The associations that all together constitute the European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapy (EABCT) and their individual members share the following goals:

  • To use therapeutic strategies and techniques that are based on scientific research
  • To use evidence based strategies and techniques when they are available and to cooperate in further developing evidence based practices
  • To develop the highest standard of clinical practice through training, continuing professional development and evidence based practice.
  • To respect, enhance and support the autonomy of their clients
  • To support the right of clients to get the best possible therapy for their psychological problems, their right to be treated with respect
  • To apply the most appropriate techniques and strategies and abandon others that are less effective or adequate

At present it is not clear what the position of the European Union is with regard to mental health in general and psychological therapies in particular. At a national level, some European countries have guidelines about the accreditation of psychotherapists, e.g. the Netherlands, Germany. In some countries the Governments have also had an interest in developing guidelines for good clinical practice in Mental Health, having set up specialised Research Institutions: NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) in the UK, the Trimbos Institute in the Netherlands that carries out research on evidence based good practice for the Dutch Government, or the INSERM that does the same for the French Government. Look for links to these Institutes below.
EABCT supports these efforts and wants to contribute to them.

At the European level there is no legislation to regulate the practice of psychological therapies or to ensure the quality of what is offered as Psychotherapy.

To our knowledge, at present, there is no official European body to regulate or control Psychotherapy in the European Union.

This lack of regulation is one of EABCT’s major concerns. That is why we have developed training standards and an accreditation procedure for our member Associations. You can find these on this website. These standards are still being developed and EABCT is dedicated to support it’s member Associations in setting up and developing training and procedures to meet these standards when they don’t have a long tradition in CBT.

Behavioural and Cognitive Therapy comes in different forms and names: Behaviour Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. There are also more specialised forms for more specific problems: Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Dialectic Behaviour Therapy, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, etc. They all share the same principles: they are based on scientific research and they are committed to look for evidence of their effectiveness to alleviate Mental Health problems.

As a result of this commitment to provide therapy that has been shown to be effective, it will not be a surprise that the guidelines that are given by the National Research Institutes clearly indicate Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies as first choice for most of the main Mental Health problems such as Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, etc.