This Document is a courtesy of the Commission of the European Communities, DGXV.
Its reference number is XV/E/58424/95 – Orig.: NL

A. Structure of the Profession

Question n°1.
Yes, there are both psychologists and psychotherapists. The official designations are clinical psychologist (“klinisch psycholoog”) and psychotherapist (“psychotherapeut”). Many psychotherapists are also psychologists and often use the title psychologist/psychotherapist (“psycholoog/psychotherapeut”).

Question n°2.
The professions of clinical psychologist and psychotherapist are regulated.

Question n°3.
Clinical psychologist: the Law on individual health-care professions (Wet op de beroepen in de individuele gezondheidszorg – B.I.G.) is due to enter into force in respect of the profession at the end of 1997. Only then will it become clear what training requirements are to be stipulated by means of a general administrative regulation. Psychotherapist: the profession is currently covered by the Decree on the registration of psychotherapists of 6 August 1986 and is likewise due to be regulated by the B.I.G. at the end of 1997, when training requirements will be laid down in a general administrative regulation.

Question n°4.
Article 25 of the B.I.G. defines the range of activities that clinical psychologists may perform: “The clinical psychologist’s field of expertise shall comprise conducting psychological examinations, assessing the results obtained and applying psychological treatment methods – to be stipulated by means of a general administrative regulation – appropriate to the individual patient’s state of health.” Article 27 of the B.I.G. defines the range of activities that psychotherapists may perform: “The psychotherapists field of expertise shall comprise examining patients with a psychological disorder, abnormality or complaint, with a view to curing or alleviating the condition through influencing their mood, behaviour and attitude by means of applying methods to be stipulated in a general administrative regulation.”

Question n°5.
Psychiatrists are regarded as generalists with reference to the treatment of psychological disorders, whereas psychotherapists may be regarded as experts in the provision of a particular form of such treatment – namely psychotherapy.

Question n°6.
Clinical psychologists are represented by: the Dutch Institute of Psychologists, Osdorperban 27a, 1068 LD Amsterdam (post box 9921, 1006 AP Amsterdam). Psychotherapists are general members of the Dutch Psychotherapy Association, Koningslaan 12, 3583 GC Utrecht. Not all psychologists/psychotherapists are members of this association and psychiatrists have their own professional organisation (the Dutch Psychiatry and Neurology Association, Lomanlaan 103, 3526 XD Utrecht (post box 20062, 3502 LB Utrecht», so there is more than one body promoting psychotherapists’ interests.

Question n°7.
The professions of clinical psychologist, psychiatrist and psychotherapist all fall under the responsibility of the Minister for Health, Welfare and Sport. The Public-Health Inspectorate, which forms part of the State Supervisory Authority for Public Health, is responsible for monitoring their activities.

B. Structure of Education and Training

Question n°1.
Unlike in the case of psychotherapy, there are – as yet – no legal requirements governing training for clinical psychology.

Question n°2.
Clinical psychology: four years after obtaining a doctorate in psychology. Psychotherapy: at least five to seven years.

Question n°3.
Training for clinical psychology: due to be stipulated at the end of 1997 by means of a general administrative regulation, in accordance with the B.I.G. Training for psychotherapy: governed by the Decree on the registration of psychotherapists (the position is due to change at the end of 1997 – when the training requirements will be stipulated in a general administrative regulation, in accordance with the B.I.G.).
Theoretical/technical training at least 440 hours in total, comprising:

  • (A) basic component: discussion techniques 70 hours; psychopathology 20 hours; practical training in an establishment providing mental health care 1/2 year/620 hours;
  • (B) general component: introduction to general aspects of psychotherapy 30 hours; introduction to psycho-analytical psychotherapy 30 hours; introduction to behavioural therapy 30 hours; introduction to Rogerian therapy 30 hours; introduction to, and practical training in, system theory 60 hours;
  • (C) specialist component: practical training in the chosen main subject in respect of individual adults 30 hours;
  • (D) more detailed study of the chosen main subject in respect of individual adults 40 hours;
  • (E) option block 1: 50 hours; (application of the chosen main subject to one of the following three fields: child and youth psychotherapy, family/partner therapy, group psychotherapy);
  • (F) option block II: 50 hours; (application of the chosen main subject to a second of the three fields: child and youth psychotherapy Supervised practice:
    at least 125 hours divided between at least eight forms of therapy over a period of four years, comprising: 50 hours devoted to forms of therapy for individual adults; 25 hours devoted to forms of therapy covered in option block 1; 25 hours devoted to forms of therapy covered in option block II; 25 hours devoted to forms of therapy chosen by the student.

Learning therapy:
at least 50 hours.
Psychotherapy work experience: at least four years (from the start of supervised practice) in an approved establishment for the treatment and care of psychologically disturbed patients, comprising at least two days a week (16 hours).
A copy of the relevant Decree is enclosed.
(Provisionally) approved training courses are organised by the Regional Institutes for Basic and Further Training in Mental Health Care and by the Behavioural Therapy Association.