10 Professional Competencies - Domain 2




The Different Domains: Domain 2

These domains of activity have to be considered within a framework that constitutes the professional work of a European psychotherapist. [1]
These ‘domains’ operate within each of the three main categories of Competencies (Core, Specific & Specialist),
All these domains indicate areas in which a European psychotherapist is competent:

  1. Working Professionally, Autonomously & Accountably:
  2. Domain 2: The Psychotherapeutic Relationship: This means that psychotherapists are able to demonstrate that: they can establish an effective working psychotherapeutic relationship with the patients/clients in their professional practice from the first moments of contact; with clear communication; with the basic attitudes of both detachment and independence, empathy and understanding, respect and consideration, professionalism and compassion; always with appropriate boundaries, with appropriate skills; and on a professional and ethical basis, that is suitable for, and can meet the needs of (or that is for the prime benefit of and in the interests of) the recipients. The psychotherapeutic relationship includes the promotion of self-help, self-empowerment and self-care for the recipient. The psychotherapeutic relationship is a professional one, bound by professional ethics, and should be considered as paramount to any other past or present relationships with the patient/client. Psychotherapists are able to demonstrate that they can manage any difficulties, as well as the process of change, manage breaks and holidays, and monitor the relationship appropriately. The psychotherapeutic relationship is – by definition – time-limited and therefore the psychotherapist must also be able to manage conclusions, both sudden and planned, to the therapy. A psychotherapist should also be able to demonstrate an awareness – not only of the dynamics of an individual (one-to-one) relationship, but with couples and group dynamic relationships. [2]
      • §2.1: Establish a Psychotherapeutic Relationship
        • Communicate clearly
        • Define the psychotherapist's role and the client's role
        • Identify and start working towards mutually agreed and achievable aims or goals
        • Agree responsibilities
        • Establish a relevant set of perspectives
        • Express empathy and understanding
        • Establish a psychotherapeutic presence
      • §2.2: Manage & Maintain a Psychotherapeutic Relationship
        • Maintain the psychotherapeutic relationship
        • Respect and value the psychotherapeutic relationship
        • Establish self-awareness in relationship
        • Communicate appropriately
        • Evaluate the psychotherapeutic relationship
        • Manage the process of change
        • Manage out-of-session contact
        • Manage breaks & holidays appropriately
      • §2.3: Manage any Difficulties in the Psychotherapeutic Relationship
        • Recognise difficulties
        • Manage any difficulties
      • §2.4: Conclude a Psychotherapeutic Relationship
        • Recognise an approaching conclusion
        • Manage sudden endings
        • Conclude the psychotherapeutic relationship
        • Record the outcome of the psychotherapy
        To view the detailed Core Competencies within this domain, please click here.

  3. Exploration, (Assessment, Diagnosis & Conceptualization):
  4. ‘Contracting’ (Developing Goals, Plans & Strategies):
  5. Various Techniques & Interventions:
  6. Management of Change, Crisis and Trauma Work:
  7. Completion & Evaluation:
  8. Collaboration with Other Professionals:
  9. Use of Supervision, (Peer) Intervision and Critical Evaluation:
  10. Ethics, Standards & Sensitivities:
  11. Management & Administration:
  12. Research:
  13. Prevention & Education:

To look at the description of any of the other domains, please click on the domain name.
To see the descriptions of all the domains together, click here.

Working Group on Professional Competencies: committee@psychotherapy-competency.eu