The EFPT Psychotherapy Guidebook Story

Theodoros KOUTSOMITROS | Greece | Co-chair of EFPT Psychotherapy WG

We want to tell you a story, the story of our EFPT psychotherapy guidebook. We have to warn you, thoughthis story does not have a happy ending! It basically does not have an end, yet…and we would like to invite you to be part of this story…

Psychiatry trainees are curious doctors and most, at some point, wonder – what psychotherapy really is. When we study it, it is most likely studied from a specific point of view of ‘masters’ who teach it from their perspective, limiting the scope of the therapy. There are so many kinds of talking therapies out there and what better way to explain and discuss them in a peer-to-peer relationship than a trainee exchanging ideas about experiences in the particular therapy with a fellow trainee.

It all started in London in 2014, when some colleagues from our Psychotherapy Working Group started to discuss the idea of creating a free guidebook on Psychotherapy written from trainees for trainees. Victor Hugo stated it best: “Nothing is more powerful than an idea, whose time has come.” The idea travelled across Europe along with the members of our group. It expanded and evolved year after year, from forum to forum (London, Porto, Antwerp, Istanbul), when finally the time had come to return to the UK, in Bristol this time, in 2018 with its first edition of our free EFPT psychotherapy guidebook. Soon we will have an updated mobile friendly version of it on a web authoring platform.

As you will notice, the current edition contains 12 chapters. Our psychotherapy working group has expanded and together with the increase in the number of our members, we plan to expand the number of chapters of our guidebook as well. We are already preparing 12 more chapters on: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Art Therapy, Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Existential Psychotherapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Group Therapy, Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP), Mentalization Based Therapy (MBT), Play Therapy, Psychedelic (MDMA assisted) Psychotherapy and Schema Therapy.

The goal is for each chapter to be written by trainees who have had experience or interest in that particular psychotherapy. There are many psychotherapies that we have not included yet in our guidebook e.g.: dance therapy, gestalt, hypnosis, milieu therapy, music therapy, narrative psychotherapy, Short Term Anxiety Provoking Psychotherapy (STAPP) and many others… that are looking for authors, contributors!

Are you a trainee interested in any of these psychotherapies or any other? Do you want to help our EFPT psychotherapy guidebook to have a happy continuation?

Last week when I informed Nikola, the newsletter editor, about our Psychotherapy guidebook he told me: “Some of my younger colleagues inquired about which Psychotherapy to choose and how and where to receive proper training. That guidebook you are working on should be very helpful to them”.

Let’s all put some effort to make our next versions of our Psychotherapy guidebook a valuable gift to our younger colleagues who are choosing their path and to all of us who never stop looking for new challenges and are always into expanding our knowledge.


Theodoros Koutsomitros

Co-chair of EFPT Psychotherapy WG