Psychotherapy training among trainees is still not enough but the situation improves

Presenting the psychotherapy survey in EABCT Stockholm
Thomas Gargot presenting the psychotherapy survey in EABCT Stockholm.

This year was very active for the psychotherapy working group. We continued to work on the psychotherapy training survey done in 2014. Roberts Klottins and I began to analyse the results. The EFPT working groups funding enable the organization of a statistical course in Antwerp (Belgium) that helped for this process.

Results showed that there was a very big mismatch between the great interest of trainees about psychotherapies and the poor availability of training possibilities that were often compulsory but not really implemented. These results were presented during the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) Congress in Madrid, Spain and the European Association of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies (EABCT) congress in Stockholm, Sweden. I personally thank Tove Mogren and Amelie Kjellstenius for their warm welcome in Sweden that made this project possible and offered me the opportunity to visit this nice country. We presented also in Athens, Greece during the Young Psychiatrists Network congress.

You can see the slides and the poster here. The next step will be to write a paper about it to spread the word.

EPA Psychotherapy summerschool, Brussels.
EPA Psychotherapy summerschool, Brussels.

In order to reduce this training gap, we suggested two solutions on which EFPT could work. We could increase European Collaborations and support psychotherapy research and training. The European College of Neuro-Psychopharmacology (ECNP) organized a Psychotherapy Neuroscience Meeting in Nice, France that we attended with Ekin Sönmez. This was of great interest to connect fundamental research in cognitive sciences and psychotherapy. The EPA organized a psychotherapy summer school in Brussels, Belgium that many of EFPT participants joined. Thank you Cecile Hanon for making it possible! If you want to organize a course like that, Marc Hermans from the Union Européenne des Médecins spécialistes (UEMS) would be very interested to support you.

Free EABCT game to present CBT principles and researchers.
Free EABCT game to present CBT principles and researchers.

Another way to bridge this gap will be to increase the possibility to train in psychotherapy in any country by increasing the number and quality of online resources. Oxford, UK began a free course in psychotherapy (the CREDO). The EABCT developed a free RPG video game explaining the basic tools that we can use in CBT and the major figures (from Skinner, to David Clark) that developed it. The Beck institute (developed by the famous Aaron and his daughter) began to develop online courses. The PTeR project aims to present the different kinds of psychotherapy. All these initiatives are gathered on EFPT website. We developed our own project to promote psychotherapy training by writing a book that will be soon freely available online. The idea is to share the basics of major kinds of psychotherapy from trainees to trainees.

Follow the recent activities of our group on EFPT website and don’t hesitate to join us.

Thomas Gargot
on behalf of the psychotherapy working group.