The Core Competencies:
Domain 1: Professional, Autonomous & Accountable Practice
A European Psychotherapist is competent to: -
- §1.1: Establish a Professional Practice
- 1.1.1: Behave professionally: which involves – ensuring that you are clean, sober and presentable; conducting themselves as a professional psychotherapist with regards to appropriate behaviour towards clients, colleagues & other persons; conforming to all national and local statutory regulations and registrations; ensuring – as far as possible – a lack of on-going stress, regular supervision, healthy self-maintenance, etc.; ensuring there is appropriate cover or arrangements, when away, or on holiday, or in emergencies; having a ‘therapeutic executor’; being a member of a professional association; etc.
- 1.1.2: Build an independent practice, or become a member of a professional team: which involves – maintaining proper professional insurance, as required; complying with all relevant legislation, codes of ethics and practice, practice guidelines and service parameters; demonstrating a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a professional psychotherapist; being clear and transparent about training, education and experience; demonstrating use of personal initiative in contact with other professionals & agencies; etc.
- 1.1.3: Work according to accepted professional standards: which involves - being aware of and conforming to appropriate codes of ethics and practice; working under an agreed complaints procedure; having the knowledge and understanding of how professional policies, principles and guidance are expressed and translated into action through a number of different methods; handling problems in a manner relevant and appropriate to their professional practice and to their method of practice; etc.
- 1.1.4: Record information appropriately: which involves - preparing and maintaining a record keeping system; keeping proper and appropriate records (case notes) of all psychotherapy sessions with patients/clients, in accordance with ethical, legal and organisational requirements; recording all relevant information and any actions undertaken; ensuring that all records are maintained confidentially, using relevant guidance, information & systems to do so; ensuring that patients/clients know that records are being kept and the boundaries of confidentiality; having sufficient facilities to store these records securely for an appropriate length of time; ensuring proper arrangements are made to ensure the safety of any records in the event of the psychotherapist’s illness or death; etc.
- 1.1.5: Liaise with other professionals: which involves - establishing mutually agreed criteria for exchanging information (where appropriate); ensuring these criteria are communicated to patients/clients appropriately; recording information shared with and from other services appropriately; ensuring that other services are aware of the ethos, methods, scope and practices of their service; working cooperatively with other professionals and agencies; etc. (see also §8)
- 1.1.6: Recognise difficulties in others in the professional environment: which involves - being aware of any possible symptoms; discussing any concerns with the people involved, and also (if necessary) with others; taking appropriate action, particularly if there is no change in the circumstances; etc.
- 1.1.7: Monitor, evaluate and review the caseload: which involves - ensuring the patients/clients in their caseload (and their issues) are within the area of competence; working to maximum efficiency, without undue stress; reviewing the caseload appropriately and regularly (with peers / line manager / supervisor); identifying challenges and any unfilled needs for further training or development; consulting with experts, where appropriate; etc.
- 1.1.8: Maintain their fitness-to-practice in a variety of ways: which involves - identifying and recognising any limitations, conflicts or unresolved issues; seeking appropriate help, support or guidance, when having any difficulties, which might include thinking about stopping professional practice for a while, if necessary; ensuring that additional proper training and awareness is undertaken in any new areas of work; etc.
- §1.2: Provide an Appropriate Environment
- 1.2.1: Provide a safe working situation: which involves - conforming to all legal requirements for a psychotherapy space or clinic (e.g. local council, health & safety, insurance, etc.); being consistent with procedures to follow in the event of any threat or danger (to patient/client, self or others); adopting proper policies and procedures in relation to risk and error management; being aware of procedures to follow, in the event of any threats to peoples’ safety (evacuation or emergency procedures, etc.); etc.
- 1.2.2: Provide a psychotherapeutic environment: which involves - showing an awareness of the needs of the patients/clients; creating and maintaining a suitable environment in which the psychotherapy can take place, which is safe, welcoming, consistent with the ethos of the psychotherapy, and – as far as possible – meets the needs of the patients/clients; ensuring that the patients/client’s first contact is positive, welcoming and professional; providing the right physical setting, efficient administration, hygienic facilities, waiting facilities (if necessary), appropriate communications; developing and maintaining the proper ambiance; etc.
