Clinical Psychology in Spain

History, Regulation and Future Challenges


  • Javier Prado-Abril
  • Sergio Sánchez-Reales
  • Alberto Gimeno-Peón
  • José Antonio Aldaz-Armendáriz


The heterogeneity of national regulations in clinical psychology and psychological treatment across Europe requires a detailed description of every regulation to start a shared discussion. In the current paper, we describe the history, legal regulations, a specialized training program, the current status and some future challenges for clinical psychology in Spain. The evolution of clinical psychology in the Spanish National Health System (NHS) towards a health specialty regulated by law, exemplifies a balanced process of expansion, social recognition and professional settlement. Overall, the growth of clinical psychology in Spain may depend on access to leadership and management positions in the NHS that would allow a better organization of care resources to improve citizens’ access to psychological treatment.