Application procedure

Detailed information and  checklist for applications

Step 1: Check if your training is on an ECP level

If your training fulfills the criteria stated underneath your training is on an ECP level.
(this is an extract of our ECP-Document (pdf)):

4. Length and content of psychotherapy education and training

4.1. The total duration of the education and training will not be less than 3200 hours:

a) Either spread over a minimum of seven years, with the first three years being the equivalent of a relevant university degree. The later four years must be in a training specific to psychotherapy, must contain all the elements defined in § 4.2 of this document, and will not be less than 1400 hours.

b) Or conducted as a 5-year full-time academic education and training in psychotherapy, organised by a university, which must contain all the theoretical and practical elements defined in § 4.2 of this document.

4.2. The training meets the EAP’s criteria for basic professional training, and includes the
following elements:

4.2.1. Personal Psychotherapeutic Experience, or equivalent: This should be taken to include training analysis, self-experience, and other methods involving elements of selfreflection, therapy, and personal experience (not less than 250 hours) normally spread over 4 years. 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.

4.2.2. 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 (500 to 800 hours) 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

4.2.3. Practical Training: This will include sufficient practice (not less than 300 hours) under continuous supervision (not less than 150 hours) appropriate to the psychotherapeutic modality and will be at least two years in duration.

4.2.4. 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.

4.3. Supervision, training and, where applicable, personal psychotherapy should be provided by practitioners whose training meets the criteria of the ECP. Advanced trainings for trainers and supervisors are not covered by these criteria, but will be required.

4.4. Training courses are required to be registered with their relevant NAO and accredited by their relevant EWAO (§1.4). Then they are recommended to apply to the Training & Accreditation Committee (TAC) for European Accredited Psychotherapy Training Institute (EAPTI) status. The detailed criteria and procedures for obtaining EAPTI status are contained in the TAC document. The TAC is responsible for checking and accepting the quality and procedures of the training organisation and subsequently recommending it to the Governing Board for EAPTI status.

Step 2: Check if there is a NAO (National Awarding Organization) in your country

You can find this information under Info EAP – Addresses. (needs a link)

Step 3: Contact your NAO or the EAP headoffice.

They will inform you in detail about the process of the application.

The general procedure is as follows:

The NAO checks your application (formally and if you are legally registered as a psychotherapist in your country, …). It gets into contact with the representative of your modality within the EAP (they have to confirm that your training is levelling or above the EAP standard). If the NAO and the representative of your modality give their OK our Registrar does a final formal check on your application. If he gives his OK and the fee for the ECP has been paid the headoffice in Vienna will issue the certificate, put you into our Register of ECP holders (ECP-R databse) and forward the ECP to you (through your NAO).

ECP document –

Important Information for ECP (European Certificate of Psychotherapy) Application

ECP Official document. Version 7.0. voted AGM Vienna February 2017
ECP Document 7.0. (pdf, 165,6 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.