There are 18 academic centers which provide five-year psychology studies: the majority of them are state universities, although the biggest one (in terms of a number of psychology students) is non-public.
Health psychology has been taught since the late 1980s. At the beginning it was not a separate subject, but a component of clinical psychology courses. Now it is on the curricula in nine university centres, either as one of major courses for undergraduate students, an optional course, or part of post-diploma studies. It is possible to receive a degree preparing master’s thesis or doctor’s dissertation strictly on health psychology.
The first originally Polish handbook in health psychology by I. Heszen and H. Sęk was published in 2007, which reflects not only the needs of a growing number of students but also the maturity of that discipline in Poland.
In that light it seems paradoxical that there is still no legal regulation of the conditions for practising a profession of a psychologist in Poland: the binding act has no executory provisions. As a consequence, formally recognized procedure of authorizations of specialists does not exist.
What is more, the tracks for career in research and in practice are separate. Such a situation hinders cooperation not only among psychologists themselves but also between psychologists and other health practitioners. Overcoming this deficiency is probably the most important task for this profession in the nearest future.
At the time being, there are more than 10 thousand psychology students in Poland. Every year almost 2,000 of them receive a master degree in psychology. Anyway, because of the reasons mentioned above, it can hardly be estimated how many of them professionally identify themselves as health psychologists.