General Training Standards

Document 1: European Interdisciplinary Association for Therapy  with  Children and Young People

 The General Training Standards Criteria

The general criteria below are based upon and drawn from those of the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP).

Specific criteria for work with Children and Young people are located  in Document 2: Specific Training Standards

Introduction: The EAP makes the following stipulations:

The method(s) used must be well defined and have a clear theoretical basis in the human sciences.

The theory must be integrated with the practice, be applicable to a broad range of presenting problems, and have been demonstrated to be effective.

The method(s) must and have been recognised in several European countries as valid by relevant professional training organisations

It is EIATCYP policy to apply for membership of the EAP in due course therefore the method(s) used will demonstrate congruence with the scientific criteria established  by EAP which EIATCYP agree sets the benchmark.


1. Length and content of training

1.1 The total duration of training for those with no prior professional education in psychotherapy or psychotherapeutic counselling will be not less than 3200 hours, spread over seven years, beginning with a relevant first degree and  followed by a minimum four years training  specific to psychotherapy or three years in the case of psychotherapeutic counselling with children and young people.

For qualified psychotherapists who have already successfully completed a training to EAP standards, or equivalent,  then a conversion programme of professional training will normally require at least a  further two years of specialist training in therapy with children and young people. This specialist training will incorporate both academic and clinical components and be at Masters (NVQ level 7) or equivalent  for psychotherapy certification and NVQ level 6 or equivalent for psychotherapeutic counselling certification.

1.2   Supervision and therapy must be provided by qualified practitioners with substantial experience of therapy with children and young people and whose training (equivalent via grand parenting) would meet the criteria for the award of ECP of the EAP.

1.3  The training meets EAP criteria for basic professional training, and includes the following elements:

1.4.1 Personal psychotherapeutic experience or equivalent

This should be taken to include training analysis, self-experience and other methods involving elements of Self-reflection, therapy, and personal experience. No single term is agreed by all psychotherapy methods. Any training shall include arrangements to ensure that the trainees can identify and appropriately manage their personal involvement in and contributions to the processes of the psychotherapies that they practice in accordance with their specific methods. EIATCYP require trainees at every level of training to engage in weekly therapy throughout their training programme whether four years, three years or two years as in the case of already qualified psychotherapists/psychotherapeutic counsellors. It is especially relevant to trainees who are working with children and young people because this client group will evoke the trainees own developmental history, no matter how much personal work has been experienced already. EIATCYP believe that personal therapy for trainees at every level is an ethical and professional obligation.

1.4.2 Theoretical Study

There will be a general part of university study (or equivalent professional training) and a part which is specific to psychotherapy. University or professional courses leading to a first University degree or its equivalent professional qualification in subjects relevant to psychotherapy may be allowed as a part of the whole of the general part of psychotherapy, but cannot count towards the four years (or three years in the case of psychotherapeutic counselling or two years in the case of previously qualified psychotherapists/psychotherapeutic counsellors) of specific psychotherapy/psychotherapeutic counselling training. See also 1.1 above.

The components of training should include the following:  Theories of child  and adolescent development, including sexual development  Attachment theory  Neuroscience  An understanding of other psychotherapeutic/counselling  approaches  A theory (s) of change An understanding of socio-political and ecological issues in relation to   

             psychotherapy/psychotherapeutic counselling with children and young people.      Theories of pathology/dysfunction

1 4 2.8.      Theories of assessment and intervention      Child protection and anti oppressive practice    Interdisciplinary/Multi-agency collaboration  

1.4.3 Practical Training

This will include sufficient practice under ongoing supervision appropriate to the psychotherapeutic/ counselling method(s) and will be at least two years in duration.

1.4.4 Placement in a Mental Health setting or equivalent professional experience.

1.4.5 The placement must provide adequate experience of children-in-crisis and of collaboration with other specialists in the mental health field (see also above).


2. Completion of training

2.1 By the end of the training the trainee will have to demonstrate personal, social and professional maturity and a commitment to working to the ethical standards of the EIATCYP.

2.2 There will be an assessment of both theoretical and practical work, which will include an external evaluation.

2.3 The psychotherapist or psychotherapeutic counsellor must be in a professional organisation recognised by EIATCYP and found to have satisfactory ethical standards and complaints procedures.

2.4 The psychotherapist or psychotherapeutic counsellor will normally have completed a whole professional training within one accredited organisation or in part within another accredited organisation training in the same approach.