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Zertifikate > World Certificate for Psychotherapy (WCP)

World Certificate for Psychotherapy (WCP)
WCP World Council for Psychotherapy

Beschreibung des Zertifikats

Procedures WCP for the application for the World Certificate for Psychotherapy


The World Council for Psychotherapy (hereafter, the WCP) is concerned to protect the interest of this profession and the public it serves, by ensuring that the profession functions at an appropriate level of training and practice. One of its immediate aims is to establish an World Certificate of Psychotherapy (hereafter, the WCPC), which will help ensure that psychotherapists are trained to the WCP's standards and which will help guarantee the mobility of professional psychotherapists. This is in accordance with the aims of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the non-discrimination accord valid within the framework of the European Union (EU).

The 1990 Strasbourg Declaration on Psychotherapy, established by the EAP (European Association for Psychotherapy), is the bedrock of its commitment to creating a compatible and independent profession of psychotherapy across Europe.

The Strasbourg Declaration on Psychotherapy

* Psychotherapy is an independent scientific discipline, the practice of which represents an independent and free profession.
* Training in psychotherapy takes place at an advanced, qualified and scientific level.
* The multiplicity of the methods of psychotherapy is assured and guaranteed.
* Psychotherapy training includes theory, self-experience and practice under supervision. Adequate knowledge is gained of further processes of psychotherapy.
* Access to training is through various preliminary qualifications, in particular in human and social sciences.

Strasbourg, October 21st, 1990

The Strasbourg Declaration is supported by the WCP.

Bodies involved in the award of the WCPC are:

* The World Council for Psychotherapy.
* A pool of at least 3 experts for each of the five continents (Africa, America, Asia, Australia, Europe).

Requirements for receiving the WCPC:

For receiving the WCPC the applicant has to fulfill the following criteria:

* A psychotherapeutic training according to the WCP standards (for details see below) or
* being a well experienced psychotherapist (grandparenting - for details see below).

WCP standards for psychotherapeutic training:

Psychotherapy modalities:

The method of psychotherapy used (hereafter, modality) must be well defined and distinguishable from other psychotherapy modalities 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 problems, and have been demonstrated to be effective.
The scientific validity of the modality must have been accepted by the WCP and it must have been recognised in several countries as valid by relevant professional organisations.

The WCPC should only be given to psychotherapists who have been trained in a modality which fulfils the following criteria:

1. Has clearly defined areas of enquiry, application, research, and practice.
2. Has demonstrated its claim to knowledge and competence within its field tradition of diagnosis/assessment and of treatment/intervention.
3. Has a clear and self-consistent theory of the human being, of the therapeutic relationship, and of health and illness.
4. Has methods specific to the approach which generate developments in the theory of psychotherapy, demonstrate new aspects in the understanding of human nature, and lead to ways of treatment/intervention.
5. Includes processes of verbal exchange, alongside an awareness of non-verbal sources of information and communication.
6. Offers a clear rationale for treatment/ interventions facilitating constructive change of the factors provoking or maintaining illness or suffering.
7. Has clearly defined strategies enabling clients to develop a new organization of experience and behaviour.
8. Is open to dialogue with other psychotherapy modalities about its field of theory and practice.
9. Has a way of methodically describing the chosen fields of study and the methods of treatment/intervention which can be used by other colleagues.
10. Is associated with information which is the result of conscious self reflection, and critical reflection by other professionals within the approach.
11. Offers new knowledge, which is differentiated and distinctive, in the domain of psychotherapy.
12. Is capable of being integrated with other approaches considered to be part of scientific psychotherapy so that it can be seen to share with them areas of common ground.
13. Describes and displays a coherent strategy to understanding human problems, and an explicit relation between methods of treatment/ intervention and results.
14. Has theories of normal and problematic human behaviour which are explicitly related to effective methods of diagnosis/ assessment and treatment/intervention.
15. Has investigative procedures which are defined well enough to indicate possibilities of research.

Within the World Council for Psychotherapy (WCP) the following modalities fulfil the criteria listed above:

• Psychodynamic / psychoanalytic psychotherapy (S. Freud, C.G. Jung, A. Adler, etc.)
• Behavioural and cognitive psychotherapy
• Family, sexual, and couple psychotherapy
• Group psychotherapy
• Person-centered psychotherapy (C. Rogers)
• Gestalt psychotherapy
• Transactional analysis
• Psychodrama psychotherapy
• Positive psychotherapy (Peseschkian, since 1968)
• Existential psychotherapy
• Body psychotherapy
• Expressive psychotherapy
• Hypnopsychotherapy
• Integrative psychotherapy
• Child and youth psychotherapy
• Morita

Length and content of psychotherapy training:

The total duration of the training will not be less than 3200 hours, spread over a minimum of seven years, with the first three years being the equivalent of a university degree. The later four years of which must be in a training specific to psychotherapy.

The training meets the WCP's criteria for basic professional training, and includes the following elements:

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 (not less than 250 hours). 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 involvement in and contributions to the processes of the psychotherapies that they practice in accordance with their specific methods.

Theoretical Study
There will be a general part of university or 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, or the whole of, the general part of psychotherapy theory, but cannot contribute towards the 4 years of specific psychotherapy training. Theoretical study during the 4 years of training specific to psychotherapy should include the following elements:
Theories of human development throughout the life-cycle
An understanding of other psychotherapeutic approaches
A theory of change
An understanding of social and cultural issues in relation to psychotherapy
Theories of psychopathology
Theories of assessment and intervention

Practical Training
This will include sufficient practice under continuous supervision appropriate to the psychotherapeutic modality and will be at least two years in duration.

Placement in a mental health setting, or equivalent professional experience.
The placement must provide adequate experience of psycho-social crisis and of collaboration with other specialists in the mental health field.
Supervision, training and, where applicable, personal psychotherapy should be provided by practitioners whose training meets the criteria of the WCPC. Advanced trainings for trainers and supervisors are not covered by these criteria, but will be required.

At least 150 sessions of supervision are required.


The introduction of any new professional qualification means that the status of current practitioners needs to be recognised. The process of recognising practitioners who have acquired expertise through practice and not necessarily training is known as 'grandparenting'.

The criteria for grandparenting are:
A grandparented practitioner has levels of skill equal or greater than to those of a practitioner trained to the standard of the WCPC.
The practitioner is a member of a professional body and adheres to a code of ethics which is compatible with that of the WCP.
The practitioner has expertise in a modality of psychotherapy which is recognised by the WCP.
The practitioner has been in independent professional practice for a period of at least four years.
Practitioners who are in training, or who have recently completed a training, will not normally be considered for grandparenting, but may have their training recognised retrospectively.

Basic professions:

In some countries access to training to become a psychotherapist is through various preliminary qualifications (differs from country to country), in particular human and social sciences. For the WCPC the following basic professions will be accepted:
• Psychiatrists (medical doctors)
• Psychologists
• Social workers
• Teachers
• Psychotherapists from a different origin who work in the social field and have a profound education in psychotherapy.

Ethical issues:

Each WCPC holder should be member of an psychotherapeutic organisation which has an ethical code corresponding to the ethical code of the WCP or the EAP.

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