In Finland there are different types of psychological and therapeutic support professionals and services.
Psychologists in Finland are officially recognised as health professionals, as they have trained and worked in health-care settings and are employed by public health services. To become a psychologist in Finland you have to have completed a 4-5 years Master Programme that has included practical experience while being supervised. Psychologists study the way adults, children, adolescents, families, and groups feel, think, act and interact. Psychologists in Finnish psychologists usually have limited training in psychotherapy and offer more counselling type services and short term interventions using therapies such as brief/solution focused therapy and some CBT etc Psychologist also offer consultation and neuropsychological assessment to understand how people/children learn, or to establish if a person/child is neurotypical e.g. Dyslexia, ADHD, Autism etc etc. They may also be involved in the diagnosis of dementia in older adults. In Finland you are likely to find Psychologists in schools or further educational establishments (by Law their presence is required in such establishments); at health centres, offering short-term interventions to primary care patients; in neuvola and perheneuvola, doing testing or offering advice to children and families and helping to “sign-post” or refer clients on to other services if necessary. You may also find psychologists in occupational health departments, most often offering 5 short-term sessions to people who are suffering from burn-out etc at work or in private practice offering longer-term or short-term “psychological therapy” and support. Some psychologists also work in public tertiary care mental health settings, and work with more complex mental health problems.
Neuropsychologists are psychologists that do an extra qualification on top of their normal training to gain the professional title of “Neuropsychologist”. Neuropsychologists are experts in neuropsychological assessment and often work in tertiary or private health-care settings assessing and forming rehabilitation and habilitation plans for people with different neuro-developmental disorders or even brain-damage.
Coaches and “therapists” and counsellors:
These professionals are not recognised as health professionals, but are often trained in one form of coaching or therapy e.g family coaching, occupational coaching, cognitive coaching, life and wellbeing coaching, Brief/solution focused therapy and Neuro-linguistic programming. These professionals usually do not have an official health professional title or training. You will most often find these professionals in the private sector or the church.
Psychotherapists in Finland often have a health profession background e.g. psychologist, doctor, psychiatric nurse, and then go on to do a 3.5 to 4 year part-time training in psychotherapy. During this training the trainee psychotherapist must gain at least 500 hours of client contact giving psychotherapy, as well as over 120 hours of supervision and personal therapy. Psychotherapists are usually trained in a particular therapeutic orientation and have had extensive knowledge of this and working with a particular client group e.g. adults, couples, children/adolescents and families. Psychotherapists can be found in public health care settings, but often work in private practice, meeting clients who have been granted Kela subsidised therapy by a psychiatrist. Psychotherapists can be trained in a wide range of therapeutic orientations including: CBT and cognitive therapies, Integrative, Psychodynamic, CAT, family therapy and Couples therapy. Psychiatrists often recommend what type of psychotherapy a client should seek when they prescribe Kela funded therapy. NB You can find many Psychologists and Psychotherapists who work privately on the Minduu website or through a particular therapeutic association e.g. CAT.