EABP Training Standards

The following Training Standards were accepted at the EABP General Assembly, Askov, Denmark 24 September 2006.

Training Standards 2006 German

Training Standards 2006 Italian

Training Standards 2006 French


Body Psychotherapy Training Standards 2006

Professional Standards Requirements

1.1 That entry requirements to all body psychotherapy Trainings be set at post-graduate level or the equivalent in order to comply with the European standards of a professional training (Level 5) (1) and be in line with the Strasbourg Declaration 1990 for an independent profession of psychotherapy, which defines the access to a psychotherapy training as possible through various preliminary qualifications, in particular in human and social sciences.

1.2 That Training Organisations in body psychotherapy screen applicants to their body psychotherapy training courses about aspects concerning their personal and professional backgrounds and are able to demonstrate:

(a) That the applicants all have an equivalence to an academic 1st degree in a field relevant to psychotherapy (e.g. in human and social sciences, psychology, medicine or health disciplines) Or have a combination of work and life experiences that add up to a similar competency (2);

(b) That they have already had a reasonable personal experience (minimum of 24 hours) of body psychotherapy;

(c) That they have an appropriate level of emotional maturity to manage the content of the training course and subsequently a client caseload.

1.3 That Training Organizations keep records documenting the admission process. (3)

1.4 That Training Organizations inform their trainees that they (rather than the Training Organization) carry the responsibility to obtain national registration, certification, accreditation and/or licensure requirements for the independent practice of psychotherapy in a professional setting shortly after the end of their training course.

1.5 That Training Organizations offer a minimum of four years training in body psychotherapy, approximately 1,400 hours, divided into: 250 hours of personal psychotherapeutic experience in an individual or group setting; 500-800 hours of theory, methodology and practice including psychopathology, in accordance with the usual standards of body psychotherapy; 300-600 hours of clinical practice with clients/patients, either in a mental or social health setting, or with individual clients/patients, families or groups, under regular supervision; and about 150 hours of supervision of a clinical practice for the trainee; with Training Organizations keeping a written account of the training hours.

1.6 That Training Organizations maintain professional memberships; stay in good standing; are properly registered with local, educational, national and European bodies; and have their administration and finances in good order.

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European and National Compatibility Requirements

2.1 That Training Organisations in body psychotherapy make sufficient and necessary changes in their training programmes to enable their trainees to obtain EABP full membership and the European Certificate of Psychotherapy (ECP) without having to take any further training modules or repeat any aspects of training and, if they donot provide training for a particular required module, that they should make suitable arrangements for their trainees to take this module elsewhere.

2.2 That Training Organisations aim to establish collegial contact with other training organisations in psychotherapy in that country and work to get recognition for body psychotherapy in their country.

Note 1. This is set at a minimum of 7 years of further training after leaving school at 17 or 18 (A-levels or Baccalaureate). The first 3 years are to the level of a First Degree at University (Bachelors degree) and should be relevant in some way to the profession of psychotherapy. Alternatively applicants should have had an equivalent form of ‘life education’ or training and experience in a related field. Entry to the specialized Professional Training (in Psychotherapy) is thus at post-graduate level – or the equivalent – and extends for a minimum of a further 4 years.

Note 2. Body psychotherapy Training Schools need to assess applicants prior to entry specifically for previous education; academic capabilities; life experiences relevant to (body-) psychotherapy; alternative professional or work experiences; levels of emotional maturity; previous personal therapy; and their level of knowledge about psychology and psychotherapeutic theory. If they accept an applicant who has a notable deficit in one of these areas, the applicant should be notified about any additional requirements needed and informed where or how to make up any such deficits. The training organisation should aim to provide any ‘Ground Years’ or Pre-Training Courses necessary, so that the trainee, at the start of the training, can be shown at least to be comparable to someone with a relevant first degree; or to have at least 3 previous years of work experience in a related field and to have a sufficient academic background; and to have had sufficient experience of body psychotherapy etc; and to have any specific deficits recognised and made up before entry into the training or (in minor cases) during the training.

Note 3. This application procedure needs to be documented and to be able to be scrutinized by an outside body.

2.3 That Training Organisations be clear about the current legal possibilities of recognition as a Body-Psychotherapist and the ability to work as a Body-Psychotherapist in that country after the completion of the training and convey these, and any subsequent changes, explicitly to the trainees.

