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The psychotherapeutic profession is a separate scientific profession. Accreditation as a psychotherapist generally requires at least seven years of training comprising a primary degree, and four years part-time training in one of the psychotherapeutic disciplines. Professional trainings are provided in both the training institutes and Universities in Ireland. The baseline academic qualification for entry to training in any of the Disciplines / Modalities / Sections is:

  • Undergraduate degree or equivalent in human sciences (medical, psychological, social, educational etc); Humanities or Philosophy.
  • Assessment of suitability interview.
  • Each modality adheres to the training standards set down by the Irish Council for Psychotherapy and the European Association of Psychotherapy (EAP).

The Irish Council for Psychotherapy  acts as an awarding body on behalf of the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP), conferring the European Certificate of Psychotherapy (ECP) in Ireland. The criteria for the awarding of this Certificate form the minimum training requirements and entry criteria for all modalities of psychotherapy.

We are currently in the process of accrediting our existing practitioners in relation to the European Certificate and ensuring that all training courses in Ireland are meeting the European standard. The criteria for accreditation of training courses in Ireland can be found in the Training Accreditation Committee (TAC) document.

Because the ICP doesn’t accredit trainings in general, it is better to enquire directly to the designated discipline relevant to the training. ICP is an umbrella organisation with five disciplines (Couple and Family Therapy – Systemic Psychotherapies; Humanistic and Integrative Therapy; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; Constructivist Therapy; Psychoanalytic Therapy) encompassing 10 member organisations. Four of the disciplines have one organisation affiliated with it and Psychoanalytic Therapy discipline has seven organisations. For further information, please download ICP Member Organisations Contact Details.

The FAQ What Does Membership of the ICP Mean to Me as a Client? also describes the depth and length of education and training.

European Certificate of Psychotherapy

The ICP has been involved in the development of the European Certificate of Psychotherapy (ECP) in conjunction with the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP). The European Certificate stipulates that the total duration of the training for psychotherapists is 3,200 hours spread over a minimum of seven years. This seven year period comprises an initial under-graduate component, or equivalent, followed by a specific psychotherapy training. Over 450 of the ICP members to date have been awarded the European Certificate. Many more applications are in process.

The EAP promotes the recognition of common standards of training for psychotherapists throughout Europe, and will ensure their mobility across member states. While the European Association for Psychotherapy does not have power to legally implement the certificate before it is adopted by member states, they have recommended it to the national coordinators of member states and welcome it as an initiative in establishing joint platforms which will facilitate the employment of migrants within the European Union.

Strasbourg Declaration on Psychotherapy

About ECP (European Certificate of Psychotherapy)

There are two possible ways to apply for an ECP, one way is the Direct Award (DA) through one of the European Accredited Psychotherapy Training Institutes (EAPTIs), and the other way is to apply is through grandparenting procedure that involves recommendation from EAP National Awarding Organization (NAO) and European Wide Awarding Organization (EWAO).

About ECP (European Certificate of Psychotherapy)

How to Apply for An ECP

The ECP – Important Information for ECP (European Certificate of Psychotherapy) Application

Documents | ECP Application Forms by Grandparenting

CV Structure for ECP Application by Grandparenting

Notification by the NAO of Recommendations for the Award of the ECP by Grandparenting

Practitioner Registration Form for ECP

Site Map


Psychotherapists are grouped into five sections based on their different therapeutic approaches. Each section has training standards, a code of ethics and complaints and disciplinary procedures. Each adheres to the study and training standards set down by the Irish Council for Psychotherapy in order to maintain high standards.

Constructivist Therapy

This aims to help clients make sense of their experiences. It is based on the premise that the stories we experience and live out are informed by the variety of ways we have of making meaning of our lives. The therapist aims to understand the anticipations, both conscious and unconscious, which clients are using in their lives and which may be problematic for them. The therapist then works with the client to develop alternative, less problematic anticipations and ways of acting. Read More >>

Couple and Family Therapy

In couple and family therapy, the client and therapist examine the emotional, psychological and interpersonal problems which arise in the way people understand and make sense of their experiences and their relationship to others. When two or more people live in close proximity, we can expect that differences, and inevitably conflicts, will ensue.

This is part of the rich weave of our lives which continue to challenge us and to teach us. Sometimes our adult lives may be thrown into turmoil by difficulties which would be relatively small or manageable difficulties for others and even for ourselves in somewhat different circumstances. Options are provided for different ways to respond and relate to problems.

Goals are usually achieved over a relatively small number of meetings with intervals of two to four weeks between appointments. Read More >>

Humanistic and Integrative Therapy

This approach invites people to develop awareness as to what may be preventing them from accessing their own true nature in the inner and outer expressions of their life. It is aimed at the person as a whole: body, feelings, mind and psyche. It invites people through the therapeutic relationship to develop awareness and insight leading to an integration of the internal and external self. It explores each person’s own resources and capacity for self-determination and ability to improve their lives. Read More >>

Psychoanalytic Therapy

This endeavours to reach the underlying, often unconscious sources of a person’s distress. Together with the therapist, the client can explore feelings, memories, fantasies, free association and dreams, relating to both past and present.

It is aimed at achieving a new and better understanding of long-standing difficulties.

This section is composed of seven organisations.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

The philosophy underpinning this approach is that a person learns to act and think in certain ways as a result of their lifetime experiences and how they perceive those experiences. This learning is a life long process.

Sometimes a single life event or experience can trigger off the problem and have major repercussions in the long term, resulting in a number of anxiety disorders such as agoraphobia with or without panic attacks, panic disorder, clinical depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The therapist and client work together to empower the client to improve his or her quality of life. The therapy is time limited and is achieved by developing effective strategies and skills to resolve problems which are distressing them in the way the person thinks, acts and feels. The therapist uses an educational approach to teach new skills to the client. Read More >>

The Council

The Council is responsible for:

  • Promoting and maintaining the highest possible standards of training, practice and professional conduct of accredited psychotherapists.
  • Maintaining a register of psychotherapists.
  • Promoting the development of psychotherapy as an independent profession.
  • Representing the majority of psychotherapists in Ireland to the public, the media and the government.
  • Awarding and conferring the European Certificate of Psychotherapy (ECP) in Ireland on behalf of the European Association for Psychotherapy.
  • Promoting continuing education, professional development and research in psychotherapy.
  • Support  through training, advice and consultancy.
  • Communications and media relations on behalf of the profession.
  • Publishing relevant publications for, and on behalf, of our members.
  • Providing informed advice to members, the public and the government.

Contact Information

Find a Psychotherapist

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About ICP

The Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP) is the national umbrella body for Psychotherapy in Ireland. The Council contributes to public health by encouraging the highest standards of training, practice and on-going education of psychotherapists. The Council also promotes psychotherapy as an effective intervention for good mental and emotional health. Currently it represents over 1,700 psychotherapists nationwide. It is also the national awarding body for the European Certificate of Psychotherapy.

We act as a link between those who are looking for psychotherapeutic services and those who provide psychotherapeutic services.

The objectives of ICP include:

  • To consolidate and promote psychotherapy as a free and independent profession.
  • To promote the wider provision of psychotherapy for the public.
  • To contribute to public health by encouraging high standards of training, practice and ongoing education of psychotherapists.
  • To establish and monitor a National Register and a European Register of accredited psychotherapists in Ireland.