Psychotherapists assist and treat healthcare users with varying degrees of psychological, psychosocial, or psychosomatic behavioural disorders and pathogenic conditions by means of psychotherapeutic methods. They promote personal development and well-being and provide advice on improving relationships, capabilities, and problem-solving techniques. They use science-based psychotherapeutic methods such as behavioural therapy, existential analysis and logotherapy, psychoanalysis or systemic family therapy in order to guide the patients in their development and help them search for appropriate solutions to their problems. Psychotherapists are not required to have academic degrees in psychology or a medical qualification in psychiatry. It is an independent occupation from psychology, psychiatry, and counselling.
Would you like to know what kind of career and professions suit you best? Take our free Holland code career test and find out.
- Social / Investigative
- Investigative / Enterprising
- Investigative / Social
- Health care occupation-specific ethics
The moral standards and procedures, ethical questions and obligations specific to occupations in a health care setting such as respect for human dignity, self-determination, informed consent and patient confidentiality.
- Personality development theories
The theories of the healthy and psychopathological personality development.
- Theories of personality
Theoretical conceptions of personality, such as psychodynamic theory, humanistic theory or behaviorism.
- Therapy in health care
The principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions.
- Psychiatric disorders
The characteristics, causes and treatment of psychiatric disorders.
The human behaviour and performance with individual differences in ability, personality, interests, learning, and motivation.
- Supervision of persons
The act of directing one individual or a group of individuals in a certain activity.
Psychiatry is a medical specialty mentioned in the EU Directive 2005/36/EC.
The awareness of various effects that medicines have on the patient or client's behaviour, mood and thinking.
The criteria of psychiatric diagnoses, the use of the disease classification system, and the theories of psychopathology. The indicators of functional and organic disorders and the types of psychopharmacological medications.
Interdisciplinary medical specialty addressing the connection between the social, psychological, and behavioral attitudes and their impact on human processes.
- Scientific research methodology
The theoretical methodology used in scientific research involving doing background research, constructing an hypothesis, testing it, analysing data and concluding the results.
- Psychological diagnostics
The psychological diagnostics strategies, methods and techniques concerning health-related experiences and behaviours as well as mental disorders
- Psycho-social forms of intervention
Types of support activities and interventions that can reduce stressful events, symptoms or risk and improve the quality of life.
- History of patient's psychotherapeutic problems
The records of the patient`s previous psychotherapeutic problems or disorders.
- Psychological theories
The historical development of counselling and psychological theories, as well as the perspectives, applications, and interviewing and counselling strategies.
- Historic development of psychotherapeutic schools
The timeline of the psychotherapeutic schools of practice, their general description, characteristics and fields of application.
- Disorders affecting self-awareness
The consciousness process related to various medical disorders and illnesses and its manifestation and treatment options.
- Use clinical assessment techniques
Use clinical reasoning techniques and clinical judgement when applying a range of appropriate assessment techniques, such as mental status assessment, diagnosis, dynamic formulation, and potential treatment planning.
- Decide upon a psychotherapeutic approach
Make an informed choice about which type of psychotherapeutic intervention to apply when working with patients, according to their needs.
- Use e-health and mobile health technologies
Use mobile health technologies and e-health (online applications and services) in order to enhance the provided healthcare.
- Comply with legislation related to health care
Comply with the regional and national legislation that is relevant to one`s work and apply it in practice.
- Record the outcome of psychotherapy
Keep track of and record the process and results of the treatment used in the psychotherapy process.
- Monitor therapeutic progress
Monitor therapeutic progress and modify treatment according to each patient's condition.
- Maintain personal development in psychotherapy
Develop and monitor personal qualities as a professional psychotherapist, striving to be coherent and resilient, managing complex or unpredictable feelings, working with other people`s concerns without being threatened or diminished, and taking appropriate action in the face of known fears, risks, and uncertainties, such as seeking professional supervision or feedback.
- Encourage healthcare user's self-monitoring
Encourage the healthcare user to engage in self-monitoring by conducting situational and developmental analyses on him- or herself. Assist the healthcare user to develop a degree of self-critique and self-analysis in regards to his behaviour, actions, relationships and self-awareness.
- Conceptualise healthcare user’s needs
Get an idea of what the healthcare use needs are and visualise the case, the possible solutions, and treatments to be applied.
- Comply with quality standards related to healthcare practice
Apply quality standards related to risk management, safety procedures, patients feedback, screening and medical devices in daily practice, as they are recognized by the national professional associations and authorities.
- Conclude the psychotherapeutic relationship
Conclude the process of the psychotherapeutic relationship, making sure that the patient's needs are met.
- Manage healthcare users' data
Keep accurate client records which also satisfy legal and professional standards and ethical obligations in order to facilitate client management, ensuring that all clients' data (including verbal, written and electronic) are treated confidentially.
- Facilitate the psychological development of the healthcare user
Facilitate the process of self-discovery for the healthcare user, helping them to learn about their condition and become more aware of and in control of moods, feelings, thoughts, behaviour, and their origins. Help the healthcare user learn to manage problems and difficulties with greater resilience.
- Handle patient trauma
Assess the competences, needs, and limitations of people affected by trauma, referring the patients to specialised trauma services where appropriate.
- Adhere to organisational guidelines
Adhere to organisational or department specific standards and guidelines. Understand the motives of the organisation and the common agreements and act accordingly.
- Interact with healthcare users
Communicate with clients and their carer’s, with the patient’s permission, to keep them informed about the clients’ and patients’ progress and safeguarding confidentiality.
