Who is who?
Who is a psychologist?
A psychologist is a social scientist (theorist) and/or a counsellor trained in psychology (practitioner). Generally, a psychologist as a scientist studies the behaviour and thought patterns of humans, but they also study brain activity, for instance. Applied psychologists implement these research results and knowledge, for example, in the treatment of mental disorders (clinical psychologists) and to influence the internal processes and internal climate of a workplace or organisation (occupational, personnel and organisational psychologists), and to help people cope with crisis situations (crisis psychologists, disaster counsellors) and other situations in which knowledge of the patterns of human behaviour is necessary.
In Estonia, it is not regulated by law who can call themselves a psychologist. Following the example of other countries, this could mean a holder of at least a master’s degree in psychology from a nationally accredited institution. In Estonia, such institutions include the University of Tartu and Tallinn University. However, in order to work with people, a degree would not be sufficient – an occupational qualification must also be obtained. The Union of Estonian Psychologists awards occupational qualifications to psychologists in Estonia, specialisations include clinical psychologist, school and sports psychologist, and psychological counsellor. In order to receive the qualifications, the requirements in the professional standard must be met (see www.kutsekoda.ee for more information) and, among other things, supervised internship and professional examination must be passed. Professional qualifications must be renewed every five years, which requires psychologists to continuously update their skills. The names of clinical, sports and school psychologists and psychological counsellors who have been awarded the occupational qualifications can be found on the website of the Estonian Qualifications Authority.
Who is a psychiatrist?
A psychiatrist is a certified doctor who, in addition to general medical training, has also completed additional training in the field of psychiatry (residency) and specialises in the diagnosis, assessment, treatment and prevention of mental disorders and behavioural disorders. During training, psychiatrists study different branches of psychiatry such as general psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, as well as neurology and psychotherapy.
The duties of a psychiatrist include examining the patient (observation, interview, obtaining information from loved ones), diagnosis, treatment planning and prescribing the necessary medication. A psychiatrist is also responsible for making decisions regarding involuntary psychiatric treatment and the need for rehabilitation services. Psychiatrists work in hospitals and in private practices, both independently and in co-operation with other specialists, including clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, and different medical specialists. A number of psychiatrists have obtained an additional qualification as psychotherapists and are thus also allowed to conduct psychotherapy
Who is a clinical psychologist?
A clinical psychologist is a psychologist who has obtained the occupational qualification of a clinical psychologist. Generally, clinical psychologists work in hospitals and private practices either independently or as part of a medical team, co-operating with psychiatrists, family physicians and other medical specialists. Clinical psychologists deal with the assessment, treatment and prevention of psychological problems, mental disorders and behavioural disorders. In addition, clinical psychologists are increasingly involved in the assessment of the patient’s condition (e.g. by means of personality and intelligence tests, interviews) and the planning, adjustment and implementation of treatment as well as prevention.
In most cases, a referral from a doctor, usually a psychiatrist, is required to see a clinical psychologist (however, in some regions, a referral from a family physician may be sufficient). A person is referred to a clinical psychologist if a mental disorder is suspected and/or it needs to be ruled out. In the case of medical institutions that have concluded a contract with the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, the services of a clinical psychologist are paid for by the Health Insurance Fund. The majority of clinical psychologists have been trained with a special focus on cognitive-behavioural therapy, which is a science-based form of therapy recognised by the Health Insurance Fund. A referral is not required to see a clinical psychologist if you pay for the appointment yourself. Clinical psychologists do not prescribe medicinal products.
2013.aasta jaanuari seisuga on Eestis 92 kliinilist psühholoogi.
As of 2013, there are 92 clinical psychologists in Estonia.
The separate specialisations awarded to clinical psychologists are as follows: clinical child psychologists, clinical psychologist-psychotherapists, clinical forensic psychologists and neuropsychologists.
Who is a psychotherapist?
A psychotherapist is a qualified clinical psychologist or psychiatrist who has also received training in a recognised field of therapy. Full psychotherapy training takes years to complete and includes both theoretical and practical training as well as working under the guidance of an experienced therapist. After training, a corresponding certificate will be awarded to the person. It is worth noting that individual training courses in therapy do not qualify someone as a psychotherapist. The most well-known trainers of psychotherapists in Estonia are the Estonian Association for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and the Estonian Family Therapy Association. The majority of psychotherapists who work in hospitals are representatives of these schools of psychotherapy, as these forms of therapy have been recognised by the Health Insurance Fund as science-based and effective.
