EHPS National Delegate
Support the EHPS to deliver its aim of helping individuals, families, and societies to better cope with life challenges related to illness and health, by promoting rigorous science, health promotion interventions, and close collaborations.
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The development of health psychology in Latvia started in 2012, when the Latvian Health Psychology Association (LHPA) was founded and the creation and development of the theoretical and empirical base of health psychology had begun. In Latvia, health psychology as a sub-branch of science is specified in the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations, while as a field of professional activity, together with the professional activity of a clinical psychologist, it is defined in the Law on Psychologists, which entered into force on 1 January 2018; also, there is the certification of psychologists and psychologists-supervisors in clinical and health psychology. Information about Development of Legal Framework within Educational and Professional Psychologist Practice in the Republic of Latvia is available here: https://dspace.rsu.lv/jspui/bitstream/123456789/1056/1/18-112_Socrates_10_2018_08-Mihailovs_094-107_.pdf.) According to the data of March 2023, in the Register of Psychologists there have been registered 901 psychologists in the field of clinical and health psychology, of which 745 are certified psychologists and 279 – certified psychologists-supervisors.
Since 2012, the Latvian Health Psychology Association promotes the development of the professional field, encourages further education, organizes seminars/lectures for professional development, implements the creation and development of experience exchange programs in the specialization of Health psychology, promotes the increase of competence and professionalism of members and other interested parties, as well as contributes to informing the citizens of Latvia about Health psychology, promoting the understanding of theoretical and practical achievements in increasing the general physical, psychological and social wellbeing of the population. LVPA updates and promotes the supervision of professional activity, cooperates with professionals and organizations in Latvia and abroad, as well as with state administrative institutions and other professional institutions, bringing together the representatives of the respective professional fields of psychologists for the promotion of their professional activities.
Since 2013, Rīga Stradiņš University has been running a master's study programme in Health Psychology. Successful completion of the study programme leads to the master's degree in psychology and qualification as a psychologist. The content of the study programme complies with the requirements of the law, expanding the programme with the content of health and clinical psychology. This means that students need to learn theoretical models and approaches of psychology sciences, methodology of psychology research and the most current insights in health and clinical psychology in order to acquire in-depth knowledge and to be able to continue academic research and practical work after graduating from the master's programme as well as to independently, actively, innovatively and creatively participate in professional and social life, and also in the labour market – in an industry that is experiencing intense development and constant changes.
Since 2022, Riga Stradiņš University offers doctoral study programme in health care with one of the sub-fields in psychology and the possibility to obtain a Doctor of Science (PhD) degree. This study programme, using an integrated and complementary approach that enables addressing topical challenges related to human health, prepares highly qualified scientists and trainers in the fields of health care – medicine, pharmacy and psychology – to implement and independently manage research projects both nationally and internationally, as well as to develop academic competence for the continuity and sustainability of education.
The results of the study programs at both levels correspond to the knowledge, skills and competences described in the Latvian standard of the psychologist profession, as well as the requirements specified in the regulatory framework.