2.4 That Training Organizations facilitate transfer of trainees between different Organizations according to the personal and professional needs of the trainees.

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Training Agreement or Contract for Training Requirements

3.1 That Training Organizations be specific as to the content of their training, structure and process of their training course defined and described in an available curriculum format.

3.2 That each training module is identified as (i) general, or

(ii) common to other psychotherapies, or (iii) common to other Body-Psychotherapies, or (iv) specific to their own particular approach.

3.3 That the following are stated clearly:

(a) The admission requirements and process

(b) The number of tutor hours per annum (which does not include personal study time or personal therapy)

(c) The expected minimum personal therapy requirement for that training

(d) The proportions (in hours or %) of the training spent variously on theory, methodology and practice in experiential learning

(e) The nature of evaluation criteria throughout the course in terms of formal exams, written assessments, clinical practice demonstration, clinical supervision, etc

(f) The graduation process.

3.4 That the individual personal psychotherapy training is clearly defined in terms of its extent and type as well as any requirements as to identity or quality of accepted psychotherapists. Personal therapy costs must be separate from the training and paid for separately.

3.5 That the amount of the mandatory training fees, and what is additional to these training fees is clearly defined; that the times and conditions of payment are clearly stated; and that arrangements for late payments or individual differences can be implemented.

3.6 That the above information is readily available in a written form and is contractual, and that any significant variations in the balance of theory, method and practice in the training programme are justifiable and discussed with the trainees before implementation.

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Theory Syllabus Requirements

4.1 That Training Organisations in body psychotherapy conform with the general standards of professional training in psychotherapy; include the theories and practices of fundamental psychotherapies in their syllabus (or make suitable provisions for their trainees to have access to such modules); teach these in relationship to any general theory of body psychotherapy and also to their specific theory of body psychotherapy. The following categories are generally required:

(a) Background theory (including historical overview of the most important approaches in psychotherapy and body psychotherapy); a theory of personal change; social and scientific aspects of psychotherapy; a theory of the dynamic between body and psyche

(b) General and specific theories of psychotherapy (including human development; sexuality; the possibilities and limitations of psychotherapy; psychopathology and an introduction to psychiatry; the psychotherapeutic process; elements of psychosomatics; etc.)

(c) A general theory of practice (including the dynamics of the psychotherapeutic process and contact; theory and methods of intervention; transference and counter- transference; assessment, diagnosis and prognosis; indications and contra-indications; appropriate referrals; research methods; group dynamics; the EABP Ethical guidelines and the EAP’s Statement of Ethical Principles; etc.).

4.2 That Training Organisations teach a general theory of body psychotherapy that includes:

(a) Fundamentals of body psychotherapy as defined by EABP

(b) A history of body psychotherapy and experiential awareness of other types of body psychotherapy

(c) Basic knowledge of anatomy and physiology including processes (such as breathing, vegetative regulation, posture and movement) in their somatic and psychodynamic contexts

(d) Perspectives on body psychotherapy that include:

(i) Personal development approaches

(ii) Goals of self- regulation and empowerment for the client

(iii) Notions on a healing or curative approach

(iv) Noetic recognition

(v) Theories of body energy

(vi) Notions of traditional therapeutic approaches.

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Specific Theory Requirements

5.1 That Training Organisations define the theoretical basis of their particular methodology in body psychotherapy and place this in the context of body psychotherapy and Psychotherapy.

5.2 That the particular body psychotherapy can provide a comprehensive statement of its theory and practice.

5.3 That Training Organizations conduct basic research into the validity and efficacy of their method of body psychotherapy.

Practice Requirements

6.1 That Training in body psychotherapy includes an experiential training component wherein the general theory and process of psychotherapy and the theory and process of body psychotherapy (both general and specific to the Training School) are taught, demonstrated and practised, and that trainees are supported through supervision and feed-back throughout the training and assessed as to their competencies in all of these areas.

6.2 That, because physical contact and closeness are integral parts of body psychotherapy, special competencies are required in the areas of contact, boundaries, interactional dynamics, and limitations to contact and touch, Training Organisations ensure that these competencies are achieved.

