LIEIPD Tradition Based Practitioner Competencies

The Living Institute Existential-Integrative Psychotherapy Diploma (LIEIPD) program is structured so that it leads to development of the competencies required for clinical practice as defined by College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario in their Entry-to-Practice Competency Profile for Registered Psychotherapists. 'Competencies' have been defined by the transitional Council of the CRPO, in brief, as the ability to achieve a specified level of proficiency in a practice activity, and results from specific skills, knowledge and judgement. The CRPO has developed a list of specific competencies that applicants for registration as psychotherapists are required to have developed. The CRPO clinically oriented entrance exam is based on these competencies. A list of these competencies is given on the CRPO website. We have also developed a list of competencies as interpreted within the specific depth psychotherapy modalities that we teach. These are the humanistic, psychodynamic, existential, phenomenological, archetypal, transpersonal and somatic traditions. A list of these competencies is given below at the bottom of this page. We have a particular concern for the Safe and Effective Use of Self (SEUS) competencies, which we have integrated into our Self Development Program. For an outline of this go to our Program Handbook, p 14-16. See also our Self Development Program checklist to be used by therapist/counsellors and the Clinical Director in monitoring student self development progress.

In a paper on student competency assessment in psychology training programs, published by the American Psychological Association in 2009 (provide to us by David Lukoff, PhD, in response to our request for assistance in developing our student assessment model), competency is defined as "the habitual and judicious use of communication, knowledge, technical skills, clinical reasoning, emotions, values, and reflection in daily practice ... consisting of cognitive, integrative, relational, affective/moral and habits of mind dimensions" that are "developmental and context dependent". The APA paper defines the essence of competency as "knowledge, skills, attitudes and their integration", which may be considered as complementary to the CRPO definition given above (Competency Assessment Toolkit for Professional Psychology, Training and Education in Psychology, 2009, Vol. 3, No.4 [Suppl.]. S27 – S45. N. J. Kaslow, L. F. Campbell, R. L. Hatcher, C. L. Grus, N. A.Fouad, E. R. Rodolfa, S28, S34). Knowledge is self-explanatory, as is skills. Attitudes refers to the way you think about something in an emotional, reflective, valuing and ethical sense. Integration is self-explanatory. The LIEIPD draws on both the CRPO and APA overall definitions of competency in designing our program toward clinical practice ,as well as drawing on the specific modalities that we teach in the program.

Graduates of the Living Institute Existential-Integrative Psychotherapy Diploma (LIEIPD) are expected to draw on the clinical competencies of the various traditions taught in the program. The Living Institute is a teaching centre committed to exploring humanistic, psychodynamic, existential, phenomenological, archetypal, transpersonal and somatic themes in the evolutionary process. The basis for this work is the Holistic Experiential Process Method (HEP). HEP is a model for understanding systemic growth that is both social and personal, providing a method for facilitating the evolutionary emergence of self-organizing complexity from apparently chaotic disorder. It provides a container for transformational growth based on dialectic integration of arising dualities. The HEP view of evolution as existential self-organization is applicable to group and cultural life, as well as individual development. HEP recognizes the importance of spiritual and human values in institutional and organizational functions that serve society and culture, based on the interdependence of humans with each other and the natural world.

The LIEIPD is a training in the HEP Method as applied to psychotherapy within the existential-integrative (EI) tradition, bringing us into connection with Kirk J. Schneider, PhD, psychologist, APA Fellow, founder of the EI method, which derives from the existential-humanistic tradition, founded in America by Rollo May, James Bugental, Schneider and others. Dr Schneider’s Existential-Integrative Psychotherapy (2008, New York, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group) shows existential-integrative psychotherapy as a broadly eclectic model in its application, with chapters on multiculturalism, gender, short term therapy, addiction, intersubjectivity, child therapy, spirituality. This book is required reading for LIEIPD students who must write a book report in order to be admitted to the basic clinical skills teaching of 2nd year. While HEP remains a distinct tradition in its own right, locating HEP within the EI tradition also situates it in a growing, international, professional community. Dr Schneider is a regular LIEIPD consultant on curriculum matters. In July, 2008 we invited him, along with other international and local practitioners in the transpersonal, somatic and psychoanalytic fields, be part of our conference on the Human Dimension of Psychotherapy. The key themes in the Existential-Integrative method, as taught in the LIEIPD, are focused through an understanding of the human being as complexly holistic, requiring a practitioner to be able to work with the multi-dimensional nature of being, drawing on an eclectic array of methodologies to address specific issues in these diverse aspects, working toward a psychological, spiritual, somatic, social and functional integration that, paradoxically, does not deny the diversity by reducing it to a singularity.

What follows is a breakdown of the LIEIPD teaching in the humanistic, psychodynamic, existential, phenomenological, archetypal, transpersonal and somatic traditions into a list of competencies that will eventually be the pragmatic basis of evaluation of student progress toward the level of mature clinical practice required of a beginning practitioner. We have also provided our beginning attempt to distill these diverse competencies into a single list as defined in the HEP tradition. Next year these will be the basis also of assessing tradition based progress in student development of the CRPO defined Safe and Effective Use of Self (SEUS) competencies in the LIEIPD. In our current SEUS competency assessment we make use of the specific SEUS competencies from the CRPO Entry-to-Practice Competency Profile as well as a variety of competencies from other categories, that, from the LIEIPD point of view, implicitly involve, or refer to, SEUS competencies.