Ministry of Education, Helsinki Replies to the questionnaire on psychotherapists

This Document is a courtesy of the Commission of the European Communities, DGXV.
Its reference number is XV/E/58649/95 – Orig.: EN

A. Structure of the Profession

Question n°1.
The Finnish/Schwedish name of the profession is psykologi/psykolog.

Question n°2.
The profession is regulated.

Question n°3.
Psychologists Act. E.g. professional title (Sect.3), regulation of training (Sects 48), conditions for exercising psychotherapy (Sect.10), professional obligations (esp. Sects 13, 14, 15), entry in the professional list gives right to exercise the profession list is controlled by the Federal Ministry for Health and Consumer Protection.
No distinctions between employment in public services and in private sector.

Question n°4.
Most psychologists work within the health care system either as employees or self.employed professionals. The profession of a psychologist and the profession of psychotherapist are separate professions. However, a psychologist can practice psychotherapy but he/she is not allowed to use the title of psychotherapist unless the National Board of Medicolegal Affairs has given him/her the right to use the title. (See the answer to the questionnaire on psychotherapists).

Question n°5.
The diagnosis or the treatment by a psychologist can be reimbursed under the social security scheme only if it is based on the prescription by a doctor.

Question n°6.
The name of the body representing the profession is Someone Psykologiliitto ry (The Finnish Psychological Association). There is also an association of psychologists specialised in neuropsychology. Its name is Suomen Neuropsykologinen Yhdistys ry (The Finnish Neuropsychological Association).

Question n°7
The competent authority which grants the right to engage in the profession is Terveydenhuollon oikeusturvakeskus (The National Board of Medicolegal Affairs).

B. Structure of Education and Training

Question n°1.
The education and training of psychologists is given in universities under the Decree on Degrees in Psychology (47011979). The name of the degree is Psykologian kandidaatti /Psykologie kandidat (Master of Psychology).

Question n°2.
The duration of the Degree Programne is 5 years.

Question n°3.
The Degree Programme comprises general studies, language studies, subject.related studies, advanced studies and practical training.
The aim of the general studies is to familiarize the students with the basic principles of scientific thinking and elements of psychology and other social sciences.
The objective of subject.related studies is to provide the students with knowledge of psychological processes (e.g. emotional processes, cognition and learning), the neuroanatomical and neurophysiological basis, development and disorders of these processes; social behaviour and social relationships; and the scope and the role of psychological services in society. The students also get acquainted with the psychodiagnostic processes, psychological testing methods, prevention and rehabilitation, as well as the statistical basis of the testing methods.
In advanced studies, the student5 focus on a psychologically relevant problem on which they write a thesis.
The minimum length of practical training is ten weeks (the average is 20 weeks). The students practise under the supervision of senior psychologists in units approved by their university; such as hospitals, health care centres, schools.

Postgraduate degrees in psychology
There are two postgraduate degrees: Licentiate in Psychology and Doctor of Psychology.
Psykologian lisensiaatti/Psykologie licentiat (Licentiate in Psychology):
The degree of Licentiate in Psychology can be completed as a specialist degree programme or a theoretical degree programme.
1. The training of specialists in psychology has been given by professional organisations. In 1993 the training was transferred to the .universities. The duration of the training of a specialist is four years and comprises theoretical’ studies, work in the field of specialisation (4 years) and the thesis. There are five fields of specialisation.
2. Students can also opt for a more theoretically oriented postgraduate licentiate’s degree, which also includes a thesis.
Psykologian tohtori/Psykologie doktor (Doctor of Psychology):
Graduates in psychology or licentiates in psychology can apply for a doctoral degree program. It includes general studies, studies in a specific scientific field and a doctoral dissertation, which has to be defended in public.