Levels of Certification

ISTFP Training & Education Committee (July 2014)
ISFP International Society for Transference-Focused Psychotherapy
Grade Level Training procedures Documentation/certification
Version of July 2014
A Student Participated in course, seminar or workshop, but did not go on to supervision. Student receives document specifying the topic, teacher(s) and number of hours (this is provided by the ISTFP institution/ teacher & supervisor, who delivered the training).
B TFP didactic training graduate Curriculum (corresponding to at least 42 hours of training seminars, equivalent to 6 day-long seminars in TFP). Presentation of application of TFP techniques in supervision (or by videotaped cases);
Training completion document (this is provided by the ISTFP institution/ teacher & supervisor, who delivered the training).
C TFP therapist After achieving level B;
further training corresponding to a total of 63 hours of training seminars (level B + C); ongoing TFP supervision ≥2y, with at least monthly presentation of the training case in supervision. Should have 2 supervisors (a waiver can be requested for situations where this is not possible).
Normally, the case presented for the certification exam has to be 2 sessions a week. The candidate presents a case, with video material from 2 sessions, to a supervisor, or 2 if possible (these must be members of the ISTFP Board of Supervisors 1). The examiner(s) give feedback about the candidates strengths and weaknesses.
Therapist certificate with statement of period of training (this is provided by the ISTFP institution/ teacher & supervisor, who delivered the training and supervision, ideally, the examiner should not be the same as the person who taught and supervised).
Note: In settings where 2x/week is not possible, “low dose” 1x/week will be accepted. It is expected that within 3 years the ISTFP will have defined criteria for standard TFP and low dose-TFP, respectively. These might make necessary changes of this requirement.
D TFP study therapist After achieving level C;
ongoing TFP supervision with adherence and competence checks
Sufficient adherence and competence ratings according to study design. PI is responsible for deciding this. PI has to be approved by the ISTFP Research and Publication Committee.
E TFP teacher and supervisor Experience in TFP teaching and co-supervision; having treated at least two TFP cases (2 sessions/week) for at least two years each. For the exam, two candidates pair off with two members of the Certification Board 2.
Part 1 – The candidate presents a new case (video-taped) with the second candidate acting as supervisor;
Part 2 – supervision of the second candidate’s case; in supervising, the candidate should be able to discuss both theoretical and technical aspects of the case;
The examiners observe and may ask questions;
TFP supervisor certificate (this is provided by the ISTFP Training & Education Committee).

1 The ISTFP Board of Supervisors will be constituted from all certified TFP supervisors. ISTFP members, who are already teachers and supervisors will automatically become members of the Board.
2 An ISTFP Certification Board has been nominated by the Training and Education Committee and approved by the ISTFP Executive Board. Members of the Certification Board are: Eve Caligor, John Clarkin, Stephan Doering, Nel Draijer, Otto Kernberg, Lina Normandin, Agnes Schneider-Heine and Frank Yeomans.

Alternative pathway to become a TFP teacher and supervisor for senior therapists

Experienced psychotherapists might be promoted to TFP teachers and supervisors within an abbreviated procedure, if they have:

  1. more than 20 years of experience as a psychotherapist,
  2. more than five years of experience as a training analyst or psychotherapy supervisor,
  3. participated in a TFP training course (Level C),
  4. presented one videotaped TFP case with high quality of TFP application, and
  5. been co-teacher in TFP workshops/ courses with a certified TFP teacher and supervisor

The Training and Education Committee decides upon the promotion, after it has been suggested by the ISTFP supervisor who is actively supervising the senior therapist. The ISTFP Executive Board has to approve the decision of the Training and Education Committee.