The Heterogeneity of National Regulations in Clinical Psychology and Psychological Treatment in Europe


  • Anton-Rupert Laireiter Orcid
  • Cornelia Weise Orcid


Background: The Bologna Process was initiated to harmonize study processes and contents throughout Europe in order to facilitate communication and cross-border study exchange. However, when it comes to postgraduate education and practical work in clinical psychology, no such harmonization exists - there is still significant heterogeneity between European countries.
Method: To initiate the section Politics and Education, we analysed the current situation in Europe with regard to national regulations on education, training and practice in clinical psychology and psychological treatment and give a brief summary on the status quo.
Results: There are extensive differences across Europe regarding governmental and national regulations for psychologists in general, and clinical psychologists in particular. Whereas some countries have very detailed regulations including a description of reserved activities for clinical psychologists, others leave the profession widely unregulated. When it comes to psychological treatment, some countries define it as an independent activity allowed to be applied by different professions, others clearly restrict access to the profession of psychotherapists.
Conclusion: A great diversity in national regulations and practical issues related to clinical psychology and psychological treatment exists across Europe. Our results underline the importance of the Politics and Education section in the journal Clinical Psychology in Europe in order to strengthen the development of an international perspective on clinical psychology.