Training in psychotherapy

Training in psychotherapy – hourly minimums 

The duration of psychotherapy training should be  at least 1,200 hours over four years of training, including at least:

  • 590 hours of theory training, as well as practical skills and methods,
  • 100 hours of personal psychotherapy or equivalent experience in an individual or group setting,
  • 150 hours of individual or group supervision,
  • 360 hours of clinical internship enabling contact with patients with various diagnoses.

Persons undergoing training or in the certification stage are expected to practice under constant supervision. After obtaining a certificate confirming the completion of systematic and comprehensive post-graduate training in psychotherapy, the psychotherapist can proceed to the certification process and apply for a psychotherapist’s certificate to a professional association.

The following groups of psychotherapeutic approaches (modalities) are represented in the Polish Psychotherapy Council:

  • psychoanalytical-psychodynamic,
  • cognitive-behavioural,
  • humanistic-experiential,
  • systemic,
  • integrative.

Training in psychotherapy – a framework program

In accordance with the standards of the Polish Psychotherapy Council, the training program in psychotherapy should include the following areas of knowledge and skills, introduced in parallel during the course of study:

  • Theoretical knowledge in the following areas:
  1. theories of human development,
  2. social and cultural determinants of psychotherapy,
  3. theories of psychopathology and diagnostic classifications,
  4. psychotherapeutic diagnosis,
  5. psychotherapeutic approaches,
  6. selected elements of clinical knowledge.


  • Practical training, in particular:
  1. psychotherapeutic skills and methods,
  2. personal development through engagement in psychotherapeutic experience:
  • psychotherapy or other therapeutic experience in an individual or group setting that enables a trainee to gain knowledge about their own functioning,
  • learning about personal patterns of functioning, and experiencing, and personality traits,
  • self-reflection and analysis of one’s own functioning in a psychotherapeutic relationship,
  • psychotherapeutic practice under supervision,
  • clinical internship.


  • Improving practical and theoretical skills through:
  1. courses, seminars, didactic workshops, exercises, lectures and other specified didactic forms applied in a given modality which include a specifically determined range of theoretical knowledge,
  2. clinical internships, practical classes, practices and other specified methods of acquiring practical work skills,
  3. forms and methods of self-education:
  • studying professional literature (magazines, monographs, textbooks),
  • participation in conferences, scientific seminars and other events,
  • preparation of papers, publications or other materials.

It should be remembered that a comprehensive postgraduate training in psychotherapy is a specialist training, separate from  specialization in clinical psychology or psychiatry. The training may be attended by individuals with a Master’s degree and fulfilling other conditions defined by the training centre, e.g. accredited or recommended by members of the Polish Psychotherapy Council.

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