The situation of Psychotherapy in France

Legal status

In France, the title of “psychotherapist” is protected since 2010, without any definition, whereas the practice is not regulated by French law

  • The use of the title of psychotherapist is restricted for professionals registered in the national register of psychotherapists.
  • This register is established by the regional authorities (ARS) in the district of the professional practice. For more information

To register, the applicant must be

  • medical doctor,
  • psychologist (master degree)
  • and/or psycho-analyst regularly registered in a psychoanalysis association directory.

All new students must have these titles to begin any specialised training required by the law.

Apart from psychiatrists and clinical psychologists, all must undergo some additional training: 200 to 400 hours of psychopathology, and 2 to 5 months of practice in a institution (fieldwork).

The former psychotherapists who have been officially practicing for more than 5 years before the 20th of may 2010 can apply to be registered, after a control by a regional committee of 6 professionals: 2 psychiatrists, 2 psychologists and 2 psychoanalysts; 2 of them must be professors in University.

The applicants can be required to follow a complementary training in psychopathology and/or 2 to 5 months of field training (fieldwork).

Some private institutes can ask to be accredited (by the same committees) for the training in psychopathology. They must have a scientific committee and a research team.

To read the texts of the law (in French), click the links below:

  • LOI n° 2004-806 du 9 août 2004 relative à la politique de santé publique,
  • Décret n° 2010-534 du 20 mai 2010 relatif à l’usage du titre de psychothérapeute,
  • Arrêté du 9 juin 2010 relatif aux demandes d’inscription au registre national des psychothérapeutes,
  • Décret n° 2012-695 du 7 mai 2012 modifiant le décret n° 2010-534 du 20 mai 2010 relatif à l’usage du titre de psychothérapeute.

FF2P – Fédération Française de Psychothérapie et Psychanalyse

The FF2P was founded 17 years ago in order to provide a framework and regulations for the practice of psychotherapy at a time when no regulation and supervision of the practice existed. Our concern has always been the protection of users. We agree with EAP criteria and the Strasbourg Declaration on Psychotherapy of 1990.

The FF2P has defined specific criteria to give the people living in France a guarantee of the training and professionalism of practitioners trained by institutes accredited training by FF2P.

It is also for these reasons that well before the proposed legislation and the adoption of the 2010 law, the FF2P had established a register that users can refer to to find a practitioner or a training institute.

1 500 psychotherapists, 21 associations and 36 training institutes (including 16 EAPTIs) are registered by the FF2P and listed in its directory.

Other information:

Payment: the clients pay around 60 euros for one session

Psychotherapy is not reimbursed by the Social security system, except, in hospitals and in some cases, when it is practiced by medical doctors (very partly).
Some private insurance companies may reimburse partially.
The minister of Health is responsible for psychotherapy.

The 2010 law recognizes no psychotherapy methods or modalities. It only mentions psychopathology.



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.