Who is a counsellor?
Counsellors are also professional psychologists, i.e. they hold at least a master’s degree in psychology from a nationally accredited institution. Unlike clinical psychologists and psychotherapists, counsellors do not treat mental disorders, they deal with various problems and troubles encountered by people in their lives. Counselling aims to improve the well-being of people, mitigate tensions, solve crises and problems as well as conflicts between different people and groups, and to support people in achieving their goals. Counsellors work, for instance, in:
– counselling centres – dealing with both children, young people and adults with a wide variety of problems;
– youth counselling centres – providing psychological assistance in sexual matters;
– shelters – providing psychological assistance in relationship issues and crises, life planning;
– hospitals – providing psychological assistance in managing difficulties and problems caused by health disorders;
– higher education institutions – providing psychological counselling for students (e.g. University of Tartu, Estonian University of Life Sciences).
Lahendus.net counsellors are senior psychology students of the University of Tartu and Tallinn University. Our counsellors work under the supervision of experienced psychologists and do not deal with therapy or the treatment of mental disorders, their objective is to support people and help them analyse their problems. Where necessary, our counsellors can help users find a suitable place to turn to with their concerns.
Who is a school psychologist?
A school psychologist is a specialist who holds an occupational qualification as a school psychologist. As a rule, school psychologists work in schools and study counselling centres where they provide counselling to students, parents, teachers and other parties. A school psychologist is responsible for assessing the factors influencing children’s development, planning and conducting interventions, and co-operating with other specialists. The duties of a school psychologist include the following:
- prevention of students’ problems and school stress;
identification of students’ problems (including testing and interpretation of test results);
- counselling of students (listening, providing support, encouraging, guiding, etc.);
- provision of psychology training to students, teachers and parents;
- co-operation with parents and teachers to solve students’ problems;
- co-operation with school management to ensure a good psychological climate (addressing school violence, activities related to internal procedures and the organisation of studies);
More information about the work of school psychologists can be found on the website of the Association of Estonian School Psychologists: http://www.koolipsyhholoogid.ee/
Who is a career counsellor?
A career counsellor is a specialist with higher education. A career counsellor does not necessarily need to have an educational background in the field of psychology, it could also be in the field or pedagogy, social work or sociology. Career counsellors provide counselling to a wide range of people regardless of their age, social and cultural backgrounds in the form of an individual session or group session. The clients of a career counsellor include students, parents, teachers, employed adults, unemployed people, and employers. In addition to the above, career counsellors often also prepare informational materials and provide training. Moreover, they also co-operate with other specialists such as school psychologists and career information specialists.
Career counsellors can work in information and counselling centres, employment service and education institutions, consultancy companies, state agencies, and local governments. The clients of career counsellors include young people (7–26), unemployed and employed adults.
More information on different career specialists is available in the Rajaleidja portal: http://www.rajaleidja.ee/akab/?id=11558
Who is a mental health nurse?
A mental health nurse is a trained nurse who has completed additional training that allows them to test, analyse and advise patients in mental health issues. A mental health nurse can make decisions either independently or in co-operation with a medical specialist and members of medical services. A fair number of clinics and practices first ask patients to see a mental health nurse to document the background of the patient’s disease and refer them to a psychiatrist and/or psychologist where necessary.
Who is a pastoral counsellor?
A pastoral counsellor is a person who has studied theology but has also been trained to help the sick, those in crisis and those dying. Pastoral care is based on the teachings of Christianity but also takes into account the needs and beliefs of the person in need. Pastoral counsellors aim to help people understand their medical condition and its nature in life as a whole. Additionally, pastoral counsellors support people in solving, defining and understanding the mental and physical processes related to the disease at a pace suitable for the patient. Pastoral counsellors are subject to the obligation of confidentiality and discretion. A pastoral counsellor may be contacted with issues of death and grief, during times of crisis, for emotional support and in the case of existential and spiritual questions.
Who is a peer counsellor?
A peer counsellor is a person who has experienced a trauma, illness or other life-changing event. After working through the experience, they have decided to share their story with the aim of helping others. A peer counsellor has undergone training and supervision and is able to support, motivate, and provide some counselling to the client, helping them to prepare for changes and increase their self-confidence.