Below you will find the code of ethics of the psychotherapy profession of the European Association for Gestalt Psychotherapy(EAGT) and the code of ethics of the Polish Association for Gestalt Psychotherapy (PTPG). We also provide full versions of the code under the text in PDF format.
EAGT Code of Ethics – Professional competencies and quality standards: specific competencies of Gestalt therapists – introduction
The Committee on Professional Competence and Quality Standards is working to define
specific competencies of Gestalt therapists. According to the draft EAP on the definition of
core competencies of a psychotherapist, this document defines specific competencies
for our modality. The project began in 2010 and is still ongoing. Currently, the group has prepared
The first, preliminary document, circulated and subjected to comments from interested parties
The main issue with reading this text is the idea of not treating it as a
recommendation on the performance of therapists, but consider it a description of the skills that should
Gestalt therapist should possess them, be aware of them and know how to use them, if there is a
It is not our intention to describe the ideal profile to which a professional Gestalt therapist
should strive for, but an indication of the competencies that are important in this profession and in this modality. Not
all competencies have the same weight at any given time, they are not all used at the same time, and the
some passively remain in the background or even, in the situational context, are redundant.
Each Gestalt therapist maintains a different individual balance of competence in accordance with the
own personality. The integration of this uniqueness finds expression in a specific personal style
The competency profile is not, by definition, an imposed set of skills to be acquired
one time. We view it more as the result of an ongoing development process rooted in the
The professional path of a person, developing continuously as part of the experience of the
professional and continuous training.
Working on the issue of “core competencies,” the EAP suggests separating three levels
- “core competencies” – these are competencies that every therapist has, regardless of modality
- “specific competencies” – these are competencies related to a specific modality, distinguishing individual specialists or particular modalities from each other
- “Specialized competencies” – competencies required for psychotherapeutic work in a special place, such as a prison, or with a special group, such as children.
As you read the following profile of the specific competencies of a Gestalt therapist, keep the following in mind
several aspects necessary to avoid misinterpretation.
While these aspects remain partly self-evident, we prefer to present them directly to give a
to the reader a clear framework of understanding, and to make available a key to familiarizing oneself with the 13 areas of competence.
It is important to remember that:
- The competency profile is not prescriptive: it is not a catalog of commands for the Gestalt therapist, but rather a description of his or her skills and knowledge to be applied when needed or necessary. For example – being able to explain to a client the characteristics of one’s own method is certainly not something a psychotherapist would have to do, but he or she should be aware of the circumstances under which it should be done – and know how to do it.
- The profile is not a description of the ideal psychotherapist that an actual therapist should turn into. The profile describes the dimensions of competence that the psychotherapist spontaneously applies in specific forms according to the requirements of the situation. It cannot be compared to a toolbox, as it is a set of skills, constantly developed and assimilated, allowing for spontaneous interventions if necessary.
- The complexity of competencies means that there are some common areasbetween competencies. For example: competencies related to the therapeutic relationship overlap with competencies describing ethical sensitivity or the ability to cooperate with other professionals. Such complexity applies to different competencies in different areas.
- Although the competencies are described in a way that lists them separately, the individual areas should be considered as a whole, as they all assimilate into a unique Gestalt. We can imagine a multi-voice choir, consisting of individual voices, but forming an integrated whole in which individual choristers are not distinguished.
- Acquisition and improvement of competencies is a continuous process that does not stop with the completion of professional training. Competencies are closely linked to a person’s professional path, develop more clearly during a Gestalt therapist’s training, then continue to grow and improve as part of a person’s personal and professional development.
- This competency profile is not a finite list and does not aspire to be so. After a period of development and classification, we have obtained – for the time being – this final document. Of course, this text, which contains a description of the Gestalt therapist’s knowledge and skills, remains a working document, as no description is finite and competencies can change over time as the professional environment evolves. For example – research competence has changed noticeably over the past decades, as have various social aspects.
- The competency profile should be seen in the context of a code of ethics, something we take for grantedin our profession. Let’s not forget that the Code is normative and binding, while the competency profile is something descriptive and for inspiration.
This document is a declaration created in our own community of therapists
Gestalt with a view to taking responsibility for determining our professional competence. Its
The goal is only to define the professional competence of Gestalt therapists.
EAGT Code of Ethics – all in PDF format downloadable HERE
CODE OF ETHICS OF THE POLISH ASSOCIATION OF GESTALT PSYCHOPSYCHOTHERAPY
Here is the updated Code of Ethics applicable to individuals and entities who are members
Polish Society for Gestalt Psychotherapy (PTPG).
The purpose of this code of the psychotherapy profession is to indicate core values and norms and to set standards
applicable in the professional practice of Gestalt psychotherapists and training centers
In Gestalt psychotherapy. In addition, the Code is intended to be a resource for Gestalt psychotherapy
(an approach from the group of humanistic-experimental approaches) and serve to protect the interests of the
Those people who are clients of Gestalt psychotherapists.
Gestalt psychotherapists are responsible for adhering to the principles contained in the Code of Ethics,
while it is expedient that they see them more as a starting point for further building broadly
understood rules of good professional practice than a closed set of once and for all formulated
requirements. The code serves to protect the interests of clients and psychotherapists, as it sets standards
Clearly defining a framework for professional practice and accountability in the process of psychotherapy.
The primary goal of psychotherapy is to work for the improvement of psychophysical and social condition
Individuals, social groups in the process of building a psychotherapeutic relationship. Rules
Code create a platform for resolving potential problems and conflicts that may
appear in this process between two or more parties. We should add that an important value for
Gestalt psychotherapists is to solve problems in dialogue and through the exchange of ideas,
and not based on a hierarchical system of rigidly formulated rules and various resulting
Part I – code of ethics
Code of ethics – Basic ethical principles of a Gestalt psychotherapist
- Every human being is equally precious to us.
- We respect the uniqueness, individuality and dignity of the individual.
- We relate respectfully to differences in race, ethnicity, origin, gender, orientation
or sexual preference, disability, age, religion, language, social status
or economic and spiritual needs.
- We recognize the right to independence and self-determination of each person entering the relationship
PTPG Code of Ethics – all in PDF format downloadable HERE