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The creation of minimum Training Standards for Gestalt therapy must be seen against the background of the professionalization of psychotherapy across Europe, specifically the recent dramatic increase in the number of local, national, and European organizations for psychotherapy concerned with establishing standards of training and ethical practice.

The credibility of Gestalt therapy as a competent and ethical approach to the healing of human suffering and to personality development requires similar attention to be given to the establishment of high standards of training and ethical practice.

The EAGT after intensive research and consultation has consented to minimal criteria for training in Gestalt therapy in order to accommodate the wide diversity of social and cultural conditions in Europe in which Ge¬stalt therapy is being developed.

All training institutes who are members of EAGT are granted up to five years to bring their trainings up to these requirements. All EAGT members, as well individuals as organizations, must reapply for membership every five years.

Committee members:

Silvia Tosi
Dick Lompa
Elena Lasaja
Despina Balliou
Jack van Liesdonk



This document is to clarify the Training Standards (TS) of EAGT as they apply to the accreditation of Training Institutes (TI).


The Training standards committee is composed of five elected members whose role it is to regulate the Training Standards of European Institutes who strive to lead their trainees to becoming accredited members of EAGT.
The members of this committee represent different countries, thus different concepts of training and regulations. They have to be re-elected by the annual general meeting of members every three years, with a maximum of three terms (9 years). The chair of the committee is also a member of the Executive Committee.
The first version of this document was written in 2003, (revised in 2005, in 2008, and in 2013). It was, for the first time, defining the initial corpus of theoretical and practical knowledge and expertise that is expected of a Gestalt therapist to become accredited. Training Standards have thus become the base line of the curricula of training institutes (TI).
Obtaining personal accreditation of EAGT is based upon completing a training program that is implementing these standards. Environmental changes, experience and feedback from the field have brought about several changes / corrections / adjustments / additions / along the years and it is now time for an overall revision that display the state of the art in a comprehensive and user friendly way, we hope.

The current edition of the TS is consistent with the experience derived from the processes of all accreditations and re-accreditations of the many TI’s that have successfully achieved their trade mark of quality. It is also reflecting the changes in the global and professional field in which we live and practice, and is embracing the catalogue of professional competencies and quality standards, formulated by the professional competences & Qualitative Standards (PC&QS) committee in 2013. We see it as adding the flesh to the skeleton of the standards, by bringing together qualitative and quantitative criteria.

The underlying principle is to ensure that the training is actually based on a sound theoretical ground and on the application of its principles, keeping the newly formulated competences in the foreground. In other words, the catalogue is expected to serve as a "description of abilities, that a professional Gestalt therapist ought to have, is aware of and consequently is able to put into action if required". It may be regarded as a guideline for institutes (in building the curricula), for the trainers (in making figural how theory is applied in practice) and for the supervisor and the trainee (as an instrument that may assist the process of evaluation and self – evaluation). As such it will probably have a deep implication to the way the Gestalt training is offered.

Laura and Fritz Perls, and most of the founders of Gestalt therapy were undoubtedly skillful and successful Gestalt trainers. They had no formal training in Gestalt therapy whatsoever just as the founders of the first European Gestalt institutes about 45 years ago who had no formalized training programs and worked with no regulations or standards or certifications.

Today, with the extensive competition in the field of psychotherapy, the financial difficulties that result - among other things - in impositions from the insurances companies and the tendency towards unification of basic standards of treatment methods in all modalities (on behalf of EAP) in addition to the tendency towards short term-interventions interventions, pharmacological treatment and evidence based therapy – one can hardly escape regulations / certifications / accreditation as a guarantee and trade mark of any training program. We need regulations to try to make sure that institutes qualify their trainees according to basic minimum standards that we agree upon.

This document is an effort to bridge the gap between freedom of art, anarchy and individuality on one hand - and regulations, guarantee and security on the other. It is an effort to bridge the gap between creativity and adjustment to the requirements of the health care market.

We need as few regulations as possible and as many as necessary.

The document that we propose strives to set a frame work that contains the whole spectrum of requirements / guidelines / suggestions / recommendations within which each institute will find its way to ensure an effective training program which will produce as competent a Gestalt therapists as possible. When voted upon, this revision will replace all previously adopted training standards for the training institutes with a moratorium period of 4 years to make the necessary adjustments.

Besides the updated training standards, this document encompasses information concerning:

  • The definition and structure of training institutes.
  • Who is a trainer.
  • Who is a supervisor.
  • The structure and content of training programs for supervisors.
  • The process of accreditation of institutes.
  • The process of re-accreditation of institutes.

Click here if you would like to read the complete document.

Designed by Jaroslav Jira