EAP Statement on Esoteric Methods

EAP Statement on Esoteric Methods (pdf, 87,3 KB)
Voted by EAP Board Antwerp, September 2017

EAP Guideline on the issue of Psychotherapy and Religion, Spiritual Practices and Esoteric Methods

  1. The fundamental rule of guidance is that the psychotherapist only ever works from the perspective of the interests of the client, and it is therefore unethical and unprofessional to work: either for their own commercial self-interest; or from any other personal agenda, whether this be one of power, imposing their own beliefs, promotion of any particular practice or method, or for any financial, personal or sexual advantage.
  2. This fundamental rule includes working only with the interests of the client in matters of spirituality, religion, transpersonal beliefs or esoteric practices: none of which may have established a sufficient scientific basis for these to be included into a psychotherapist’s professional practice. It is therefore unethical and unprofessional to work when considering only the therapist’s own religious, esoteric or spiritual belief systems (where this is different from the client’s).
  3. The psychotherapist is required in particular to suspend their own personal belief systems, as far as possible in their professional work with a client, whilst recognising that there are various situations and respects in which this may be difficult. As with any psychologicalemotional matters, the client’s personal religious, spiritual and esoteric beliefs may however – obviously – be a topic for discussion without prejudice.
  4. All of these points are covered generally and adequately, even if not stated explicitly, within the EAP’s Statement of Ethical Principles and the EAP’s Professional Competencies of a European Psychotherapist: these documents are all available from the EAP’s website: www.europsyche.org.

Approved Sept. 2017


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.