Template for a National Psychotherapy Law

This document was formulated by Alfred Pritz in cooperation with researcher Albina Colden to be used in negotiations with governmental bodies. Please note that this template is just a recommendation and has to be adopted according to special national requirements.

It is modeled after the guidelines of the European Association of Psychotherapy (EAP) and the Strasbourg Declaration of 1990, as well as after the Austrian Psychotherapy Act of 1990, which was the first national psychotherapy law to have been crafted by members of EAP and passed successfully through their own government body.

The Template for a National Psychotherapy Law is comprehensive and addresses eight issues that are key to the profession of psychotherapy: (1) Definition of the Profession, (2) Training Requirements, (3) Modalities Recognized, (4) Certification, (5) Professional Title, (6) Registration, (7) Exercise of the Profession, and (8) Advisory Council.

Implementation of a National Psychotherapy Law based on this template in as many countries as possible, will establish an internationally uniform set of psychotherapy regulations in accordance to the principles of EAP. This will greatly facilitate the creation of a joint platform in psychotherapy legislature, which in turn will be beneficial both to practitioners and consumers of psychotherapy services on a number of levels.

Template for a national Psychotherapy Law (pdf, 154,7 KB)


Psychotherapists are required to engage in extensive personal psychotherapy during their training which is up to seven years duration. Psychotherapists usually have a first degree followed by a professional, highly specialised, theoretical and clinical training which includes research methodology and continuous professional development. The EAP promotes the recognition of common standards of training throughout Europe, and will ensure their mobility across member states.