Emotional Wellbeing of European Citizens / EAP Position Statement

The position of Psychotherapy in Europe

38.2% of citizens in the European Union (200 Million people) suffer from emotional distress1

These 200 million of our citizens deserve accessibility to quality assured Psychotherapeutic Care. They have a right to be informed about Psychotherapy treatment of choice.

We call for a proper legal regulation of the Psychotherapy Profession and Psychotherapeutic services within the European Union.

We expect our new European Parliament and our new European Commission to take action.


Position Statement
on the position of psychotherapy in Europe

Emotional Wellbeing of European Citizens  – What has to be done?

It is estimated that, each year, 38.2% of citizens in the European Union (150>200 million people) suffer from a mental health disorder. This figure is increasing rapidly (in 2005, it was 82 million).

This carries a huge – both annual and long-term – economic and social cost, involving absenteeism, poor performance, stress and distress, loss of earnings, increased use of health resources, increased disability, premature retirement as well as any ensuing emotional distress and deprivation of the patients’ family and friends.

The recent economic crisis / recession has also impacted significantly on mental health.

These mental disorders include anxiety disorders (14.0%), insomnia (7.0%), major depression (6.9%), somatoform disorders (6.3%), alcohol and drug dependence (>4%), AHHD (5%) in the young, and dementia (up to 30%, depending on age).

There seems to be no substantial cultural or country variations (except for substance abuse and mental retardation). Although there are increases in sick leave, early retirement and treatment rates, there are no consistent indications of any improvements with regard to low treatment rates, delayed treatment provision and grossly inadequate treatment.

These 200 million of our citizens deserve accessibility to quality-assured, readily available, psychotherapeutic care. They have a right to be informed about psychotherapy as an effective treatment of choice, sometimes in conjunction with psychopharmacology.

We, in the EAP, call for a proper legal regulation of the profession of psychotherapy and the wider provision of psychotherapeutic services within the European Union.

We expect the new European Parliament and the new European Commission to take appropriate and effective action.

For the EAP

Eugenijus Laurinaitis / Past EAP President
Alfred Pritz / Past General Secretary EAP
Annette Kreuz / Past External Relations Officer EAP

See also ‘Information for governments’  | EAP Booklet

Additional Info Template – EAP Position on Emotional Wellbeing of European Citizens (pdf, 61 KB)

The European Association of Psychotherapy (EAP) Position Statementon the position of psychotherapy in Europe (pdf, 60 KB)


1) The size and burden of mental disorders and other disorders of the brain in Europe 2010
European Neuropsychopharmacology, Volume 21, Issue 9, September 2011, Pages 655-679

2) H.U. Wittchen, F. Jacobi, J. Rehm, A. Gustavsson, M. Svensson, B. Jönsson, J. Olesen, C. Allgulander, J. Alonso, C. Faravelli, L. Fratiglioni, P. Jennum, R. Lieb, A. Maercker, J. van Os, M. Preisig, L. Salvador-Carulla, R. Simon, H.-C. Steinhausen (2011). The size and burden of mental disorders and other disorders of the brain in Europe 2010. European Neuropsychopharmacology, Volume 21, Issue 9, September 2011, pages 655-679. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2011.07.018)

3) D. McCaid, M. McKnapp, C. Curran (2005). Policy Brief: Mental Health III: Funding Mental Health in Europe. WHO – European Observatory on Health & Social Policies. Accessed: 18-Feb-2013: www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/108955/E85489.pdf

4) WHO: Regional Office for Europe (2011). Impact of Economic Crisis on Mental Health. Accessed: 18-Feb-2013: www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/108955/E85489.pdf

 

Training

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.

Training