Replies to the questionnaire on psychologists/psychotherapists

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

A. Structure of the Profession

Question n°1.
Yes. It is known by the generic term “psicòlogo”

Question n°2.

Question n°3.
(a) There is a title of an academic nature: Licenciado en Psicología (Graduate in Psychology). Attached is a photocopy of Royal Decree No 1428/90 of 26 October 1990 (Boletín Oficial del Estado of 20 November 1990) introducing the title and setting guidelines for the courses concerned.
It is worth pointing out that under Royal Decree No 1954/94 of 30 September 1994 (Boletín Oficial del Estado of 17 November 1994), a copy of which is also attached, the following are regarded as equivalent to the title of Licenciado en psicologìa: -Licenciado en Filosofia y Ciencias de la Educación: Psychology Section (all fields); -Licenciado en Filosofia y Letras: Philosophy and Educational Science Division, Psychology Section;
(b) Profession: The Colegio de Psicólogos (Psychology Council), which is referred to in Section 6, plays a regulatory role with regard to questions of professional ethics and discipline;
(c) Employment in the public sector: Psychologists working at public health institutes must be in possession of the official title referred to at (a) above.

Question n°4.
Licenciado en Psicología is currently the only official title in Spain, but the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs are coordinating with each other with a view to producing, in the near future, an official title to be known as Especialista en Psicología Clínica. In this connection, please note that a clinical psychology resident training scheme is already under way at psychiatric and mental health training institutes. It is expected that the first such titles will be awarded when the staff concerned complete their three-year period of residence. Officially, therefore, there is currently no clear distinction between Psychologist and Clinical Psychologist since the title of clinical psychology specialist has yet to be created (the origin of the latter can be traced back to psychologists working in the clinical sector). There is no title of psychotherapist in Spain, nor are there any plans to introduce one since it is felt that this is already covered by the above

Question n°5.
Both professions are practised within the field of mental health, but that of Psychologist, in which no pharmacological therapy may be performed, tends to focus more on individual group or family therapy. Moreover, psychiatrists and psychologists both practise in mental health institutes, their work being coordinated according to local requirements.

Question n°6.
The Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos. Its address is calle Claudio Coello, 46 – 2′ derecha, Madrid.

Question n°7.
There are three distinct levels:

  • the Ministry of Education and Science is responsible for issuing the official title of Licenciado en Psicología and, eventually, that of Especialista en Psicología Clínica;
  • the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs is responsible for integrating psychologists within the health system, while the health services of the various autonomous communities act as policy planners for mental health and the human resources of the institutes they control;
  • the Colegio de Psicólogos deals with ethical and disciplinary matters and with all aspects for which it is responsible under Law No 2/1974 of 13 February 1974 on professional bodies, as amended by Law No 74/1978 of 26 December 1978.

B. Structure of Education and Training

Question n°1.
Since the title is of an academic nature a certificate awarded upon completion of the full cycle of secondary education and giving access to university is required.

Question n°2.
A total of five academic years.

Question n°3.
See above-mentioned Royal Decree No 1428/90 and the syllabuses of each university. Attached, by way of an example, is that for the University of Madrid which was approved by the Resolution of 19 October 1992 (Boletín Oficial del Estado of 12 February 1993) and the Corrigendum of 23 April 1993 (Boletín Oficial del Estado of 31 May 1993). In the case of Especialistas en Psicología Clínica, the process is, as pointed out above, still at an early stage, but admission is restricted to holders of a diploma of Licenciado en Psicología who have passed the national selection test for a three-year post as houseman (the work is paid and is covered by a contract) at a psychiatric and mental health institute approved for training purposes.