6.3 That Training Organisations provide trainees with a substantive grounding in: basic clinical practices and sound business practices (i.e. contracts; preparation of case histories; referrals and reports; record keeping; keeping accounts and financial records; invoicing; insurance matters; etc.); how to maintain appropriate relationships with colleagues and other professionals; legal issues; and other issues relating to the profession.

Personal Therapy Requirements

7.1 That Training Organisations ensure that their trainees obtain sufficient on-going personal psychotherapy to meet the requirements for personal experience of body psychotherapy (group or individual) similar to the method being taught.

7.2 That Training Organisations ensure that trainees receive a major part of their personal therapy during the training from someone who is not one of their trainers.

7.3 That Training Organisations appoint suitably qualified, experienced and accredited psychotherapists in their own modality.

7.4 That trainees may submit a limited number of hours of personal psychotherapy with a non-appointed psychotherapist upon review and approval of their training director.

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Assessment and Certification Requirements

8.1 That Training Organisations ensure that:

(a) The completion of the training involves a substantive piece of written work or a recorded professional presentation, and that copies are kept of the trainees’ written work

(b) The standards and processes of the assessment of their trainees meet the professional criteria of their particular country’s NUO/NAO and, where appropriate, the requirements of the EAP (ECP document)

(c) There is a continuous assessment of the trainee’s competency as a psychotherapist, which includes emotional maturity, personal integration and suitability to work with clients

(d) The principle of an external examiner (or assessor) is part of this assessment process so that the assessment panel includes at least one person who is not a trainer of the organization

(e) That every trainee’s assessment process does not include that trainee’s personal therapist.

8.2 Records of the assessment process are kept for external verification.

8.3 That Training Organisations include in their training programme the requirements of EABP membership and of the EAP’s European Certificate for Psychotherapy (ECP).

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Supervised Practice Requirements

9.1 That the Training Organisation supports the trainee to find suitable opportunities so that the trainee can obtain sufficient supervised practice as a Body-Psychotherapist, during or after the training.

Trainers and Supervisors Requirements

10.1 That Training Organisations ensure that their regular Trainers:

(a) Have had experience working as a Psychotherapist (individual or group) for a minimum of 7 years (2,500-5,000 client hours); and a minimum of 5 years (1,500-3,000 client hours) as a Body-Psychotherapist; and ideally a minimum of 10 years experience in that particular approach for main Trainers

(b) Maintain a personal practice as a Body-Psychotherapist with clients (individual or group) outside of the training activities

(c) Be ECP holders, EABP full members, or the equivalent

(d) Have documented training or preparation as a trainer (formally or by apprenticeship) and have undergone a formal assessment as a trainer, either by the Training Organisation or by a Professional Association

(e) Are appropriately assessed for competency on a regular basis and/or belong to an ongoing supervision group or to a peer intervision group for trainers

(f) Follow on-going professional developments in psychotherapy and body psychotherapy and, where appropriate, publish written work

(g) Fulfil any other general requirements set by NUO / NAOs and EAP

(h) Or satisfy clear criteria to warrant exceptions to the above.

10.2 That Training Organisations require that Supervisors:

(a) Have worked as a practicing psychotherapist for a minimum of 7 years

(b) Ideally maintain a personal practice as a Body-Psychotherapist with clients (individual or group)

(c) Have documented training and evaluation in supervision and been assessed as a supervisor, either by the Training Organisation or by an outside body

(d) Be ECP holders, EABP full members, or the equivalent

(e) are appropriately assessed for competency on a regular basis and/or belong to an ongoing supervision group or to a peer intervision group for supervisors

(f) Follow on-going professional developments in psychotherapy and body psychotherapy and, where appropriate, publish written work;

(g) Fulfil any other general requirements set by NUO / NAOs and EAP

(h) Or satisfy clear criteria to warrant exceptions to the

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Organisational Coherence and Qualities Requirements

11.1 That Training Organisations ensure that their organizational back-up is professional, coherent and in line with their stated philosophy and methods and are governed by written policies and procedures.

11.2 That Training Organisations are properly constituted, legally sound, have proper documentation; keep proper records and accounts; be properly insured; have a published ethical code and complaints system for their trainees; use appropriate premises and training facilities; and do everything reasonable to ensure the welfare, safety and security of their trainees.

11.3 That Training Organisations maintain a record of professional relationships, membership of appropriate bodies and associations, scientific committees, boards of journals, publications, etc.

