Step-by-step guide: How to get a psychologist

Step-by-step guide: How to get a psychologist


It is not always easy to know when or how to consult a psychologist. In this guide, we will give you answers to a number of questions you may have about everything from whether you should go to a psychologist to how to find and talk to a psychologist. 

For those of you who are looking for a psychologist in Oslo, we will give you a good overview of how to get the right offer for you and find a psychologist in Oslo, as well as how to go about getting an appointment. 

This makes the process as simple as possible for you - and the chances of you choosing a recommended psychologist offer increase.

If you have already decided to try a private practice psychologist you can quickly and easily book an online appointment here:

Table of contents: 

Psychologist offer Oslo - infographic

Below we have made a simple infographic that gives an overview of the 9 different ways to get in touch with a psychologist.

How to find a psychologist in Oslo
Short guide to a psychologist in Oslo - infographics

Before we move on to describe these various psychological services in more detail, we will look at some of the more emotional questions that often accompany a process of finding a psychologist.

If you would rather be better acquainted with Psykologvirke, you can read more about us here.

Should I go to a psychologist? 

In many people's lives, this word "should" gets a lot of space. We should rather concentrate on what we are must and that we want

Seeking another human being for help is undoubtedly a healthy and constructive impulse. All people need help at times and seeking out a psychologist is a rational coping attempt. At the same time, we can quickly be met by counter-forces on the inside, which will make it something else. Here it is important not to choose on the basis of the fear that often drives inner repressive forces.

Examples of such forces may be self-doubt, trivialization, shame, self-criticism and constant downgrading. Rather, try to gather the courage needed to listen to the healthy desire inside to live better. 

Everyone can benefit from going to a psychologist, but it is not the same as saying that everyone needs it. Whether it will be something for you is strictly speaking only one way to find out.

 We have never experienced that someone has regretted, although not everyone gets the same amount in return for it. The benefits vary, among other things, with how good cooperation the psychologist and the client manage to establish.

Why go to a psychologist

The surest sign that you can benefit is if you think you should not take the place of someone else, or thoughts that you want to waste time with the therapist. It is also a good idea if you are one of the many who are afraid of what one will find out about themselves! Most of us are on one level or another.

The small roles we may have in us have a wonderful tendency to crack in the light and life becomes easier when you no longer fear and avoid something in itself. You can run - but you can`t hide.

When seemingly small problems are able to grow big on the inside, it is in the middle of the core business of psychologists and some of what we can best help with. Whether you are struggling with anxiety, depression, self-esteem, relationships with others, or completely different things, it may be worth a try.

Here you can read briefly about what you can forvente of a therapy with a psychologist at Psykologvirke, or watch the video below for an introduction from one of our psychologists. 

You can read more about our psychologists and book an appointment here. 

Is referral necessary?

Referral to a psychologist will not be necessary in all cases. With some psychologists, such as a psychologist, you can book an appointment without a referral. If, on the other hand, you are going to a psychologist who requires a referral, you can get this through your GP. For young people, you can also visit the Youth Health Center for a referral to a psychologist. 

Should I choose a public or private psychologist?

This is a question of mainly three things: how long you can afford to wait, how much you are able to pay and whether you will be granted a public offer at all.

There are also some advantages and disadvantages associated with the framework of the various public services that we will look at later in the article.

Award for private psychologist in Oslo

An analysis of the top 10 organic hits when searching for psychologist Oslo on Google shows an average price with a private psychologist in Oslo of about NOK 1170 for an hour (45-50min) during the day.

If you want an appointment with a psychologist in the evening or at the weekend, you must expect the price to increase by a couple of hundred kroner.

Most also offer cheaper double hours, measured in cost per hour at least. Psychologists who offer intensive short-term psychodynamic therapy (ISTDP) are also happy to offer block hours (3 clock hours). This is an offer that is suitable especially if you have a long journey or want to get started faster.

The total cost of course depends on how many hours you need. This is very individual and something you can ask your psychologist to consider during the very first meetings.

See our prices - read about the psychologists - book an appointment

Award for public psychologist

In any public offer, you pay deductibles for each hour (351, -for single hours and 527, - for double hours) up to the exemption card limit, which for 2021 is NOK 2460.

See here for further details on the exemption card scheme for treatment by a psychologist.

What are the main types of psychological services available in Oslo?

Towards the end of the article, we will look in detail at a total of 9 ways to get in touch with a psychologist in Oslo. Simplified, we can say that you are faced with two main options: 

  1. Contact a private psychologist directly and get an appointment within a few days. You must then pay yourself or have expenses covered through private health insurance or through the employer.
  2. Contact your GP and discuss which of the public offers you can qualify for and get a referral there. Then you only pay deductibles, intake is not guaranteed, and you must expect a waiting period of a few weeks / months.
  3. You can also contact directly, without reference, at any other agencies that offer short-term offers to you with minor difficulties, more about the details in this below.

