Background: There is a political process within the European Association of Psychotherapy whereby each European Wide Organisation (EWO), usually representing a modality within psychotherapy, must establish itself as a "scientific" before it can be a European Wide Accrediting Organisation (EWAO). Once it is accepted as an EWAO, it can accredit Training or Accrediting Organisations within various countries and they, once they are also accepted by the National Umbrella Organisation (NUO) or the National Accrediting Organisation (NAO) for Psychotherapy in that country, can award their graduate psychotherapists the European Certficiate for Psychotherapy.

A Training or Accrediting Organisation must be accepted by both the NAO for its country and the EWAO for its particular modality. However some modalities are not accepted in certain countries i.e. Body Psychotherapy is not accepted as "scientific" in Austria, and not accepted in Holland. The EAP can apply pressure on the NAO to accept modalities in their country that are accepted in other countries and this may be the only way to get these Training or Accrediting Organisations proper acceptance.

In order for any modality within psychotherapy, represented by an EWO, to establish itself as "scientific" - and thus become an EWAO, it must answer these 15 questions about Scientific Validity satisfactorily. Representatives from two other EWO's scrutinise the answers and then make recommendations to the EWO Committee that in turn decises. Their decision then has to be ratified by the Board of the EAP. Then it gets fully accepted as an EWAO. It is a political process, but it hinges on the answers to these questions.

The questions were developed in a Scientific Validation Sub-Committee by David Boadella and others. They are based on the book "Psychotherapies: eine neue Wissenschaft vom Menschen", which consists of numerous distinguished contributions by psychotherapists from Austria, Switzerland, Germany, & England and is "without doubt the best single book on psychotherapy as a human science, in any language".

They were passed at the EAP General Assembly in Paris in June 1998. Here they are. The links are to the answers we have got so far. We have now submitted our answers which have been accepted, so Body-Psychotherapy is accepted by the EAP as "scientifically valid". However it would be presumptious to assume that our answer was complete or finite. We would like to develop an on-going dialogue about this. So please help us.

Update February 2006:

The EAP have now accepted that the 'requirement' that all Body-Psychotherapy modalities have to be accredited for the 15 Questions independently and externally from their 'mainstream' organisation EABP was discriminatory. The various modalities within EABP that have been accredited are all of a high standard. It has been decided that EABP is now able to do such an accreditational (or scientific validation) process internally and put forward the modality as being "scientifically valid" to the EAP. It has not yet been determined exactly how this process will be done, and by whom.

The 15 Questions about Scientific Validity:

Please provide evidence that your approach:

1. Has clearly defined areas of enquiry, application, research, and practice.

2. Has demonstrated its claim to knowledge and competence within its field tradition of diagnosis/assessment and of treatment/intervention.

3. Has a clear and self-consistent theory of the human being, of the therapeutic relationship, and of health and illness.

4. Has methods specific to the approach which generate developments in the theory of psychotherapy, demonstrate new aspects in the understanding of hman nature, and lead to ways of treatment/intervention.

5. Includes processes of verbal exchange, alongside an awareness of non-verbal sources of information and communication.

6. Offers a clear rationale for treatment/interventions facilitating constructive change of the factors provoking or maintaining illness or suffering.

7. Has clearly defined strategies enabling clients to develop a new organization of experience and behaviour.

8. Is open to dialogue with other psychotherapy modalities about its field of theory and practice.

9. Has a way of methodically describing the chosen fields of study and the methods of treatment/intervention which can be used by other colleagues.

10. Is associated with information which is the result of conscious self reflection, and critical reflection by other professionals within the approach.

11. Offers new knowledge, which is differentiated and distinctive, in the domain of psychotherapy.

12. Is capable of being integrated with other approaches considered to be part of scientific psychotherapy so that it can be seen to share with them areas of common ground.

13. Describes and displays a coherent strategy to understanding human problems, and an explicit relation between methods of treatment/intervention and results.

14. Has theories of normal and problematic human behaviour which are explicitly related to effective methods of diagnosis/assessment and treatment/intervention.

15. Has investigative procedures which are defined well enough to indicate possibilities of research.

If you would like to add to the process of answering these questions for Body-Psychotherapy as a mainstream branch of psychotherapy or for your particular modality within Body-Psychotherapy, which is the next phase of the 'game', please, please feel free.

Please send your answers to Courtenay Young. Thank you.


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