In agreement with the goals fixed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) ;
Within the framwork of the decree of nondiscrimination that the European community (EC) has implemented and that the European Economic Space (EES) is willing to adopt ;
according to the principle of the free circulation of the persons and services ;
the undersigned came to an agreement on the following points :
1. Psychotherapy is a specific discipline, from the field of Human Sciences, whose exercice represents a free and autonomous profession.
2. The training of psychotherapy requires a high level of theoric and clinic qualification.
3. The diversity of the psychotherapeutics methods is guarantee.
4. The training in one of the psychotherapeutics methods must be accomplished entirely and includes : the theory, the experience on its own person and the practise under supervision. Vast notions on other methods are also acquired.
5. The access to the profession is submitted to various preliminary preparations, in particular in human and social sciences.
Strasbourg, october 21st, 1990.
Countersigned to this day by the representatives of 41 countries from Western and Eastern Europe and supported by the European Association of Psychotherapy.
The Declaration of the Rights to Psychotherapy
The declaration of the rights for psychotherapy written by the French Federation of Psychotherapy and adopted by the European Association of Psychotherapy, was proclaimed on thursday june 25th 1998 at 6.30 PM, Place du Trocadéro in Paris, on the Parvis des Droits de l’Homme, during a public ceremony which gathered 250 certified psychopractitioners from about 30 countries.
Psychotherapy is a human science, aiming to the harmonious development of the person and the soothing of physical pains.
The qualified psychopractitioner practise his mission in the strict respect of the dignity and integrity, physical and mental, of the human person. He gives his help to the social prevention, without distinction or influence based in particular on the gender, the race, the color, the language, the religion, the politics opinions, the national or social origin, the belonging to a minority, the wealth, the birth or any other situation.
Every person has the right to the free choice of a qualified psychopractitioner and to free access to all certified methods of psychotherapy.
The qualified psychopractitioner freely decides, in the respect of the professional code of ethics, the psychotherapy method in which he is willing to be trained in and choosed to practise.
The qualified psychopractitioner practise his art in total independance. He is free of his methods, in consideration of the circumstances that occure to him without exposing his patient to an injustified risk.
The freedom to practise a psychotherapy can’t be under any other restrictions than those specifically planned by the law, which constitutes necessary measures, in a democratic society, to public security or to the protection of the rights and freedom for others.
Qualified psychopractitioner is bound to professional secrecy, in the conditions planned by the law ; he is practicing his art in the respect of life, freedom and security of the persons.
The qualified psychopractitioner receives a specific training, to which any other certificate from another training cannot make up for : medicine, psychology, sociology, philosophy or others.
Any psychotherapy method must be based on scientificly validated criteria specific of the Human Sciences. No known psychotherapy method can pretend to be superior than an other.
Each psychotherapy method freely defines the training conditions, the evaluation and control of its practitioners consistent with its principles, in conformity with the general rules leading the profession.
When psychotherapy is the subject of an instutitional or social management, she must be applied with the same conditions, to all recognized methods, to allow access to each and everyone without distinction.
The World Charter of World Coucil for Psychotherapy (WCP)
1. Right to dignity and respect
Whatever its demand is or its psychic state, the person in psychotherapy has the right of respect, of dignity and of the integrity of its physical and mental person, without any kind of discrimination.
2. Right to free choice
The person in psychotherapy has the right to freely choose its method and its psychotherapist and to modify that choice, if it considers it necessary.
3. Right to information
The person in psychotherapy has the right to know the method(s) used by the psychotherapist, also that his qualification, his training and his professional affiliation.
4. Conditions of the therapy
The conditions of the therapy must be specified before any commitment :
the modalities (verbal, emotional, physical…), the duration and number of seances,
the presumed duration of treatment and its terms of extension or stopping, the financial cost (fees, possible coverage, insurance terms, payment of missed seances).
5. Right to confidentiality
The psychotherapist must commit, to the person in therapy, to absolute professional secrecy, concerning everything that is confided to him during the therapy. This confidentiality is an essential condition to the therapeutic relationship.
6. Ethical commitment of the psychotherapist
The practitioner is required to respect the code of ethics of its reference professional organism. This code is communicated on demand. The psychotherapist is obliged to take his responsibilities : he must commit to not use the trust established in purpose of political manipulation, sectarian or personal (emotional dependance, economic interests, sexual relations…).
7. Complaint procedure
In case of complaint, the person in psychotherapy can adress to professional organizations of appeal or to Justice.
This charter was elaborated by the French Federation of Psychotherapy on the occasion of its general states. It was voted by the WCP, on the proposition of France, july 14th 2002, during its members general assembly, gathered during the 3rd world congress of psychotherapy in Vienna (Austria) – congress that reunited 4000 psychotherapists from 80 countries from all continents.