- Reflect on practice
Routinely evaluate own practice, critically evaluating and monitoring the practice methods and outcomes in consistent, coherent and appropriate ways, being aware of relevant methodologies and utilising feedback from managers, supervisors, other professionals, and patients/clients, in order to adapt the practice accordingly.
- Apply context specific clinical competences
Apply professional and evidence based assessment, goal setting, delivery of intervention and evaluation of clients, taking into account the developmental and contextual history of the clients, within one`s own scope of practice.
- Work in a multicultural environment in health care
Interact, relate and communicate with individuals from a variety of different cultures, when working in a healthcare environment.
- Respond to changing situations in health care
Cope with pressure and respond appropriately and in time to unexpected and rapidly changing situations in healthcare.
- Counsel clients
Assist and guide clients to overcome their personal, social, or psychological issues.
- Accept own accountability
Accept accountability for one`s own professional activities and recognise the limits of one`s own scope of practice and competencies.
- Ensure safety of healthcare users
Make sure that healthcare users are being treated professionally, effectively and safe from harm, adapting techniques and procedures according to the person's needs, abilities or the prevailing conditions.
- Use psychotherapeutic interventions
Use psychotherapeutic interventions suited to the different stages of treatment.
- Use techniques to increase patients' motivation
Encourage the patient`s motivation to change and promote the belief that therapy can help, using techniques and treatment engagement procedures for this purpose.
- Keep up with current trends in psychotherapy
Keep up with current trends and debates in mental health services, being aware of changes in social, cultural, and political thinking about psychotherapy and of the interplay of various theories. Stay informed about increases in the demand for counselling and psychotherapies, and be aware of evidence-based research, the appropriate measurement tools for psychotherapy, and the need for research.
- Develop a collaborative therapeutic relationship
Develop a mutually collaborative therapeutic relationship during treatment, fostering and gaining healthcare users' trust and cooperation.
- Respond to healthcare users' extreme emotions
React accordingly when a healthcare user becomes hyper-manic, panicky, extremely distressed, agressive, violent, or suicidal, following appropriate training if working in contexts where patients go through extreme emotions regularly.
- Empathise with the healthcare user
Understand the background of clients` and patients’ symptoms, difficulties and behaviour. Be empathetic about their issues; showing respect and reinforcing their autonomy, self-esteem and independence. Demonstrate a concern for their welfare and handle according to the personal boundaries, sensitivities, cultural differences and preferences of the client and patient in mind.
- Work with patterns of psychological behaviour
Work with the patterns of a patient or client's psychological behaviour, which may be outside of their conscious awareness, such as non-verbal and pre-verbal patterns, clinical processes of defence mechanisms, resistances, transference and counter-transference.
- Manage psychotherapeutic relationships
Establish, manage and maintain the therapeutic relationship between psychotherapist and patient and client in a safe, respectful and effective way. Establish a working alliance and self-awareness in the relationship. Make sure the patient is aware that his/her interests are a priority and manage out-of-session contact.
- Promote mental health
Promote factors that enhance emotional well-being such as self-acceptance, personal growth, purpose in life, control of one`s environment, spirituality, self-direction and positive relationships.
- Perform therapy sessions
Work in sessions with individuals or groups to deliver therapy in a controlled environment.
- Follow clinical guidelines
Follow agreed protocols and guidelines in support of healthcare practice which are provided by healthcare institutions, professional associations, or authorities and also scientific organisations.
- Discuss the end point of therapeutic intervention
Identify a possible end point of therapeutic interventions with the patient in accordance with their original goals.
- Work on psychosomatic issues
Work with body and mind issues such as the spectrum of human sexuality and psychosomatic ailments.
- Manage personal professional development
Take responsibility for lifelong learning and continuous professional development. Engage in learning to support and update professional competence. Identify priority areas for professional development based on reflection about own practice and through contact with peers and stakeholders.
- Provide treatment strategies for challenges to human health
Identify possible treatment protocols for the challenges to human health within a given community in cases such as infectious diseases of high consequences at the global level.
- Conduct psychotherapy risk assessments
Conduct risk assessment procedures, making use of any tools or guidelines. Recognise language used by the patient that might imply harm to self or others asking direct questions if required. Facilitate the process of getting the patient to discuss any thoughts of suicide, and quantify the likelihood of these being put to practice.'
- Organise relapse prevention
Help the patient or client identify and anticipate high risk situations or external and internal triggers. Support them in developing better coping strategies and back-up plans in case of future difficulties.
- Listen actively
Give attention to what other people say, patiently understand points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times; able to listen carefully the needs of customers, clients, passengers, service users or others, and provide solutions accordingly.
- Contribute to continuity of health care
Contribute to the delivery of coordinated and continuous healthcare.
- Provide a psychotherapeutic environment
Create and maintain a suitable environment for the psychotherapy to take place, making sure the space is safe, welcoming, consistent with the ethos of the psychotherapy, and meeting the needs of the patients as far as possible.
- Formulate a case conceptualisation model for therapy
Compose an individualised treatment plan in collaboration with the individual, striving to match his or her needs, situation, and treatment goals to maximise the probability of therapeutic gain; considering any possible personal, social, and systemic barriers that might undermine treatment.
- Communicate effectively in healthcare
Communicate effectively with patients, families and other caregivers, health care professionals, and community partners.
- Identify mental health issues
Recognise and critically evaluate any possible mental health/illness issues.
- Advise on healthcare users' informed consent
Ensure patients/clients are fully informed about the risks and benefits of proposed treatments so they can give informed consent, engaging patients/clients in the process of their care and treatment.
- Work with healthcare users under medication
Work with healthcare users who are using prescribed medications and other drugs.