Here you can read even more in-depth about how therapy with a psychologist can help.

Psychological help in Oslo: Nine alternatives

Below we will go into more detail and describe a total of eight different alternative ways to get in touch with a psychologist in Oslo.

We will look at admission criteria as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the various offers so that you can find the right alternative for you and move forward in the process.

1. Private psychologist without an appointment

With a private psychologist without an agreement, you must basically cover the costs yourself. The exception is if you have health insurance that covers the treatment, or if your employer may be willing to invest.

The advantages are, among other things, that the availability is high and the waiting time is short. If you apply for a private psychologist in Oslo, you get an hour a day, or at least within a couple of days. You simply search on Google and make online booking, call or send mail to the providers. You can expect to receive an answer directly or within a few hours. You do not need a doctor's referral.

Other advantages are that you are free to arrange longer sessions as double hours, that the treatment does not have an upper limit for the number of hours and you can arrange hours as often or rarely as you wish. You are also free to choose a psychologist yourself, and easily switch if it does not work. This is not always the case with public tenders. With a private psychologist, it is also easy to get an appointment evening.

If you choose to go for this option, you can book an appointment online in two minutes here:

Contract specialists  

The other main form is psychologists who organize themselves privately, but who have an agreement with the public sector (so-called reimbursement scheme or operating subsidy). These psychologists are often called contract specialists.

The benefits is that you only pay deductibles up to the exemption card limit. All of the psychologists in Oslo with such an agreement also have extensive experience. Here you can also arrange longer sessions if desired.

Disadvantages with contract specialists

The disadvantage is that there are few providers and partly long waiting lists. Some also find it challenging to make contact. First you need a referral from your GP. Talk to your GP about whether the so-called "cluster scheme" works. This is a scheme where some contract specialists are linked in particular to the various GP offices, precisely to increase accessibility, but this does not work equally well in all places.

Therefore, it is recommended that you call the hospital selection office on telephone 800 41 004. Here they have updated information about the waiting time of the various appointment specialists. Then you can start with a shorter list of psychologists in Oslo who have a relatively shorter waiting time and get in touch. Be prepared that most people have limited phone time.

Most people want you to write a few words about what you want help with. Feel free to send a standard letter of a maximum of one A4 page to 10 pieces immediately, as it can take time to get an answer.

Also be prepared that many you will not get answers from at all. Unfortunately, this is quite common and you must not think that it is about the content of your particular letter.

If you want to get in touch with a contract specialist in Oslo, you can use the following link  psychologists in Oslo with an operating agreement. The contract specialists otherwise have the same advantages as private psychologists with few framework restrictions on the duration and frequency of treatment.

3. Referral to public mental health care / ordinary DPS

This offer involves a referral from the GP to various District Psychiatric Centers (DPS) in the districts. The admissions office at DPS assesses the content of the referral against a number of criteria to determine whether you are entitled to mental health care. The most serious cases are given priority. Where the list is located depends on the city.

Within 30 days after the referral has been sent, you must be notified if you have been admitted and how long the waiting time is. This varies between 6 and 20 weeks, with 12 weeks being the most common. You can check the stated waiting times at different DPS in Oslo and surroundings here. 

DPS is organized in interdisciplinary teams consisting of psychologist / psychologist specialist, psychiatrist, doctor in specialization, psychiatric nurse and (clinical) sociologist. Your therapist can therefore have a very different professional background. 

The most important thing for treatment outcomes is the quality of the relationship and the collaboration between you and your therapist, regardless of professional background. It can still be good to be aware that you are not necessarily assigned a psychologist who treats at DPS.

4. Referral to "faster return" clinic

"Faster return" clinic is a psychologist offer with a lower threshold for admission than ordinary DPS. To qualify for admission, you must either be on sick leave due to mental difficulties or the GP must assess that there is a danger of sick leave. The sick leave must have lasted for less than a year. As you transfer to work clearance allowance after one year of sick leave, you are no longer in the target group.

Psychologist through faster return scheme has varying waiting time, but around 8 weeks can be a pointer. Treaters at the outpatient clinics in Oslo sooner are mostly psychologists and psychologist specialists. Some clinics have limitations of up to a maximum of 7 hours with a specific form of treatment, while other clinics have freer limits.

5. Referral to 3rd line services  

If you have been a round or two in the treatment apparatus, it can be good to know that there are so-called 3rd line services. The GP is regarded as the first line, and the public services mentioned above are regarded as second-line services.

Third-line services are even more specialized devices. There are separate clinics for, for example, trauma disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders and relationship difficulties. If you have not received the desired treatment result in the second-line service, you can discuss referral to even more specialized units for your particular disorder with your therapist or GP.