- 1.2.3: Make clear arrangements: which involves - developing a procedure for arranging appointments that includes providing information about any waiting times and waiting lists; ensuring recipients are informed in good time about any changes to their appointments; ensuring the patient/client is fully informed about costs and/or fees, the possibility of public or private health insurance, and any special arrangements or discounts or low cost provisions; developing cancellation policies and policies on payment for ‘no shows’; providing relevant information about the patient/client’s issues, expected duration of psychotherapy, and the type of psychotherapy being offered; etc.
- §1.3: Engage in Quality Assurance
- 1.3.1: Routinely evaluate practice: which involves - evaluating the practiced model(s) of psychotherapy; systematically monitoring practice and outcomes in consistent, coherent and appropriate ways; being aware of relevant (other) methodologies and identifying suitable criteria and tools of evaluation; attending supervision (personal, peer, group or other) as appropriate; utilising feedback from managers, supervisors, other professionals, and patients/clients, adapting one’s practice appropriately; etc.
- 1.3.2: Review practice: which involves - considering the effect of one’s own value systems, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours on one’s professional work; managing a practice that is open to appropriate scrutiny; participating in clinical practice audit and quality assurance; engaging in appropriate Continuous Professional Development (CPD); etc.
- §1.4: Maintain Professional Development
- 1.4.1: Maintain appropriate Continuing Professional Development (CPD): which involves - conforming to the CPD requirements of any national or methodological professional associations; personally committing to CPD and exploring ways to grow professionally; remaining aware of on-going developments (theory, practice &/or research) in psychotherapy; becoming involved, when and where appropriate, in professional conferences, symposia, associational meetings, seminars, teaching and presenting and writing professionally; etc.
- 1.4.2: Practice professional qualities: which involves - reflecting on the choice, flexibility and appropriateness of one’s professional work and interventions; considering the impact of these on the patient/client and how suited these were to their needs and process; adapting one’s professional work to suit different patient/client’s needs and issues; etc.
- 1.4.3: Reflect on self and professional work: which involves – considering, in between sessions, the scope and impact of one’s self and one’s professional work, so as to review and revise one’s psychotherapeutic approach and strategy; utilising supervision, (peer) intervision, feed-back, experience, knowledge and skills, and any regular critical evaluation appropriately; etc.
- 1.4.4: Incorporate research knowledge findings: which involves – maintaining an awareness of current research; and incorporating any relevant findings appropriately into one’s practice; etc.
- §1.5: Maintain Personal Development
- 1.5.1: Develop the personal qualities that make a good professional psychotherapist: which involves - always acting in responsible, moral and ethical ways; developing qualities of personal straightforwardness, honesty, coherence, a capacity for resilience, and the ability to manage complex or unpredictable feelings; recognising and coping with uncertainty appropriately; maintaining a feeling of calm, inner security and clarity; being aware of one’s own identity, origins and personality; developing the capacity for a patient/client to feel secure in one’s presence; developing the capacity to be empathic and understanding, the capacity to treat others with respect, and the capacity to work with other people’s concerns without being threatened or diminished; developing the capacity to make decisions, manage these, articulating one's reasons; taking appropriate action in the face of known fears, risks and uncertainties, when required to do so; applying sound judgment based on psychotherapeutic and/or clinical knowledge, and/or experience, and/or research to inform one’s practice; etc.
- 1.5.2: Engage in appropriate self-development: which involves - engaging in self-directed learning, personal growth and interests; developing an awareness of ‘Self’, and identifying ways of monitoring changes in ‘Self’ and evaluating these; using personal psychotherapy, supervision, feedback and other opportunities to reflect on personal issues, growth & development and for the resolution of any personal issues or conflicts; maintaining an openness to acquiring and integrating new knowledge about themselves and their professional work; identifying their own personal needs and find ways to ensure that these are met clearly outside of the psychotherapeutic relationship; critically appraising theories underpinning personal development; etc.
To go back to the Domains page, click here.
To view the Core Competencies in other Domains, click here.