical knowledge; and personal training (e.g. personal training therapy or other arrangements to ensure that trainees are aware of and can manage appropriately their personal involvement in, and contribution to, the processes of the psychotherapies they practice).
Supervision must have the aim of ensuring that the trainees carry out their work with competence and integrity. Where supervision is not normally based on direct observation, further evidence of competence and integrity must be demonstrated by measures such as monitoring of outcome, discussion of case material with a panel, interviewing selected patients or recording of specified sessions.
4. Quantitative Standards
Hours of supervision 150
Hours of supervised practice* 500
Theory, therapeutic methododology and technique 400
Personal therapy or other personal training as specified (see 3) 100**
*This will include a minimum of 10 cases, supervised over the entire therapeutic process by the same supervisor in anyone case. In certain therapeutic schools this may include some cases of supervised consultation.
**In certain therapeutic schools the minimum number of hours will be higher.
5. The Training Curriculum
5.1 Psychotherapy training should follow a curriculum. However “grandparenting arrangements” may permit accreditation of prior learning. (“Grandparenting arrangements” means arrangements by which psychologists who were trained prior to the establishment of these criteria can put forward their training and experience for consideration for accreditation).
5.2 Every psychologist specializing in psychotherapy should be trained in one of the major therapeutic schools. To practise psychotherapy in any model requires thorough training in this model. Familiarisation with a broader range of models in addition to the main model enables psychologists specializing in psychotherapy to undertake a consultant role within the psychotherapies and also be better placed to know the limits of applicability of a particular model and of their own capabilities.
5.3 The hours defined above are the minimum for training in any chosen model. If a psychologist specializing in psychotherapy wishes to integrate other approaches into his or her therapeutic work, he/she needs first to meet the training requirements for the chosen therapeutic model, prior to gaining sufficient understanding of any other approaches which he/she may wish to inform their work. Some schools may wish to set minimum standards for what could lead to such `sufficient understanding'.
5.4 Trainees must be trained in evaluating the therapies they practise.
5.5 Accepted therapeutic schools: These may include any major psychotherapeutic model or approach which can demonstrate that it is based on a substantive body of psychological knowledge about human development, change and psychopathology, and has an associated theory of and strategies for, intervention. The body of knowledge must be scientifically recognized and open to research. The development of new models and approaches should be compatible with the above requirements in the judgement of the professional organization of psychologists.
6 Criteria for Trainers
Psychologists training in psychotherapy should be trained by psychologists with specialism in that field or persons with equal qualifications acceptable to the professional organization of psychologists.
6.1 Teachers of theory should be recognized experts in their field at doctoral level or specialists of comparable standing.
6.2 Trainers of psychotherapeutic methodology and technique together with supervisors and training therapists should be specialized psychologists with a minimum of 3 years of postqualification professional experience in psychotherapy.
6.3 Training supervisors in addition should themselves have had experience of supervised supervision according to criteria established by the professional organization of psychologists.
6.4 Outside the therapeutic relationship there should be no personal links between training therapists and trainees. The same person should not provide supervision and personal therapy to the same trainee.
7 Criteria for Training Institutions
Such institutions should
7.1 offer a curriculum approved by the professional body of psychologists
7.2 provide qualified trainers recognized by the professional body of psychologists
7.3 ensure that trainees have access to appropriate training patients
7.4 provide evidence of qualification after successful completion of the curriculum, acceptable to the professional body of psychologists
In addition they should:
7.5 cooperate with university psychology departments or other research institutions for purposes of evaluation and development of the psychotherapies
7.6 accept regular audit by the professional body of psychologists
7.7 ensure that the entire conditions and costs of training are made explicit to all applicants for training
7.8 be organized in such a way that they are able to guarantee that candidates will be able, if appropriate, to complete their training
7.9 have an appropriate complaints procedure
8 Personal suitability
Personal suitability entails, minimally, that the trainee should be able to manage the psychotherapeutic relationship appropriately and to adhere to ethical guidelines as specified by the ethical code agreed by EFPPA.
Trainees personal suitability is evaluated:
8.1 At entry of training by means of assessment from personal interview and other sources of information
8.2 Continuously during training by trainers and supervisors. The training institution is required to give feedback to candidates about any doubts concerning personal suitability. In addition it should give advice or offer possibilities for overcoming such difficulties. Where there are severe doubts as to an individuals suitability, advice to withdraw from training may be given. In cases where such doubts are held by the personal therapist, the therapist should in the first instance discuss these with the candidate. With the agreement of the candidate the therapist may discuss the matter with the training institution. If no such permission were given by the candidate, the training therapist would be obliged to end the therapy as a training therapy.
9 Exit requirements for completion of training
9.1 Successful completion of the curriculum, demonstrating evidence of theoretical and conceptual proficiency. This may include theoretical exams and/or case reports presented to the training institution.
9.2 Recommendation by supervisors and teachers
10 Registration as a Psychologist specialized in Psychotherapy
10.1 After successfully completing the training, the psychologist will be accredited and registered by the professional body of psychologists.
10.2 Specialist psychologists in psychotherapy may also be registered by Government Authorities, if there is appropriate legislation.