Standards for Practitioners
August 1, 2017
These certification standards have been established by The Nicolosi Trust (Trust) and set forth the criteria by which the Trust evaluates applications by psychotherapy and psychological therapist candidates to become certified to use the trademark "Reintegrative Therapist” in their interactions with clients and patients. These certification standards are reviewed regularly to ensure that they deliver the objective of effective, voluntary therapy for individuals.
Use of the Reintegrative Therapy mark is conditioned on a candidate (1) satisfying these certification standards, and (2) agreeing to the non-discriminatory licensing terms and conditions under which the Trust permits use of the mark (and any additional marks the Trust may adopt in the future) in connection with delivery by therapists, psychology counselors, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists of psychotherapy and psychological services.
1. Academic and Professional Qualifications. Candidates for certification must demonstrate that they are individuals who (a) hold a master’s degree or higher in counseling or a closely related field from a college or university that was accredited when the degree was awarded by one of the regional accrediting bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, and (b) are actively engaged in a therapeutic or psychotherapy practice. Acceptable degrees include MSWs in Social Work or Counseling Psychology, University-based Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology, Psy.D. degrees and M.D. degrees with additional certification by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Candidates agree that their professional qualifications, including their moral and ethical standing in the profession and their competence in therapeutic skills, will be evaluated by the Trust, and that Trust’s good faith judgment concerning such matters will be final. The evaluation of a candidate’s therapeutic or clinical competence and moral and ethical behavior will be made by the Trust in its sole discretion, with due regard to the right of candidates to submit any and all information, documents or opinions in support of their qualifications.
2. Training. Candidates must have successfully completed training in Reintegrative Therapy by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, Jr. or a Trust-approved member of the Reintegrative Therapy Association. All Reintegrative Therapy Practitioners must, in addition, maintain their continuing professional education by participating annually in therapeutic classes and seminars presented or approved by the Trust.
3. Therapeutic Principles. Candidates must agree with, endorse and pledge to follow the Four Principles of Reintegrative Therapy (RT), included as an Exhibit A to these standards, in their interactions with clients and patients. Candidates are expected to abide by the RT Principles in both letter and spirit. It is not permissible to use for a candidate or certified professional to use the trademark “Reintegrative Therapist” in promotional materials, therapeutic sessions or public comments in a way that misleads clients, patients or the general public into thinking that Reintegrative Therapy is a type of so-called “conversion therapy,” is a cure to homosexuality, that homosexuality is a disease or that it may properly be administered involuntarily or otherwise without the informed consent of the client or patient. All references to Reintegrative Therapy must assure respect for the client or patient and must be consistent with the highest ethical parameters for treatment and educational interventions.
4. Recertification. Reintegrative Therapists must renew their eligibility by submitting an acceptable recertification application to the Trust, including a representation that they satisfy and have abided by these standards in their professional activities, at least every two (2) years.
5. Confidentiality Policy. The Trust reserves the right to disclose information it possesses about any candidate or individual whom it judges has violated Trust rules, engaged in misrepresentation or unprofessional behavior, or shows signs of impairment.
7. Revocation of Certification. The Trust may, at its discretion, rescind a certification if the candidate was not qualified to receive the certification at the time it was issued, even if the certification was issued as a result of a mistake on the part of the Trust.
8. Unauthorized Use. Candidates must acknowledge that if they engage in any unauthorized use or reference to the “Reintegrative Therapy” or “Reintegrative Therapist” mark, their right to continue using the trademark may be terminated.
9. Reservation of Rights. Except for the license rights under the Trust’s terms and conditions for licensing use of the “Reintegrative Therapy” mark, the Trust reserves to itself all right, title and interest in and to that certification trademark.
The Four Principles of Reintegrative Therapy
The four principles of RT are (1) the therapist’s disclosing of his own views; (2) encouragement of the client’s open inquiry; (3) resolving past trauma; and (4) education regarding associated features of trauma and addiction.
(1) Disclosing versus imposing
From the very start of therapy, the RT psychotherapist should disclose his views on trauma and sexual addiction, not only as a scientist-practitioner but also his views from a personal, philosophical or religious perspective, when appropriate. The RT client needs to be clear about the therapist’s understanding of homosexuality as, for some individuals, possibly be an adaptation to childhood trauma experiences and as often representing a reintegrative behavior with sometimes serious future consequences. At the same time, the therapist must not impose those views on his client, but give him space to explore his own sexual identity and make his own self-determination. The RT therapist must not pressure or manipulate the client to believe or accept the same viewpoint as he does. Indeed, the therapist accepts and values the client as a person, no matter what his sexual orientation, behavior or self-label. The Reintegrative Therapy Association does not refute or attempt to change the American Psychological Association's and American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic categories regarding sexuality.
(2) Encouraging Inquiry
While the client may be motivated to enter RT to reduce his unwanted sexual attractions, the RT therapist focuses on treating underlying trauma, neglect or sexual addiction with evidence-based psychotherapy interventions. The RT psychotherapist invites and encourages the client to inquire. He is encouraged to ask questions of himself, and to look into his feelings, wants and desires that may lie beneath his sexual attractions.
This brings us to another important rule of RT: The therapeutic alliance must include the mutual understanding that the client can always feel free to disagree with the therapist (Nicolosi, J., 2009).
(3) Resolving Past Trauma
Trauma may be explicit, such as sexual or emotional abuse, or implicit in the form of negative parental messages regarding one’s self and gender. Exploring, identifying and resolving these childhood emotional wounds using established, evidence-based trauma resolution methods can in some clients, regardless of their sexual orientation, result in a reduction of their sexually addictive behaviors. The same trauma resolution methods are available to reintegrative therapy clients, regardless of their race, gender or sexual orientation.
It is the responsibility of the therapist not to withhold information that can be of use to the client. What the client does with that input is left for him to decide. As part of his discernment process, the client deserves to know the long-term medical and emotional liabilities associated with addictive sexual activities, including relevant potentially maladaptive behavioral patterns. The timing and manner of delivery of these educational opportunities should be determined by the RT psychotherapist’s sensitivity to the client and when it is in the client’s best interest.