Professional Code of Ethics
This code was adopted by the European Association of Psychotherapy (EAP) general assembly on may 20th 1995 in Zurich (Switzerland).
It has been translated in french by the Office of the French Federation of Psychotherapy in Paris, on march 21st 1996.
It was adopted by the European Association of Psychocorporal and Relational Therapists.
All members of national societies associated to the EAP, also than individual members of those, are required to practice their profession with a particularly high sense of their responsibilities towards their own person, their therapeutic work and the persons which who a particular relation is created by the mean of psychotherapeutic treatment. The national societies of the EAP are obliged to pay particularly attention to the ethic questions. This applies to the trainers, to members and to the candidates of those same national societies. The ethic rules of the national societies – aim to protect patient/client against abusive applications of psychotherapy by the practitioner or the trainers, – are used for reference in case of complaint.
1 • The profession of qualified psychopractitioner
The profession of qualified psychopractitioner is a discipline of the Human Sciences field. It involves a diagnostic and a global and explicit treatment strategy of psychological, social and psychosomatic disorders. The methods used are based on scientific theories of psychotherapy. By the mean of an interaction between one or many patients/clients and one or many psychopractitioners, this treatment has for goal to activate a therapeutic process allowing changes and an evolution on long term. The profession of qualified psychopractitioner is characterized by the involvement of the therapist in the realisation of the goals mentioned above. The qualified psychopractitioner is obliged to use his competence in the respect of the values and the dignity of his patient/client in regards of the best interest of the same. The qualified psychopractitioner must indicate his qualification in the speciality he was trained in.
2 • Professional competence and improvement
The qualified psychopractitioner must practice his profession by competent manner and in the respect of the ethic. He must keep himself informed about the researches of scientific development of psychotherapy – which involves a permanent non-stop training. The qualified psychopractitioner is obliged to practice only the treatment methods and in the fields of psychotherapy in which he can justify of enough knowledge and experience.
3 • Professional secrecy
The qualified psychopractitioner and his possible team are submitted to absolute professional secrecy concerning everything that is confided to them in the practise of their profession. This same obligation applies in the frame of supervision.
4 • Therapy framework
As soon as the therapy is starting, the qualified psychopractitioner must draw the attention of his client’s rights and emphasize these following points :
- kind of the used method (if he’s judging it appropriate to the client’s situation). He precises the working conditions (including the stopping or canceling conditions) of the presumed duration of the treatment.
- financial conditions (fees, coverage, payment of missed seances), – professional secrecy, – possibility of appeal in case of dispute. The patient/client must be able to decide himself if and with who he wants to begin a treatment (free choice of the therapist). The qualified psychopractitioner is obliged to assume his responsibilities considering the particular conditions of trust and dependance characterizing the therapeutic relation. There is an abuse of this relation from the moment where the qualified psychopractitioner fails to his duty and his responsibility to his patient/client to satisfy his personal interest (for instance, on a sexual level, emotional, social or economic). Any kind of abuse represents a violation of the specific ethic directives concerning the profession of qualified psychopractitioner. The entire responsibility of the abuses falls to the qualified psychopractitioner. Any irresponsible action in the frame of trust and dependance relation created by the psychotherapist constitutes a serious professional misconduct.
5 • Obligation to provide exact and objective information
The informations provided to the patient-client concerning the conditions in which the treatment takes place must be very accurate, objective and answer on facts. Any misleading advertising is forbidden. Examples : – unrealistic promises of healing, – references to many different therapeutic approaches, which would let suppose a training more vast than it really is, – training started but not achieved.
6 • Professional relations with the colleagues
If necessary, the qualified psychopractitioner must work in an interdisciplinary manner with representatives from other sciences, in the interest of the patient/client.
7 • Ethic principles concerning the training
These ethic principles also applies, by analogy, to the connection between trainers and pupils.
8 • Contribution to Public Health
The responsibility of the qualified psychopractitioners at the level of the society requires from them to work to contribute to the preservation and the establishment of living conditions able to promote, save and restore the psychic health, the maturation and self-fulfillment of the human being.
9 • Research in psychotherapy
In order to promote the scientific evolution of psychotherapy and the studies of its effects, the qualified psychopractitioner must, as far as possible, collaborate to research works undertaken in this way. The ethic principles defined above must also be respected in the occasion of these research works and during their publication. The interests of the patient-client remain of high priority.
10 • Breaches of the ethic rules
National societies are obliged to create appeal and arbitration authorities in case of dispute.
11 • Obligations of national organizations of the EAP
National organizations must require that their practitioner members set up ethic rules compatible with the professional ethic code of the EAP.