Studying in the psychotherapist training programmes

The scope of the Psychotherapist Training Programmes is at least 60 credits, and the programmes are intended to be completed alongside work. The training is continuing education subject to a fee, which is covered entirely by the student or their employer.

The Psychotherapist Training Programmes are a process that consists of study modules in the form of theoretical and methodological studies, supervised professional psychotherapeutic patient care and training psychotherapy that are implemented throughout the programme. In addition, the programmes include a final project and evidence provided on competence.

Theoretical and methodological studies (at least 34 cr)

The theoretical and methodological studies consist of theoretical and clinical seminars as well as studying literature, completing interim assignments and other independent study. The content and implementation of these studies vary by training programme. The theoretical studies include 5 credits of studies common to all of the training programmes organised by the University.

Supervised professional psychotherapeutic patient care (at least 12 cr)

In the course of the training programme, students provide at least 300 hours of professional supervised psychotherapeutic patient care. During the programme, at least 120 hours of supervised professional practice is provided, either individually or in groups, or as a combination thereof. Students must independently arrange patients for the training, for example, at their workplace or by providing patient care through a business or business name of their own. It is recommended that the patient care is provided under a licensed care unit, or that the patients at least have a treatment relationship with a licensed healthcare and social care unit.

Training psychotherapy (at least 4 cr)

Depending on the specific training programme, psychotherapist training includes 80–250 hours of psychotherapy for the students themselves. Psychotherapists who provide training-related psychotherapy must be trainer psychotherapists or psychotherapists who have completed demanding specialist training (VET) in the framework of the specific programme. In some cases, personal psychotherapy undertaken before the training can be accepted, at least partially, as training psychotherapy, but it is recommended that at least some of the training-related psychotherapy is completed during the programme.

Final project (10 cr)

The final project is a written work that delves into a special issue of psychotherapy and conforms to the principles of scholarly writing. The goal of the work is to promote students’ development into experts in psychotherapy as well as the integration of their theoretical and clinical skills.

Evidence of competence

The purpose of providing evidence of competence is to ensure that, by the end of the training, students have achieved the skills-related learning outcomes set for the training programme. The provision of evidence of competence includes continual assessment during the programme, the final project and a demonstration portfolio (a learning portfolio and a psychotherapeutic case analysis). In addition, the training programmes can organise a competence demonstration.

While the training is intended to be completed alongside work, students must be able to attend contact instruction a few times per term. In addition, students must be able to provide patient care required by the training, either as part of their salaried work or on their own time.

In most training programmes, teaching in theoretical and methodological studies is organised as two-day (Thu–Fri) seminars in Helsinki, of which roughly five or six will be held per year. If the training programme organises the supervised professional practice, this can take place in connection with the seminars or at separate meetings. Teaching and supervision can also be provided remotely. As a rule, students independently arrange a psychotherapist for themselves, as required by the programme, making it possible to complete the training-related psychotherapy sessions in or close to their place of residence.

The fees for the theoretical studies included in the training programmes are based on, among other factors, the content and group size of the programme. The total fee for theoretical studies ranges by training programme from approximately €9,000 to €25,000, and is divided into instalments paid twice every academic year (on average €2,500 per term). In addition to the theoretical studies, the training includes, depending on the programme, 80 to 250 hours of personal psychotherapy and at least 120 hours of supervised professional practice, whose fees are not generally included in the training fee. The fee for training psychotherapy is roughly €85–140 per hour, which is also roughly the fee for personal professional supervision. Depending on group size, the fee for group supervision ranges roughly from €35 to €50 per hour. All fees are indicative and dependent on the specific fees of individual psychotherapists or supervisors. Depending on the training programme, the overall cost of the training is between approximately €25,000 and €60,000.

The fee for the theoretical studies included in the training, and the scope and method of implementation of the training-related psychotherapy and supervised professional practice are set out in the training programme descriptions, which are published every autumn.