6. Student health service or occupational health service   

If you are a student in Oslo and need a psychologist, you usually have access to mental health services through the Student Association. Here you only pay deductibles.

Several companies also have their own occupational health service with the option of a free psychologist in Oslo.

7. Family protection office

Various professional groups work at the family protection offices, including psychologists. Family protection is a free offer from the Children, Youth and Family Agency for therapy, counseling and guidance when there are difficulties, conflicts or crises in the relationship or the family.

Bufetat's family protection offices are state-owned, but there are also church family protection offices that are part of the public service.

The waiting time varies but one should expect a few weeks waiting time. You can contact as an individual if you experience family-related problems, but you can not expect to have regular individual conversations here.

Here is a complete overview of family protection office with free psychologist in Oslo. Here you can specifically seek out the church's family protection office. 

8. Center for job mastery

The Center for Job Mastery is an offer under the auspices of NAV, for people with mild to moderate anxiety and / or depressive disorders that prevent work participation. The goal is to master the ailments, get to work as quickly as possible and master the job over time. The offer applies to both those who are without an employment relationship and those who have an employment relationship they are unable or unwilling to return to

Here, work-oriented cognitive therapy is provided by psychologists and other personnel with health / social work education, who have further education in cognitive therapy.

In addition, individual job support is provided by so-called job specialists. These are personnel in NAV with good knowledge of career guidance and the local labor market. The offer is free. 

9. Acute offers

In the event of an emergency, you can call the emergency room at Storgaten 40 on 22932293 or contact the emergency unit at DPS in your district. You do not need a referral, only pay a deductible and the waiting time is short (for many less than an hour). For contact information and details on psychiatric emergency room use this link. 

Here is information about the emergency teams sorted by district affiliation:

Bjerke, Sagene and Nordre Aker: DPS Nydalen, OUS:

The emergency unit: Gullhaugveien 12 in Nydalen, tel. 23023300

Old Oslo, Grunerløkka and St. Hanshaugen: Lovisenberg DPS, Lovisenberg Hospital: Emergency team: Hagegata 32, 1st floor (Tøyen square) Tel: 24074500.

Frogner, Vestre Aker and Ullern: The winner DPS, Diakonhjemmet: Emergency team: Forskningsveien 7, tel. 22498474.

Østensjø, Nordstrand and Søndre Nordstrand: DPS Søndre Oslo, OUS: The emergency unit: Helga Vaneks vei 6,1281 Oslo, tel. 99216529/23023000

Alna, Grorud and Nittedal municipality: DPS Groruddalen, AHUS

Emergency team: Jerikoveien 28 b, tel. 23141955.

Which psychologist should I choose?

It is difficult to give a clear answer as to which psychologist you should choose. It is almost impossible to know in advance who will be a good psychologist for you. It really depends on the relationship and the collaboration you manage to establish, so feel it and try to take responsibility for your part of the relationship - neither more nor less.

Basically, any psychologist can treat most mental disorders. Of course, this does not mean that everyone is equally good at everything. Psychologists are different as human beings and work with very different methods. If you do not get the desired result from a psychologist, you can get very good help from another. You can read on the website, but often you simply have to meet the person and test a collaboration before you find out if it is correct.

Challenges with a psychologist

Not infrequently, some of the same problems you experience in other relationships can also apply in the relationship with the psychologist. For example, trust issues or different assumptions about what the psychologist might think or feel about you.

In such cases, we recommend that you discuss it with your psychologist. It can often be very helpful to work through such repetitions of old things. If you do not experience getting anything out of the contact during the first five hours, you should discuss it with the psychologist, go for a walk with yourself, and if nothing comes of it strongly consider switching.

If you are considering the helprivate option, you can read a little more about Psychology work here.

Here you can read more about how to book psychologist class at Psykologvirke.

Recommended psychologist Oslo - are there reviews of psychologists? 

If you are looking for a recommended psychologist in Oslo, it is not quite that simple. Before, there were a number of reviews of psychologists on Recommended.no, but they were acquired by Gulesider.no and the opportunity to post reviews anonymously disappeared. This significantly limits the value of the service. A few want to submit a review by a psychologist with a full name. Some psychologist sites publish testimonies from previous patients, but this will also have limited value in that such publication will be selective.  

Perhaps the best thing is therefore if you can get recommendations from someone you know or trust. You can also ask your GP about his or her recommended psychologists. Ultimately, you almost only have to test a collaboration to find out if the psychologist can be good for you.

Last but not least  

All people deserve freedom, love, joy and good health. Good luck with the nice project you have going on.

If we can contribute, we are happy to do so. We present ourselves as whole people and the best of professional knowledge. Welcome you shall be.

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