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How to become a psychotherapist in norway

How to become a psychotherapist in norway

National Requirements Norway


Norway? Visit

Applying for EuroPsy in? Visit website

  • Psychology Education

The Psychologist education in Norway is a 6 year study with integrated (about one year) supervised practice, leading to the title Cand Psychol.
Recognition of university education programmes as meeting EuroPsy requirements is undertaken by a national accreditation authority, of which the judgements are accepted by the Norwegian National Awarding Committee (NAC)

  • Programmes that meet EuroPsy requirements:

Recognised programmes exist at 4 universities in Norway. All four of these programmes meet the EuroPsy requirements and are listed below:

UniversityCityMA/MSc Degree ProgrammesArticUniversit of NorwayTromsøCand psycholNTNUTrondheimCand psycholUniversity of BergenBergenCand psycholUniversity of OsloOsloCand psychol

  • Supervised practice arrangements (for the EuroPsy Certificate)

Almost one year of supervised practice is integrated in the 6 years university study necessary to obtain the Cand Psychol degree. Before undertaking the supervised practice students receive training in clinical skills. The one year of supervised practice takes place partly within a university clinic, and partly in a setting external to the university (typically in a variety of outpatient clinics).

  • Arrangements for training of supervisors

There is no required training in supervision for those providing supervision for students undertaking supervised practice in their psychologist training. However most supervisors are specialists within clinical psychology and will therefore have experience in supervision. Some will have a specific training in supervision, provided by the Norwegian Psychological Association, or other public or private organizations.

  • Recognition of title

The title Psychologist is a legally recognised and protected title for all areas of practice.

  • Licence to practice

The title ‘psychologist’ and the licence to practice are provided by the Norwegian competent authorities.

  • Continuing professional development (CPD)


The situation of psychotherapy in Norway, 2021


1. How many psychotherapists work in your country.

The Norwegian Association of Psychotherapy, founded in 1998 (NFP; has approx 500 members. There are, in addition to these, an unknown number of practitioners not registered with the NFP due to there being no official recognition of psychotherapy as a profession in Norway.

2. Overview on psychotherapy training

In order to be accepted as a training institute under the umbrella of NFP the institutes training programmes must as a minimum be in accordance with NFP / EAP.  These standards also apply for members of associated psychotherapy societies.

 3. List of psychotherapy schools in your country

Under the umbrella of NPF there are at present 3 training institutes.

  • Norsk Gestaltinstitutt AS Høyskole (Gestalt)
  • Norsk institutt for Kunstuttrykk og kommunikasjon (Art and expressive therapy)
  • Morenoinstituttet (Psychodrama)

 4. Legal situation (is there a law or regulation, if yes please attach the law regulation to the article)

Due to the lack of official recognition for psychotherapy as a profession in Norway, there is no specific law governing this.  However, the Law for Alternative treatments (Alternativbehandlingsloven; apply.  Public healthcare seems to increasingly include so-called alternative practices, although then offered by health workers within approved professions.  Hence; several sections in the law regulating authorized health workers (psychologists, doctors, psychiatrists, nurses, etc); Lov om Helsepersonell (, apply to psychotherapists when relevant.

5. Is there a national register for psychotherapists

There is no national register for psychotherapists, but Alternativregisteret is a voluntary register of practitioners of alternative treatments, fulfilling certain criteria such as membership in approved professional organisations, insurance etc..  Many psychotherapists from NFPs member associations are listed there.

6. Payment; how much do clients pay on average per hour

This varies a lot but generally in the range of Euro 60-130

7. Is psychotherapy paid by health insurance

Usually not, but there are exceptions

8. Which government is responsible for psychotherapy in your country

The Ministry of Health

9. Which psychotherapy modalities are accepted in your country

As psychotherapists are not formally approved as part of public healthcare, all modalities are considered alternative treatments as long as the therapist is not e.g. also a nurse, medical doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist or similar.  However, modalities and practitioners fulfilling certain quality criteria such as membership in approved professional organisations having educational admittance standards and exclusion criteria, ethical guidelines, formal client complaint management systems, are allowed registration in Alternativregisteret; thus ensuring a minimum quality standard.   Our organization include (2021) 3 training institutes and 6 practitioners organisations covering the following modalities:

  • Gestalt therapy
  • Expressive arts therapy
  • Psychodrama therapy
  • Psychosynthesis therapy
  • Analytical (Jungian) therapy
  • Integrative therapy



NFP was founded in 1998 .
In 2014 its members are 5 training institutes and 7 practitioners organisations.

Educated abroad, but want to practice as a psychologist in Norway?

Every so often, The Norwegian Psychological Association gets contacted by persons educated abroad with an interest in settling and working as psychologists in Norway. They most often are wondering about which instances they have to contact in order to get the right to practice as psychologists, and our standard answer is:

In Norway the work of psychologists is regulated by the Norwegian Health Personnel Act (amended 9 March 1973 – Certification of psychologists) – see here  – by which the use of the title “Psychologist” is protected by a certification process that ensures that a certain level of education is attained before one can practice in the field of clinical psychology.

You have in other words to be authorized or licensed as a psychologist to use the title “Psychologist” in Norway. An application needs to be sent to The Norwegian Registration Authority for Health Personnel in order to receive this authorization. We suggest you give them a call before you apply.

Go to their website.

Hey guys, I want to fulfill my dream of becoming a psychotherapist in Norway. In the last three years I have worked as a social worker in a small kommune and now I am back in Austria taking my ‘psychotherapy’ education. But I can’t find a lot of information about the profession in Norway. Are there many private psychotherapist or more psychotherapist working for the kommune?

