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PACFA publishes Interim definition of psychotherapy

The PACFA Council has approved an Interim Definition of Psychotherapy for PACFA.

The Interim Definition was developed by the Leadership Group of the College of Psychotherapy who consulted with psychotherapist members of PACFA in order to finalise the document. Thank you to all those who provided feedback for the consultation process. While not every piece of feedback was able to be incorporated into the Interim Definition, substantial changes were made to the document taking into account the excellent feedback received from members.

The definition is an interim definition because PACFA has formed a Psychotherapy Working Party to consider the future of psychotherapy as a profession in Australia. The Working Party will articulate the requirements for the training and formation of psychotherapists in Australia and help to strengthen the training pathways available to train in psychotherapy. Depending on the outcomes from the Working Party, the Interim Definition may require further review and amendment.

The Interim Definition incorporates five aspects to make it a comprehensive and expansive overview of what is involved in psychotherapy and being a psychotherapist.

• What is psychotherapy?
• What does a psychotherapist do?
• What Issues does a Psychotherapist deal with?
• What outcomes can be expected?
• What professional training and ongoing development do psychotherapists have?

Here is the opening to the Interim Definition to give readers a taste of the new definition.

Psychotherapy is the comprehensive and intentional engagement between therapist and client for the healing, growth or transformation of emotional, physical, relationship, existential and behavioural issues or chronic suffering through well-founded relational processes. The aim of psychotherapy is to increase awareness, increase choice, and facilitate the development, maturation, efficacy and well-being of a client.

To read more, download Interim Definition of Psychotherapy for PACFA

Congratulations and thank you to the College of Psychotherapy Leadership Group which has produced an excellent document which will be a valuable resource for PACFA and for the psychotherapy profession.

The Leadership Group members are: Tara Green (Convenor), Robert Brodie, Christine Butera, Madeleine Fogarty, Anna McKie, Valerie Redman and Dr Jelena Zeleskov Doric.