11.4 That Training Organisations keep clear records as to their legal constitution; which trainees (with addresses) have been trained, have obtained a certificate of completion, have been allowed to start a psychotherapy practice under supervision, etc.

11.5 That Trainings Organisations involve sufficient trainers, supervisors and therapists so that trainees are provided with a broad range of personal and professional styles.

The principle of having a regular turnover of external or visiting trainers from other institutes is recommended.

11.6 That Training Organisations respect the rights and differences of their trainees and are aware of the multiple aspects of psychological and social identity which include power, class, racial, ethnic, and gender issues and how these influence the trainees and the training group.

11.7 That the Training Organisations are prepared to examine these matters without prejudice, both internally with the trainees and externally with other organisations.

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Registration and Accreditation Requirements

12.1 That Training Organisations ensure all relevant procedures are complied with; namely the professional registration and accreditation with the FORUM and EABP (functioning as EWAO), any of their country’s NAO’s requirements and the EAP’s TAC requirements for EAPTIs.

12.2 When going for FORUM, National or European accreditation, that Training Organizations prepare properly for any visitations, cooperate with the assessors as fully as possible, and claim, where appropriate, the principle of subsidiarity.

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Implementation Requirements

13.1 That Training Organisations in body psychotherapy will have a period defined by the FORUM to meet these requirements fully.

13.2 That Training Organisations who seek to meet these standards can expect professional support and technical assistance from EABP.

13.3 That accredited Training Organizations who are thought to be failing in achieving these standards:

(a) May be subjected to investigation or review by EABP or democratically organized bodies of EABP (viz: FORUM, or EABP National Associations) and, if there are thought to be serious failures, may have their accreditation suspended pending the results of such an investigation or review

(b) Must cooperate fully, openly and promptly which such an investigation or review, and will have sight of any report(s) and the opportunity to suggest corrections or make a supplementary statement, prior to final submission of the report

(c) Must implement any remedial actions decided upon and decreed by accrediting or ethical bodies of EABP. They may appeal against any sanctions to the EABP Board of Directors, whose decision will be final.

Protocol: This document was revised from the 1997 Proposed Training Standards and was adopted at the 1999 EABP General Assembly at Travemünde, Germany. It has yet to be discussed at depth in The FORUM of Body-Psychotherapy Organisations and therefore may be subject to revision from recommendations coming from there to the EABP General Assembly.

Aim: To provide a set of Training Standards for European schools that are training people in Body-Psychotherapy and that are compatible with the EAP Training Standards for the European Certificate of Psychotherapy and with the current EABP Membership Criteria, so that trainees emerging from the schools are eligible for either or both. This has been done.

Documents: The following documents were considered carefully:

  1. Proposals for EAP Certificate of Completed Psychotherapy Training;
  2. the Swiss Charter of Training Institutes in Psychotherapy and of Professional Associations of Psychotherapists;
  3. the Austrian law on Psychotherapy (untranslated);
  4. the UKCP Training Standards and
  5. the work of the committees setting National Vocational Qualifications of Functional Competencies in Psychotherapy in the U.K.;
  6. the current EABP Membership Criteria ;
  7. the Report of the Meeting for Schools of Body-Psychotherapy in Carry-le-Rouet April 1995
  8. comments and suggestions submitted to the Training Standards Committee from people involved with The FORUM.

Considerations: What also needs to be considered is that, within the EAP, all the particular modalities within Body-Psychotherapy (e.g Bioenergetics, Biodynamic Psychology, Bodynamics, Biosynthesis, Hakomi, etc.) need to have gone through a process of being accepted as “scientifically valid” by the EAP and will need to have submitted, via EABP, their answers to the 15 Questions. We encourage all organisations within Body-Psychotherapy to start addressing this process as soon as possible – like now !!!

There is a recommendation from the EABP Ethics Committee that Ethical Rules for Training Organisations still need to be set.

Process: The process of assessment and accreditation according to these Training Standards has been mandated to The FORUM of Body-Psyhcotherapy Organisations by the EABP General Assembly.

Conclusion: These Training Standards in Body-Psychotherapy are thus those felt currently sufficient and necessary to ensure a professional training as a European Psychotherapist specialising in Body-Psychotherapy.

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