Also, I haven’t really figured out the way of education for an upcoming psychotherapist. It appears to me that you have to study ‘sykepleie’ or something related to medicine before you can specify. That doesn’t make so much sense though, since only a psychiatrist has to study medicine… is there anyone who knows a little bit more about the exact education you need in Norway?


Everyone resident in Norway is entitled to receive essential mental healthcare. Your general practitioner (GP) will normally try to help you first if you are experiencing mild or moderate mental health problems.

Emergency care

In critical situations, call 113. In less urgent cases, call 116 117 to speak to your nearest out-of-hours medical service (“legevakt”). The out-of-hours medical service may refer you to a psychiatric out-of-hours medical service, a psychiatric emergency care team, or 24-hour care.

How do I get an appointment with a psychologist?

See your general practitioner first

Your general practitioner (GP) will normally try to help you first if you are experiencing mild or moderate problems. Before asking your GP for help, it can be a good idea to think about what you want first. Are there any services available in your municipality to help you cope with mental health problems? Many municipalities offer courses on depression or stress.

Your GP will be able to help you decide whether you should be referred to a psychologist.

Psychologists in municipalities

The health services of many municipalities and districts employ psychologists. More information on how to get in touch with them can be found on the website of the municipality or district.

The specialist health service

In consultation with your GP, you should decide whether you should be referred to the specialist healthcare service, which includes district psychiatric centres and contracting specialists. If you are under 18 years of age, you can get help from a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Out-patient Clinic (BUP).

District psychiatric centres (DPS)

If you have a more serious ailment or problem, you can be referred to a district psychiatric centre. These centres offer various types of treatment, including conversational therapy. Their day-care departments often treat people with problems or disorders such as anxiety, eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Out-patient Clinics (BUP)

Children and young people under 18 years of age can get help from a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Out-patient Clinic (BUP). BUP helps children and their families through evaluation, treatment, counselling and facilitation relating to mental health problems, behavioural issues and learning difficulties.

GPs, school doctors, child welfare service officers, doctors at young people’s health clinics and other doctors you see can refer you to BUP. You are entitled to an assessment of the referral to BUP within 14 days.

Contracting specialists

Contracting specialists (“avtalespesialister”) are privately practising psychologists and psychiatrists who have an operating agreement with the regional health trust. Psychologists with an operating agreement are part of the specialist health service and collaborate with the local district psychiatric centre (DPS).

A smiling woman on a hike

Have you been referred to assessment or treatment?

Read about the mental health and substance abuse patient pathway, which is intended to give you holistic and predictable treatment.

Illustration: Mostphotos/Doug Olson (Illustrasjonsbilde)

Find a private psychologist

Many psychologists have a private practice without any operating agreement with the health trust. You can search online for a psychologist who does not have an operating agreement in your region.

On the website of the Norwegian Psychological Association, you will find the service entitled Find a psychologist, where you can search for available psychologists in the whole of Norway.

Thoughtful man looking out of a window

Mental healthcare for adults in Norway

If you are experiencing mental health problems, there are many services available for you.

Illustration: ArenaCreative / Mostphotos (illustrasjonsbilde)

Waiting times and payment

Waiting times

How long you have to wait before you can get an appointment with a psychologist will vary. You must allow at least four to six weeks for your referral to be processed. You will be notified by post if and when you have been given an appointment.

Waiting times to see a psychologist who does not have an operating agreement can also vary. Some psychologists can offer you an immediate appointment.


In the case of psychologists who have an operating agreement, you will have to pay a fixed user fee for every hour of treatment. The user fee varies with the duration of the consultation. Children and young people under 18 years of age do not need to pay a user fee in order to see a psychologist.

The user fee to see a psychologist with an operating agreement will be included in your exemption card amount. This does not apply to payments to psychologists who do not have an operating agreement with the health trust.

Woman talking

User fees for treatment by a psychologist

You can have a proportion of your costs covered for treatment by a psychologist who specialises in clinical psychology. You will normally have to pay a user fee, which will count towards your exemption card for health services.

Illustration: Morten Rakke / Helfo

What can a psychologist help me with?

Psychologists can help you with all kinds of psychological problems, from mild and delimited problems in life to severe mental illness. You and the psychologist will together determine the type of therapy that is best for you.

A psychologist can also help you if you are struggling with specific problems and need to discuss the matter with someone you can confide in. Talking to a psychologist can help, for example when you find thoughts, feelings or actions difficult because your life has taken a downturn or there are obstacles in your life which you find difficult to overcome on your own.

You do not have to prepare anything before you see a psychologist.

Duty of confidentiality

Duty of confidentiality is absolutely pivotal to the relationship of trust between you and the psychologist. Only in very specific situations where your life or health is in danger can the duty of confidentiality be deviated from.

If the psychologist becomes aware that they could prevent a serious crime or that children are at risk, they will have a duty to notify the police and the child welfare service respectively.

Psychologist, psychiatrist and psychotherapist

Psychologists are authorised to practise as healthcare professionals. Being authorised means that the psychologist is subject to certain specific obligations and responsibilities which are regulated by law, such as the duty of confidentiality and the duty to keep records.

Psychiatrists are doctors who have completed further education in the investigation and treatment of psychiatric disorders. Psychiatrists have the leading competence in the treatment of psychiatric disorders using drugs.

Psychotherapist is not a protected title, and practitioners who call themselves a psychotherapist are not subject to any formal qualification requirements.