Psychotherapists trained outside of the EU/EEA

In order to be allowed to use the title of psychotherapist in Finland, you must register this protected occupational title with Valvira. On application, Valvira grants the right to use the occupational title of psychotherapist to professionals trained either in Finland or abroad. Other people who have sufficient education, experience and professional skills can also be employed in a profession that has a protected occupational title. However, only persons granted the right to use a protected occupational title by Valvira may use that title.

In order to qualify for the title of psychotherapist in Finland, you must have:

  • appropriate background training
  • background work experience
  • psychotherapist training

Your training is evaluated as a whole, meaning that your background training and work experience prior to your actual psychotherapist training are also considered. For evaluation purposes, we will request a statement concerning your training from an educational institution / university in Finland that trains psychotherapists. Based on the statement received, Valvira will specify the supplementary training that you will need to complete, if any.

Applying for the right to practise

Fill in the application form (pdf). Send your application with attachments to Valvira. If you submit all the relevant documents with your application, the application process will be quicker. Please do not send your application or attachments by e-mail in advance, because this will slow down the processing of your application.

The processing of an application in Valvira is subject to a fee. A fee is also charged for a withdrawn application. By submitting an application, you agree to the fees. Please check the prices at end of the instructions, under “Fees”. 

Send your completed application and appendices by mail to:
National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira)
PO Box 43
FI-00521 Helsinki

You must supply officially certified copies of the documents listed below (1–5). Copies can be officially certified by a notary public in Finland or in another EU or EEA Member State, or by a Finnish mission in other countries. Copies issued by a notary public outside the EU/EEA and furnished with an Apostille or Grand Legalisation are also acceptable. You must submit to Valvira, by mail, the copies that bear the original stamp and signature of the notary public or Finnish mission.

Append copies of the following documents to your application:

  1. Passport, identity card, alien’s passport or refugee travel document (proof of your identity and nationality). Please read the instructions on our website if you do not have a Finnish personal identity number.
  2. Degree certificates for your background training and your psychotherapist training, and the official e-mail address and mail address of your educational institution
    If you give the contact details, Valvira may verify the legitimacy of your degree. This verification may delay the processing of your application. You do not need to submit an officially certified copy if Valvira verifies your degree directly with your educational institution. If Valvira is unable to obtain the required information directly from your educational institution, you must submit your degree certificate, verified by Apostille or Grand Legalisation.
    OR
    Have your original degree certificates for your background training and your psychotherapist training legalised by Apostille or Grand Legalisation in the country where you completed your training. This procedure must verify that your degree certificate is legitimate. Find out from the foreign ministry or other body in your country of education how to legalise your degree certificate (diploma).
  3. Appendices to your degree certificates for your background training and your psychotherapist training (e.g. transcript of records, academic transcript)
  4. A certificate verifying that your right to practise the profession in question has not been restricted or revoked (e.g. Certificate of Good Standing). This certificate must be no more than three months old when received by Valvira. You must submit such a certificate from every country where you have been legalised to practise your profession. If you have practised your profession in a country where practitioners of that profession are not registered, then you need to submit an affidavit from the competent authority in that country stating that practitioners of your profession are not registered in that country, or some other reliable testimonial of the matter. 
  5. Translations into Finnish, Swedish or English of the documents listed in points 2–4.
    The translations must have been produced by an authorised translator in Finland or in another EU/EEA Member State. Authorised translators in Finland can be found through the online service of the National Agency for Education. If the translator is not an official or authorised translator in an EU/EEA Member State, the translation may nevertheless be acceptable if the translator’s status is confirmed by Apostille or Grand Legalisation.
  6. Freeform consent stating that Valvira has your permission to submit your application documents to a Finnish educational institution for an expert opinion if necessary.
  7. Certificate of sufficient language proficiency.
    Further information on language proficiency requirements is available on our website.

    Valvira may issue a decision mandating supplementary studies even if you have not submitted appendices 4 and 7 referred to above, but you must submit those appendices in order to be legalised. In other words, you must submit those documents at the latest when you file your final legalisation application, having completed the mandated supplementary studies.

    The appendices listed below points 8–11 are not necessarily mandatory, but they are recommended, because they may be required for obtaining an expert opinion. In order to evaluate an application, information regarding the completed education is needed. This information needs to be comprehensive enough to allow determining the possible differences between the completed education and the education required in Finland.
    The appendices must be submitted as officially certified copies. Copies can be officially certified by a notary public in Finland or in another EU or EEA Member State, or by a Finnish mission in other countries. Copies issued by a notary public outside the EU/EEA and furnished with an Apostille or Grand Legalisation are also acceptable. You must submit to Valvira, by post, the copies that bear the original stamp and signature of the notary public or Finnish mission.
  8. A more detailed description of the courses and training periods listed in the academic transcript (learning outcomes, contents and number of hours; and operating environments and duties in the case of training periods). We recommend that you also include course descriptions from your background training if your training has included 30 credits of psychology or psychiatry studies. For the purposes of the statement to be returned by the university consulted, you must indicate when you completed the applicable background training and when you began your actual psychotherapist training.
    If the educational institution supplies a general study programme to provide this information, the institution must separately confirm that you have completed the units required. The educational institution may deliver the report directly to Valvira by e-mail.
  9. Certificate of at least 30 credits in studies in psychology or psychiatry, if such studies were not included in your background training.
  10. Employment certificates for background work experience in mental health services. Employment certificates must have been issued by your employer, and they must state at least your job title, your job duties and the duration of your employment.
  11. Employment certificates for work in the profession following completion of your training. Employment certificates must have been issued by your employer, and they must state at least your job title, your job duties and the duration of your employment.
  12. A certificate of any supplementary professional training and continuing education.
  13. Translations into Finnish, Swedish or English of all the aforementioned documents.
    The translations must have been produced by an authorised translator in Finland or in another EU/EEA Member State. Authorised translators in Finland can be found through the online service of the National Agency for Education. If the translator is not an official or authorised translator in an EU/EEA Member State, the translation may nevertheless be acceptable if the translator’s status is confirmed by Apostille or Grand Legalisation.

Valvira may request further clarifications if necessary. The application documents will remain in Valvira, and it is not possible to get them back after a decision has been made. If you request for documents to be returned to you while the application process is ongoing, you must send in replacing documents that meet the formal requirements. This will significantly slow down the processing of your application.