Psychotherapy is not a new science and has been practiced for centuries. However, in western culture, it wasn’t until the early 19th Century that a less invasive, hands-off approach began to be formed. Prior to this, practitioners were medics, spiritual guides, and philosophers. Thankfully, in this day and age, psychotherapy is now practiced, for the most part, by those who have specifically studied in this field.
As late as 2015, regulation of psychotherapist in Europe varies greatly from country to country. For example, Ireland has only now in 2016, put policies in place that demands practitioners and therapists to comply with regulation and conform to a set of rules.
For many other countries, it is vastly different, Germany, Italy, and Sweden all have strict regulations that only allow qualified professionals with a degree in the field of psychotherapy to practice.
What about the UK?
The UK is different again. Here, whilst there is regulation, it is not regulated by law but is, in fact, voluntarily regulated. At one point, the UK considered enforcing legal regulations but, in the end, it was deemed acceptable for the individual national organizations to be responsible for monitoring and registering all counsellors.
The Importance of Regulation
Due to the confidential nature of psychotherapy, it has been deemed important to create some form of regulation. Many patients are highly vulnerable and an unqualified or unmonitored therapist can easily exploit these weaknesses without fear of reprisal unless they are required to report to some governing body. For many people, a therapy session is already a nerve-wracking experience and engaging a registered professional could create piece of mind.
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