Why ECP?

European Certificate of Psychotherapy

The ECP represents the European gold standard for psychotherapy education, a standard the national and modality professional psychotherapy organisations represented within EAP incorporate into national or modality variations of European psychotherapy qualifications.

At the same time, the ECP is a qualification certificate awarded directly by EAP to psychotherapists who meet the ECP standard of education and training. An award that recognises and establishes the psychotherapist’s gold standard of psychotherapy qualification.

In addition to its general value and meaning, the award of an ECP may also benefit, or support, psychotherapists in various individual contexts. Psychotherapy is a single but also quite diverse field and the legal and political situations for psychotherapy at large, and for individual psychotherapy modalities, can vary considerably across Europe. Therefore, an ECP award may also present a range of context specific benefits for psychotherapists, for example:

  • The ECP provides quality assurance in any situation when psychotherapists offer their professional services outside their country of residence, either in person or by utilising internet based services.
  • The ECP facilitates mobility of psychotherapists within European countries, whether in the context of migration or in cases when they received their psychotherapy education outside their country of residence.
  • The ECP can establish a psychotherapist’s bona fide professional credentials and provide quality assurances in situations when particular psychotherapy modalities are marginalised, for example by arbitrary-restrictive national legislation.
  • For some psychotherapists, the ECP is also a statement of psychotherapy values (perhaps in contrast to some distorted or deformed national narratives) and their commitment to the EAP’s European wide gold standard and the Strasbourg Declaration.


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.