The European Federation for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (EFPP) was inaugurated in 1991 at the time when the European Union was developing further the freedom of movement of individuals between member countries. It was initiated by the UK and was founded by the British psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Brian Martindale in collaboration with colleagues from the UK and other countries in Europe.
The overall aim of the EFPP has from the start been to contribute significantly to the wellbeing of mental health among people living in Europe and to facilitate communication between psychoanalytic psychotherapists in different parts of Europe. The EFPP is concerned with extending the availability of psychoanalytic psychotherapy and its applications in member countries, and is especially concerned with psychoanalytic psychotherapy within mental and psychological health and related public services.
The EFPP promotes a European community network of psychoanalytic psychotherapists through activities such as EFPP Conferences, and through support of training programmes and research, by taking up issues with regard to e.g. ethical dilemmas within the field, and through the EFPP Website.
The EFPP Book Series has published a substantial series of books and these are continuing. A new venture in 2011 will be the inauguration of an online e-journal.
The EFPP supports its member networks in discussing or setting national training standards for psychoanalytic psychotherapists. The EFPP's training standards are agreed upon as the benchmark for national networks. The general principle is that the EFPP is an inclusive organisation, and an important task is how to support the training in the member countries who ask for assistance.
During the first years of the EFPP the focus was mainly on the type of training needed in order to work effectively as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. The discussion about criteria for training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy was an important political discussion, which engaged individual clinicians as well as training institutes in many countries. Through these discussions several countries developed their training programmes and national networks. The international network was important and the communications between colleagues at the EFPP conferences was and still is essential for development.