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Being a Psychologist in Barcelona: 10 FAQs

November 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog 2

I wish I could count the number of emails I get from psychologists who want to come and work in Barcelona. In the name of time management, I have decided to write this blog entry to answer their frequently asked questions. Here are the top 10 questions I get, and answers! NOTE: The process I have referred to below can change from time to time…. Always check with the Ministry of Education and COP before starting these proceedures.

  1. Do I, or the groups I have started (Positive Parenting Plus! and Barcelona NEST) take interns? No, I am sorry – I/ we don’t.
  2. I can’t wait to come to Barcelona to learn Spanish! …. I know that’s not an actual question… but I generally stop people right there in their tracks. Although we do speak Spanish (“Castellano”) in Barcelona, if you come to Cataluña, Catalan is the official language. If you want to come with the main purpose of learning Castellano, I suggest you go to a monolingual part of Spain.
  3. It’s really Barcelona that I want! — how much work is there for a psychologist? If you want to work in a public health system, you will need to know both Catalan and Castellano to fluency. Otherwise you will need to work in private practice. There are a good deal of foreigners in Barcelona – there’s always work to be found, if you are a good and dedicated professional. Expect some time for the population to build confidence in you.
  4. Do I need to be licensed to work in Spain? YES, you do!
  5. How easy is it to co-validate my license in Spain? It can take up to one year, minimum. You should start the process as soon as possible if you really plan to come here.
  6. Where do I start this process? With the Ministry of Education in Madrid, where you will need to first co-validate your degree (not your licence) through a process called “homologación de titulos”.
  7. What basically will this entail? Collecting all of the transcripts of courses that you took for your degree/s (these must be notarized transcripts, that additionally have an apostil from the Hague) and having them officially translated in Spain (“traducción jurada”). Once this has been reviewed (up to a one year process) you will hear back from the Ministry.
  8. What is the next step? I have only heard of one psychologist who was not then required to take exams in Spain. This will generally include a theme that was considered to be missing in your curriculum (in my case, for example, it was “Theory of Logic”). You will then need to take these exams at an approved university, and submit the results to the Ministry. Tests will need to be taken in Castellano (or, at times, in Catalan). You then wait for your results and submit your passed exams to the Ministry of Education. It can take up to six months to hear back after each correspondence.
  9. … And then what?… Once the Ministry of Education has co-validated your degree, you need to bring proof of your “homologación” to the Colegió de Psicológos (COP), in addition to your fees and proof of residency. You will most likely be accepted into the COP and become “colegiado” (licensed).
  10. For heavens sake… That’s a lot to do! Is it worth it? …. Yes! It is! Although it was definitely a challenge, it is one I am very pleased to have accomplished. I don’t regret a moment of what it took for me to enjoy the wonderful experience of living and working in Barcelona!



8 Comments on "Being a Psychologist in Barcelona: 10 FAQs"

  1. Diana on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 2:31 pm 

    The blog is cool

  2. Annika on Thu, 23rd Feb 2012 3:49 am 

    What a great blog

  3. Odond on Thu, 3rd May 2012 12:45 am 

    Barcelona is definitely a great city. There are so much to do and to see. The work of Gaudi is all over the place and make the city even more beufaiutl.Not the best place to rest, there so much sightseeing to do and so many parties to go to at night, you kind of need another week of vacation after going to Barcelona!

  4. Cherri Muskett on Mon, 16th Jul 2012 3:51 pm 

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  5. jrdan pas cher on Tue, 14th Aug 2012 4:48 am 

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  6. Kerrie Tindal on Thu, 16th Aug 2012 2:55 pm 

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  7. Patrice on Tue, 15th Jan 2013 3:08 am 

    Thanks for the blog. I’m just finishing a Master’s in Clinical Psychology (not a doctorate) but don’t know how this will translate in Spain. I plan to move to Madrid next year. Any suggestions? Ideas?

  8. admin on Mon, 4th Feb 2013 2:26 pm 

    Dear Patrice, Thank you for your note. Congratulations on alsost finishing your Master’s in Clinical Psychology! Psychologists in Spain require a degrees which is roughly equivalent to a Masters. Start the process as indicated in my blog; you should have about the same degree (depending on the courses you took) as psychologists here have. Dr. Jill