P.7

Psychotherapist and Trauma-psychotherapist Training at University of Oulu, Finland

P. Saarinen1, K. Simojoki1 (1Oulu FI)


In Finland, since 2012, psychotherapist training can only be organized by universities offering degrees in psychology or medicine. Currently, there are seven such universities in Finland; before 2012 almost 200 different organizations carried out psychotherapist training.  The aim of the renewed legislation was to increase the quality and comparability of psychotherapist training. Universities co-operate and define together the qualification standards and general rules on how to develop contents to different types of psychotherapy orientations and on how to organize and run the training.

University of Oulu organizes training in family and couples therapy, solution-focused therapy, psychodynamic therapy, psychoanalytic therapy and trauma therapy. The university also offers training programs for the trainers for psychotherapist trainings. In Finland, the University of Oulu is the only educational institution offering both trauma-psychotherapist training, and training of trainers.

Psychotherapist training in Finland lasts four years and the extent is at least 60 ECTS credits. The theoretical and methodological contents of each training program are pre-determined prior to program start. The training programs consist of theoretical and methodological studies, supervision, personal psychotherapy, psychotherapeutic counselling, literature studies and thesis. The persons responsible for training are educated as trainers and they have long experience as psychotherapists.

In Finland, the training and practice of psychotherapy are controlled in a strict manner. At University of Oulu, the directorate of psychotherapist training assesses and approves each training program prior to program start. The graduates are granted license to practice psychotherapy by the Finnish “National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health”.

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In Finland, since 2012, psychotherapist training can only be organized by universities offering degrees in psychology or medicine. Currently, there are seven such universities in Finland; before 2012 almost 200 different organizations carried out psychotherapist training.  The aim of the renewed legislation was to increase the quality and comparability of psychotherapist training. Universities co-operate and define together the qualification standards and general rules on how to develop contents to different types of psychotherapy orientations and on how to organize and run the training.

University of Oulu organizes training in family and couples therapy, solution-focused therapy, psychodynamic therapy, psychoanalytic therapy and trauma therapy. The university also offers training programs for the trainers for psychotherapist trainings. In Finland, the University of Oulu is the only educational institution offering both trauma-psychotherapist training, and training of trainers.

Psychotherapist training in Finland lasts four years and the extent is at least 60 ECTS credits. The theoretical and methodological contents of each training program are pre-determined prior to program start. The training programs consist of theoretical and methodological studies, supervision, personal psychotherapy, psychotherapeutic counselling, literature studies and thesis. The persons responsible for training are educated as trainers and they have long experience as psychotherapists.

In Finland, the training and practice of psychotherapy are controlled in a strict manner. At University of Oulu, the directorate of psychotherapist training assesses and approves each training program prior to program start. The graduates are granted license to practice psychotherapy by the Finnish “National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health”.

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FI-90014 Oulun yliopisto
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