Standards, Accreditation and Ethical Charter
and Background to the Development of EAC Training
of the History of Counselling
for the European Certificate in Counselling
Definition of Counselling
- Statement of Ethics
Programme – recommended syllabus
for the Award of the ECC
10. Developing the EAC Accreditation
11. Towards the Future
welcome you to the European Counselling Community.
This document, I hope, will serve as a guideline to
you who wish to join us in the common effort to establish
counselling as a European profession with clear goals,
as are spelled in the definition of the term. In this
document we re-affirm the standards of excellence
and continuous growth necessary if we, as counsellors,
are to respond to the growing needs of people facing
new educational, socio-political, cultural and economic
work is, in addition, a new milestone in the progress
of the European Association of Counselling. It follows
the adaptations of the organisational chapter, the
publication of the Charter of Ethics of practising
counsellors and the minimum training standards of
the European Counsellor. The European Certificate
of Counselling introduces a new era in the Counselling
profession and signifies our acceptance both of our
different Nationalities and Cultures and the commonality
of our efforts as European helping professionals.
document is the result of the dedication and relentless
efforts of the Professional Training Standards Committee.
Their work is an example of successful co-operation
between different approaches, cultures and personalities.
It is also an incentive to all of us to continue with
the good work. I am sure I express the feelings of
the entire EAC membership by saying a grateful “Thank
you all for your excellent work”.
The European Association for
of the History of Counselling
emergence of the counselling profession could be said
to be a twentieth century phenomenon. Throughout
the evolution of peoples, there have been healers
for those who were emotionally traumatised. Such
forces for good may have been entitled oracles, high
priests, witch doctors, leaders in established religions,
medical professionals. Because of the enormous sociological
and cultural changes that swept Western Europe and
the United States in particular, from the last half
of the nineteenth century, the need for an additional
and more specific professional response made itself
felt. In order to cope with the loss of traditional
support structures such as the extended family system
and sense of community, professional family care started
in the United States as early as 1877. Standardisation
of the family social-work response had to come and
was in place by 1911. It was in this Social Science
working response that counselling techniques had their
counselling training has its roots in Philosophy,
Psychology and Social Science. It is broad based
and has drawn from a wide spectrum of scientific research.
Buber’s concept of the ‘I-Thou’ relationship has been
one of the fundamental philosophical underpinnings.
At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
Freudian psychoanalysis and its variations had been
spreading north to Germany, south to Switzerland and
across the Atlantic to the United States. Adaptations
were made as hypotheses were tested and found wanting
resulting in a variety of individual psychotherapies
and family therapies. The early twentieth century
Behaviourism of Pavlov, Watson and Skinner were influential
in the formation of therapies for addictions. Alongside
these developments the biologist Piaget never tired
of insisting that affective life and intellectual
life are not only parallel aspects of the human psyche
but also are interdependent. Feelings express the
interest and value given to the results and outcomes
of the intellectual process. After World War ll Gestalt
therapy developed as a direct result of the scientific
studies in perception undertaken mainly to aid the
war effort. In this climate, the seed of therapeutic
counselling flowered, principally nurtured by Carl
Rogers in the 1950s and 1960s. Through Rogers, counselling
became a topic in Applied Psychology taught at third
1937 the first university course on couple counselling
was established at Duke University in the United States.
In 1943 the first training manual in counselling for
social workers was published. The decade of the 1930s
saw the setting up of Hirschfeld marriage consultation
bureaux in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the
Netherlands and in the Scandinavian countries. In
the countries where Hitler gained control, he annexed
these bureaux to his own evil purposes. Fortunately
the work of these bureaux, as first conceived, continued
in the United States, in Britain and in the Eastern
European countries such as the Czech Republic, beyond
Hitler’s reach. The centre in Prague was closed down
in the communist putsch in 1948 and re-established
again in 1967. The work done there includes premarital,
marital, post-divorce, parenting, psychological problems,
and psychological assistance in life crises and problems
in relationships with colleagues, neighbours and friends.
at the present time can be considered from a variety
of stances. There are a number of theoretical bases
and specialisations, which deal with particular presenting
problems. What do these variously described approaches
have in common? Counselling has a role in child development,
education, physical, mental health and in minority
populations. In its role in the coming century it
is possible to see the profession as the conduit of
an intrapersonal and interpersonal revolution that
has the capacity to facilitate the full actualisation
of the human person in a balanced society. In order
to put safe boundaries on such a task, it is essential
that a clear Charter for Ethical Practice, together
with Guidelines for Accreditation and Practice be
agreed and disseminated across national boundaries.
