FAQ

On this page you can find answers to frequently asked questions.

Q: Is psychotherapy legally regulated in Luxembourg?

A: Psychotherapeutic counselling in the sense of psychological assistance given to children, adults and families experiencing personal crises or interpersonal conflicts is regulated by law since 2011 [download law]. Professionals (viz. psychologists, pedagogues and physicians) that provide these services must (i) have a specialised training of at least 300 hours in psychotherapy and (ii) have to be awarded state recognition by the Ministry of Family [download regulations and rules of procedure]. Psychotherapeutic treatment of diagnosable mental and behavioural disorders, on the other hand, is presently not regulated by law, except if provided by psychiatrists. However, the Luxembourg Ministry of Health recently submitted a law proposal to the Chamber of Deputies, in order to regulate mental health services offered by medical and psychological psychotherapists [download document], which has been positively advised by SLP [download expert opinion]. At the present moment, there is no information available, neither regarding transitional regulations for psychotherapists already practising in the clinical sector, nor concerning future recognition criteria for foreign training certificates. SLP will keep you updated on future developments on its website.

Q: Is there a French or German version of the SLP website?

A: No. The EB has not the resources to create continually updated versions of the website in more than one language. Out of respect for all its members (i.e. Francophones as well as Germanophones), SLP has decided to use English as the main language for its website and reports, whereas its bulletin is comprised of texts written in French, German, Luxemburgish or English. Statutes and internal regulations, however, will only be available in French.

Q: How can I become a member of SLP?

A: Please check eligibility conditions and procedures in the MEMBERSHIP section.

Q: Can I become a member of SLP, even if I am not a trained psychologist?

A: Yes, you can join the society as an ASSOCIATE member. Please check eligibility conditions and procedures in the MEMBERSHIP section.

Q: What services do I get as a member of SLP?

A: Being a member of SLP gives you access to a range of services, depending on your membership status. – If you qualify as a FULL member (certified degree in psychology), you get a free entry into the online Luxembourg Directory of Certified Psychologists (PSYLUX), you receive upcoming paper editions of the Luxembourg Psychological Bulletin (BLP), you have the right to vote at the (annual) SLP general assembly and you may profit from special offers with SLP and some of SLP partners (e.g. free entrance to SLP conferences, special subscription prices for EFPA or BPS journals). – If you qualify as an ASSOCIATE member, you receive upcoming paper editions of the Luxembourg Psychological Bulletin (BLP) and you may profit from special offers with SLP and some of SLP partners.

Q: Can I become a registered user of the SLP website without being a member?

A: Yes, you can register for free as an online user and gain access to all SLP online services. You must even register to be able to post comments.

Q: Why does SLP ask for all these documents to accept me as a full member?

A: The aim of this somewhat exacting procedure is on the one hand to enable the executive board to certify that ALL full members of SLP actually have a degree in psychology and thus that potential clients can be sure of their academic qualifications. The official inscription of the academic title on the other hand corresponds to a legal obligation.

Q: What are the prerequisites for practice as a psychologist in the Luxembourg public service?

A: Psychologists who wish to pursue a career in the public service, which implies a state exam, must generally hold (1) a Luxembourg certificate of secondary education (or a foreign certificate that is officially recognized as equivalent by the Luxembourg Ministry of Education) and (2) a final academic degree requiring a minimum of 4 years of studies in psychology, which has (3) to be inscribed in the national register of higher education degrees [download inscription form] – see also: [inscription - Registre des Titres d'Enseignement Supérieur] and [official brochure]. N.B. a bachelor's degree in psychology does not qualify for appointment to the public service.

Q: What are the prerequisites for practice as a private independent psychologist in Luxembourg?

A: There are basically no mandatory prerequisites other than those applying to other liberal professions. If, however, you have no social insurance, you have to get an affiliation with a social security organism in Luxembourg. In addition, your academic title must to be inscribed in the national register of higher education degrees [download inscription form] before you may officially use it – see also: [inscription - Registre des Titres d'Enseignement Supérieur] and [official brochure]. You don't need to have a VAT number, as long as your annual revenue does not exceed 10.000 €/year (ask your fiduciary for advice). There are no fixed fees for psychological or psychotherapeutic services, but an amount of 70-150 €/h is considered standard. You may describe your profile and announce your services publicly (i.e. via links to your professional homepage) on the PSYLUX website.

Q: What are the careers available to psychology graduates?

A: Psychology (i.e. the scientific study of the human mind/behaviour and its functions) is a highly diversified discipline encompassing a broad spectrum of subfields and thus offering a multitude of specialization opportunities and career paths. Main areas of specialization (master-equivalent study programs in applied psychology) comprehend clinical (neuro-)psychology and counselling psychology, school/educational and applied developmental psychology (including geropsychology), as well as industrial, work and organizational psychology. Traffic and aviation psychology, forensic and military/police psychology, and sport psychology constitute further but less common specialization areas – For additional information on careers in psychology go to the following site: www.cedies.public.lu

Q: What are the differences between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

A: Clinical psychologists and psychiatrists both work in the area of mental health care and are specialized in the study of mental disorders (e.g. psychotic, neurotic, personality and substance-related disorders). However, whereas a psychiatrist is a physician specialized in the diagnosis and medical (viz. psychopharmacological/electro-convulsive) treatment of mental illnesses, psychologists do not have a medical degree/approbation and therefore are not allowed to prescribe medication or physical treatment. Clinical psychologists perform psychodiagnostic testing and may provide counselling and psychotherapy. Furthermore, clinical psychologists may design and implement behaviour modification programs aimed at the prevention or relapse prophylaxis of mental disorders or oriented towards rehabilitation and social reinsertion of patients. There is a considerable amount of scientific evidence showing that psychological and psychopharmacological therapy have to be conceived as alternative/complementary therapeutical methods, which in many cases need to be combined in order to optimize treatment efficiency of mental disorders. The profession of psychology has a broader field of action than the medical subfield of psychiatry and not all psychotherapeutic interventions are aimed at the treatment of mental disorders since psychologists also intervene in physical health and social care. Health psychologists, for instance, apply psychological methods in the context of the promotion and maintenance of public health and the prevention and management of physical illness. Marital, couple and family therapy, which are designed for enhancing interpersonal functioning, are another example of services offered by specialized psychologists outside the clinical setting.

Q: Who provides psychotherapeutic services?

A: A psychotherapist is normally a physician or a psychologist who has had further specialist training in psychotherapy (e.g. cognitive behavioural, psychodynamic and systemic therapy) for the treatment of psychic and (psycho-)somatic disorders. N.B. Training in psychotherapy is NOT an integrated part of teaching curricula in medicine or in psychology, but implies post-graduate training (including supervised practice) in specialized training institutions (i.e. continuing education in psychotherapeutic methods) or at the university (i.e. post-graduate studies in psychotherapy) for both health professionals. At the present moment, psychotherapeutic practice does not have a defined legal frame in Luxembourg, meaning that the basic qualifications for psychotherapists are not governed by law, thus enabling an increasingly number of self-designated "psychotherapists" without an adequate medical/psychological background in psychopathology (including psychodiagnosis) to offer their services. Therefore, we would invite people who are in search of psychological help or assistance to consult the PSYLUX directory.

Q: Does SLP offer job or internship opportunities?

A: No. SLP is a non-profit organization that defends the professional interests of psychologists but does not employ mental health professionals nor offer psychological services.

Q: Where do I find job opportunities in psychology?

A: Visit the following sites: www.alep.lu (for internship & job offers), www.jobsearch.lu (for job ads) and www.adem.lu (website of the Luxembourg Employment Administration).