About P-WG

The Psychotherapy Working Group is one of the permanent working groups of EFPT. We focus on:

  • Promote psychotherapy as a fundamental aspect of the identity of a psychiatrist 
  • Improving training in psychotherapy for psychiatric trainees 
  • Multiple collaborations between European trainees through our projects, promoting an international dialogue on this lifeblood of psychiatric practice

A working knowledge of psychotherapy is an integral part of being a psychiatrist and this must be reflected in training in psychiatry.  All trainees should gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be competent in psychotherapy and be able to evaluate suitability for referral to specialist psychotherapists. In order to be competent, basic knowledge should be gained in all relevant modalities of psychotherapy and practical experience should be gained in at least one form of psychotherapy of the trainee’s choice.

Training in psychotherapy must include supervision by qualified psychotherapists. A personal psychotherapeutic experience is seen as a valuable component of training. Relevant training authorities should ensure that time, resources, and funding are available to all trainees to meet the above-mentioned psychotherapy training needs.

Lisbon 1996, Tampere 1999, Napoli 2001, Sinaia 2002, Paris 2003, Istanbul 2005, Gothenborg 2008, Cambridge 2009 “

EFPT statement on Psychotherapy, introduced and revised throughout the years by our working group . 

If you are a psychiatric trainee and wish to join our working group and contribute in one or several of our projects, contact us ! 


Current projects

  • The Psychotherapy Guidebook

An ever evolving, free online-based guidebook on psychotherapies, written by trainees for trainees. Trainees will find easy to read, willingly non-exhaustive information about different types of psychotherapies as well as the points of view of individual trainees regarding their personnal experiences of the latter. 

Browse through the different chapters on epg.pubpub.org 

We value new contributions or revision suggestions. If you are a psychiatric trainee and wish to contribute to the guidebook, contact us! 


  • Online Psychotherapy Journal Club

A video-conference based journal club on psychotherapy happening every 2 months.

Stay tuned to the next edition through the “Events” tab of EFPT’s Facebook page and follow the announcements in our Whatsapp Group. If you want to join the Whatsapp Group please get in touch with us!

  • The EFPT Balint Group

History of Balint Groups

Balint groups are named after the psychoanalyst Michael Balint (1896-1970). In the late 1950s, Michael and his wife Enid began holding psychological training seminars for GPs in London. This work was first described in the book The Doctor, his Patient and the Illness (1957). There were no lectures and the doctors’ education was based on case presentation and discussion in a small group of nine or ten with a psychoanalyst leader. To begin with, Balint encouraged the group members to hold ‘long interviews’ with their problem patients. This helped the doctors to concentrate on becoming good listeners. Subsequently the focus changed to studying the relationship between doctor and patient in the context of every day ordinary-length consultations.  The groups met once a week for several years so that patients and their progress could be followed up. The continuity also enabled group members to feel at ease with each other. Since those early days, Balint groups have spread across the world and in 22 countries there are national Balint Societies whose aim is to foster and develop the Balint approach.

The EFPT Balint Group

A Balint Group is a particular type of case discussion group, using psychodynamic concepts. Each week a member of the group will bring a clinical case. Typically, the kinds of cases that are brought are those that members are finding difficult or challenging. The Balint group is designed to help you to explore and understand such difficulties.

The overall aim of Balint group is to provide you with an opportunity to explore the emotional aspects of clinical work, in a supportive environment. We will encourage you to reflect on your interactions with patients, identifying and describing the impact on you (and sometimes others). This will increase your understanding of verbal and non-verbal communication by patients, and thereby help you learn how to use the experience of the clinical encounter as a valuable type of clinical data which can improve patient care and make complex patient care feel more manageable for you.

The case-based discussion (Balint) group also provides you with an opportunity to work in a group setting and so to experience and begin to understand group dynamics, while recognizing that this is NOT a therapy group.

We hope that by the end of the year it will have provided you with an understanding of basic psychotherapeutic concepts and how to identify these in the clinical context, as well as developing skills in reflection. Although at times the facilitators will provide you with some information and explanation about psychotherapeutic concepts relevant to your cases, the Balint group is not a source of didactic teaching or an attempt to teach you comprehensively everything you need to know about psychodynamic psychotherapy.

To get the most out of the group you should also read around the subject.  We have enclosed a description of the aim of the group, a brief psychotherapy reading list, and the links to websites on Balint groups for your information.



  1. The Doctor, His Patient and the Illness by Michael Balint, 1957.
  2. Introduction to Psychotherapy: An Outline of Psychodynamic Principles and Practice by Bateman, Brown and Pedder (1979), especially Part I, pp 1-51. Third edition 2000 London:Routledge
  3. An Introduction to Psychoanalysis: Contemporary Theory and Practice by Bateman and Holmes (1995), especially chapters 4, 5 and 8. London:Routledge
  4. The Ailment by Tom Main (1957). In Main, T and Johns, J (1989). The Ailment and Other Psychoanalytic Essays.  London:Free Association Books



Previous Events:

  • “Tell me…” meeting inspiring psychotherapists initiative 

Is there a better way to undestand psychotherapy than from real stories of experienced psychotherapists ? We believe not. This project intends to make available to psychiatric trainees invaluable testimonials of psychotherapists from all over Europe, about their practice, their choices and general points of view on training. Interviews made by trainees that add the consistency of singular experiences to the theoretical knowledge one can find in a textbook.  

Stay tuned to our next podcast and video releases 


  • Project Intervision 

During the Psychotherapy Working Group sessions at the last EFPT Forum held in Prague we came up with an innovative idea that has the aim to support trainees within the working group. 

During our training, we all experience in our workplaces very intense situations. We have to deal with all kinds of emotions, not only expressed by patients but also by co-workers, and it’s not always easy to deal with them.

Some of us may have adequate strategies to handle these situations, but we also believe that in several situations, we might lack some tools. 

The “Intervision” is a peer-to-peer workplace support tool frequently used for healthcare professionals. It is an occasion to discuss difficult cases, support each other emotionally and share good practices. Some of the working group members have experienced this kind of activity during their training.

We therefore present you the first international online-based peer-to-peer trainee intervision group.

For confidentiality reasons the Intervision group is currently closed. 


Publications and international communication

How is psychotherapy training perceived by psychiatric trainees? A cross-sectional observational study in Europe (European Psychiatry, september 2017)

Communication of the working group throughout the year is maintained via e-mail. We would love to hear from psychiatric trainees. Please do not hesitate to contact us at psychotherapy-wg@efpt.eu




Psychotherapy WG Chair : Dicle Dilay Demir (Turkey)

Psychotherapy WG Co-Chairs : Alina Braicu (United Kingdom), Beren Özel (Turkey)

If you wish to obtain general information or to contribute to one or several of our projects, email us to psychotherapy-wg@efpt.eu

Chair and Co-chair

Our working-group