Notes on Body Psychotherapy Competencies:
The competencies were written by the three main body psychotherapy organisations within the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), which have been working in the field and training body psychotherapists over many years. The organisations have a collaborative relationship and were able to find common ground. Each separate organisation is also working on competencies that define their particular organisation and especially some competencies that were less emphasised in this document.
The project represents four years of meetings within a small grouping. We worked firstly by building safety and respect for each others viewpoint. Then we asked “what are we actually doing in our work with clients” and “how do we understand that?” We were concerned to capture what we actually do and our thinking, not what we think we should say we do and believe.
Gradually we evolved a structure for the document and we also drew on examples of competencies produced for the UK government by other modalities. We were passionate about keeping our body psychotherapy terminology and language, but also wanted to find appropriate language to communicate to fund holders and bureaucrats.
The document went through two consultations within our organisations, and we also sent it to some senior and experienced figures in the UK for further comment. It was tempting to continue revising and refining, but we decided to conclude for now and to make revisions at a future date.
The document reflects the UK context and it is not the only way to practice body psychotherapy. We offer it to others more broadly to stimulate thinking and dialogue in the field of body psychotherapy.