Ethical Charter

The European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (EABCT) is a non-profit organisation that brings together 54 full member and 6 affiliate associations from 44 different countries.

Each association is committed to the empirically based principles and practice of behavioural and cognitive therapy approaches in health, social, education and related fields. They also share a common goal of developing the highest standard of clinical practice through the development of training, continuing professional development and evidence based practice.

Mission statement


( last update 5th July  2022)


This Charter speaks to the common ethical framework that guides and inspires all EABCT member associations and EABCT itself toward the highest ethical ideals in their professional and scientific missions. It also guides their relationships within EABCT and with their wider social, cultural and political connections.

This Charter is clearly distinct from a code of ethics ruling the professional behavior of individual CBT therapists. The Charter addresses the behaviour and values of associations; codes of ethics address the behaviour and values of therapists.

EABCT member associations are associations of people interested in, professionals practicing or studying CBT. They are not necessarily national associations or organisations and, in any case, they do not represent in any way the nations in which they may be located, nor the political agenda of these nations.

All CBT associations members of the EABCT support the aims, values and the constitution of the EABCT as well as this Ethical Charter.



The core values of the EABCT are honesty, decency, equality, diversity, respect for dignity and human rights, fairness, a spirit of teamwork, collaborative decision making, open communication, responsibility, and empirically based practice.

This Charter represents the commitment of all the EABCT member associations to help build a better world where peace, freedom, humanity and ethics prevail.



EABCT and all its MA respect human rights as defined in the United Nations Universal Human Rights Declaration. This includes promoting practices in mental health that are respectful of human dignity and rights and denouncing any practice that is contrary to human dignity and rights.

All EABCT MA respect the unique worth and inherent dignity of all human beings and diversity among peoples, as well as customs of different cultures. This is to be limited only when a custom or a belief seriously contravenes the principle of respect for the dignity of persons or causes serious harm to their well-being, or is in contradiction with the universal declaration of human rights.

All EABCT MAs always stand against attitudes and behaviours that lead to human suffering and destruction.



All EABCT MA strive towards professional integrity and are responsible to hold all their members who would work against the core values of the EABCT and contrary to this Charter  to account.  All EABCT MA act cautiously with precise information and without sensationalism when informing the public. They will not abuse cognitive behavioral psychotherapy or misuse their representation within EABCT for political, ideological or private purposes. 

The general spirit within EABCT shall be one of co-operation and the organisation will strive towards maximum transparency, democratic approach and solidarity, while trying to resolve any situations which may give rise to conflicts of any kind. This also means that the EABCT supports accessibility and that it wants to accept new member associations especially from regions where CBT is not yet broadly disseminated, as well as to support them in their development. This is especially true for associations located in repressive countries that limit political rights and civil liberties as these associations need most help.

Before accepting a new member association, the EABCT will ensure that the candidate association supports this ethical charter and can do so without any restrictions or outside control.




The Ethics Committee is composed of at least five members with a 3 year terms that can be re-elected once. They are elected by the GM. EABCT ethical committee membership would not be compatible with membership of the ethical committee of a MA, or of EABCT Board. The committee should tend toward a balance in gender and geographical origins. 


The missions of the EABCT Ethical committee are:

  • To provide support to MA in the application of the Charter;
  • To document and to provide guidance in case of complaint or worries that a MA or EABCT itself is not complying to the Charter;
  • To provide support and advice to MA who would address ethical questions to the Ethical committee;
  • To inform and to advise the Board about any ethical issue or concern that would be relevant for EABCT.

The Ethical committee has only an advisory function. It has no decision-making power, including regarding the sanctions that would apply to MAs in default regarding the Charter. Decisions are to be taken by the General Meeting or the Board  according to the Constitution and the Rules.


The Ethical Committee will write its procedures and terms of reference, and propose them to the Board.



All EABCT MA will communicate the commitments outlined in this ethical charter to their members after it comes into force after the GM vote.