This article is adapted from "Denmark National Tour," prepared by Susanne Horham and Ib Anderson, 2008 in Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds.). (2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM]. International Journal of Psychology, 44(Suppl. 1).Reprinted from Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds.). (2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM]. International Journal of Psychology, 44(Suppl. 1).
As early as 1886 a psychological laboratory was founded at the University of Copenhagen. The founder was a student of Wilhelm Wundt and oriented towards experimental (perceptual) psychology. In the same period, besides this tradition, some philosophers took an interest in psychology, in experimental as well as in general psychology, an interest which has contributed to the development of psychology in Denmark. The first professional chair in psychology was founded at the University of Copenhagen in 1991. During the first several years, only a few students graduated in psychology a year, and they were mainly oriented towards research. In 1994, the education of professional psychologist was established. From 1960, the education was built up as an individual study for a general psychological qualification (candidates degree - cand. psych.) with a duration of five years; the average study time however being somewhat longer.
The Dansk Psykolog Forening was founded in 1947. The number of psychologists in professional practice was rather small until the 1960s, from which period there was a constant growth and from the late 1970s exponential growth. The number of candidates today is about 6,500 members, which more than one psychologist per 1,000 inhabitants. Most psychologists work in public service of one kind of another. About five hundred are working as clinical psychologists in private practice and four hundred are privately engaged.
The distribution of members' employment categories in 1995 was teaching/research, three hundred; social department, eight hundred; cultural department, including school psychologist, one thousand; and hospitals, four hundred and fifty. The unemployment rate was 6 percent in 1998.
Psychological research is mainly conducted at two universities (Copenhagen and Aarhus), two university centers (Roskilde and Aalborg), and the Royal Danish School of Educational Studies. A minor part takes place at public or semi-public research institutes. The major research orientations and the major fields of academic psychological research are working conditions; work and technology, psykodynamic oriented therapy (adults and children); neuro-psychology; clinical psychology and society; social psychology; preventative psychology; ethnological comparative research; development of concepts; mass media and children; perception and cognition; psychology of meaning; life-quality; and psychology and information-technology.
Psychology degrees are granted by the University of Copenhagen, the University of Aarhus and the University Center of Aalborg. The degree is achieved after a minimum of five years study and emphasizes applied psychology on a scientific basis. Graduates are awarded the degree; candidatus psychologieae, abbreviated "cand.psych." Graduates from the Royal Danish School of Educational Studies are awarded the degree "cand. Paed. Psych." This education course of study and degree were ended in 2004. The Dr.Phil. (Ph.D.) degree is awarded on the basis of a thesis, which is the public result of independent and advanced research. The thesis is defended at a public hearing.
In 1993, the Danish law of psychology was set up. The law protects the title "psychologist" and psychologists with two years postgraduate education can be approved with an authorization by the public Psychological Council. Furthermore, there is set up regulation for the psychologist's professional work, such as that psychologists have to work with care and conscientiousness and are ordered to keep case records. Clients are able to claim the psychological work to the Psychological Council.
Nordisk Psykologi, 1949- , 4/year
Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 1960- ,
Updated June 2008