To this end, the European Association for Counselling
sets out its criteria for those wishing to acquire
the European Certificate in Counselling.
core value of the Charter is the respect for human
rights and differences. The attitudes, which characterise
the Counselling Approach, are those of respect, integrity,
authority, responsibility, autonomy, confidentiality
and competence. In the Delivery of Practice, this
leads to the skills of contracting, setting and maintaining
boundaries, being explicit and open, monitoring the
process and maintaining appropriate levels of privacy.
European Association for Counselling criteria for
the acquisition of the European Certificate in Counsellor
Accreditation constitutes the rest of this document.
and Background to the Development of EAC Training
works at all times according to the mandate of the
EAC Executive. The work and decisions of PTSC are
submitted to the EAC Executive for ratification.
of the committee
Professional and Training Standards Committee of the
European Association for Counselling was formed as
a standing committee in March 1996. Its membership
comprises one member of each National Association
for Counselling, two Executive members and other members
who are co-opted for their expertise. This committee
evolved from the former Professional Issues Working
group of the EAC formed in 1994.
brief from the EAC Executive was to identify core
competencies for European Counsellors and make recommendations
to EAC regarding training guidelines and professional
standards for counsellors across Europe.
meetings have been lively, challenging and fruitful.
Intense debate is perhaps the best way to describe
how we communicate as each one of us attempts to make
meaning across our different cultural and personal
boundaries. The first meeting opened
with a presentation on the potential polarities of
a decision making process. Out of this discussion
the following statement was developed to reflect the
guiding philosophy for the work of the PTSC.
prime task of the Professional and Training Standards
Committee is to acknowledge, respect and address the
tremendous differences that exist within the countries
in Europe and avoid all political efforts to make
the EAC a representative of any single part of Europe.
professional standards as developed by the PTSC should
therefore be open to differences in:
· dimensions of country / culture
· relationship between Counselling and psychotherapy
· individual versus organisational Counselling
· state-of-the-art developments
· the extent to which different theoretical orientations are valued
first task was to decide where we were going to pitch
standards. This took time and energy. The polarities
were clear. Some countries pushed for high standards
and others wanted low standards. What was clear was
that countries in which there were no agreed standards
did not in fact want lower standards. Eventually we
reached a clear consensus regarding the categories
of European counsellor and related training standards.
categories of counsellor and proposed training hours
have been the subject of much debate, discussion and
consultation. They reflect the need to incorporate
the various ‘levels’ of counsellor under the European
standards umbrella, as well as to promote the mobility
of the professional counsellor across national boundaries
so as to enhance the career path.
developing minimum training standards and core competencies
for European counsellors, we decided that core competencies
would be explored as:
for Counselling roughly alongside phases of the Counselling
for being a counsellor.
competencies not connected to a specific phase.
In order to work within our guiding philosophy we have consulted with
and gathered feedback from colleagues across Europe
regarding the Training Standards as laid out in this
document. We have been fortunate to have committee
members who represent different countries, modalities
and with wide experience of the counselling profession
internationally and within Europe. People who have
served on PTSC include:
Borrelli (USA & UK)
Ducroux-Biass (France & Switzerland)
van Gelderen (Netherlands)
McNamara (Chairperson) (UK)
de Waard (Netherlands)
ethics committee of EAC developed the ethical charter.
Alan Jamieson of the British Association chaired this
committee for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
now offers accreditation as a European Counsellor.
In this booklet you will find the standards and procedures
for the award of the European Certificate of Counsellor
are aware of the trust and responsibility given to
this committee by both the Executive and the membership.
Our goal has been to attempt to honour these in the
setting of standards for Counselling across Europe.
is currently developing criteria for the accreditation
of training programmes. We are taking careful steps
to achieve the ultimate long-term goals of the EAC.
The committee are keen to hear from the membership.
Please let us know your views.
Towards the Future
EAC is committed to developing the counselling approach
of listening and understanding both within and across
national boundaries, and across languages and cultures.
this end EAC PTSC would like to invite and encourage
those interested in counselling in countries with
different traditions to become involved with these
wishes to support those interested in developing a
National Association and to enable those seeking awards
to attain the agreed standards.
Glossary of Terms
European Association for Counselling
Professional and Training Standards Committee
European Certificate for Counsellor Accreditation
National Association for Counselling
European Wide Organisation
PTSC September 2001