Psychologist in Norway

A psychologist can help you with all kinds of psychological problems, from mild and delimited problems in life to severe mental illness.

Two people in the psychologist's office

Everyone resident in Norway is entitled to receive essential mental healthcare. Your general practitioner (GP) will normally try to help you first if you are experiencing mild or moderate mental health problems.

Do you need urgent help? Call 113

If the situation is critical and about life or death, call 113.

If it is less urgent, call the out-of-hours medical centre on 116 117.

How do I get an appointment with a psychologist?

​See your general practitioner first

Your general practitioner (GP) will normally try to help you first if you are experiencing mild or moderate problems. Before asking your GP for help, it can be a good idea to think about what you want first. Are there any services available in your municipality to help you cope with mental health problems? Many municipalities offer courses on depression or stress.

Your GP will be able to help you decide whether you should be referred to a psychologist.

Psychologists in municipalities

The health services of many municipalities and districts employ psychologists. They can, for example, be associated with municipal low-threshold services such as urgent mental healthcare (Rask psykisk helsehjelp) or healthy life centres. More information on how to get in touch with them can be found on the website of the municipality or district.

The specialist health service

In consultation with your GP, you should decide whether you should be referred to the specialist healthcare service, which includes district psychiatric centres and contracting specialists.

If you are under 18 years of age, you can get help from a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Out-patient Clinic (BUP).

Read more about mental healthcare for children and adolescents in Norway.

Contracting specialists

Contracting specialists ("avtalespesialister") are privately practising psychologists and psychiatrists who have an operating agreement with the regional health trust. Psychologists with an operating agreement are part of the specialist health service and collaborate with the local district psychiatric centre (DPS).

Find a private psychologist

Many psychologists have a private practice without any operating agreement with the health trust. You can search online for a psychologist who does not have an operating agreement in your region.

On the website of the Norwegian Psychological Association, you will find the service entitled Find a psychologist, where you can search for available psychologists in the whole of Norway.

Waiting times and payment

Waiting times

How long you have to wait before you can get an appointment with a psychologist will vary. If you have been reffered to a psychologist by your GP, you must allow four to six weeks before you can expect to receive information about an appointment.

Waiting times to see a psychologist who does not have an operating agreement can also vary. Some psychologists can offer you an immediate appointment.


In the case of psychologists who have an operating agreement, you will have to pay a fixed user fee for every hour of treatment. The user fee varies with the duration of the consultation. Children and young people under 18 years of age do not need to pay a user fee in order to see a psychologist.

The user fee to see a psychologist with an operating agreement will be included in your exemption card amount.

When seeing a private psychologist, you must cover the full cost yourself.

What can a psychologist help me with?

Psychologists can help you with all kinds of psychological problems, from mild and delimited problems in life to severe mental illness. You and the psychologist will together determine the type of therapy that is best for you.

A psychologist can also help you if you are struggling with specific problems and need to discuss the matter with someone you can confide in. Talking to a psychologist can help, for example when you find thoughts, feelings or actions difficult because your life has taken a downturn or there are obstacles in your life which you find difficult to overcome on your own.

You do not have to prepare anything before you see a psychologist.

Duty of confidentiality

Duty of confidentiality is absolutely pivotal to the relationship of trust between you and the psychologist. Only in very specific situations where your life or health is in danger can the duty of confidentiality be deviated from.

If the psychologist becomes aware that they could prevent a serious crime or that children are at risk, they will have a duty to notify the police and the child welfare service respectively.

Psychologist, psychiatrist and psychotherapist

​​There are different types of formal requirements for therapists who work with people with mental health problems.

Psychologists are authorised to practise as healthcare professionals. Being authorised means that the psychologist is subject to certain specific obligations and responsibilities which are regulated by law, such as the duty of confidentiality and the duty to keep records.

Psychiatrists are doctors who have completed further education in the investigation and treatment of psychiatric disorders. Psychiatrists have the leading competence in the treatment of psychiatric disorders using drugs.

Psychotherapist is not a protected title, and practitioners who call themselves a psychotherapist are not subject to any formal qualification requirements.

Content provided by The Norwegian Directorate of Health

The Norwegian Directorate of Health. Psychologist in Norway. [Internet]. Oslo: The Norwegian Directorate of Health; updated Monday, December 5, 2022 [retrieved Monday, May 20, 2024]. Available from:

Last updated Monday, December 5, 2022