Marta Marques

In Portuguese universities, psychology begin by being taught in the context of degree courses in Philosophy and its teaching was mainly aimed to provide, to future teachers of secondary courses, some psychological information. With the legislative reform, which occurred in 1911, Experimental Psychology was included in the section of Philosophy and, by that time, had the duration of one semester, in which it was supposed to provide lectures, practical work and exercises in scientific research.

The Psychology Degree, in Portugal, started in the sixties in Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada (ISPA), a private institute, and it was formally instituted in 1977 in public universities. The interest in Health Psychology in this country is even more recent. However, Health Psychology has been facing a significant expansion and it has been mobilizing different interests, both in terms of educational institutions of Psychology and in terms of the health services.

Health Psychology was developed in Portugal following particular lines in result of the history of psychology in this country, namely it has been adjusted to Portuguese culture, and it has been developed in a way that intend to be useful for the health sector in Portugal.

Portugal hosted the EHPS Conference in Lisbon (2002).

National Associations:

The Portuguese Society of Health Psychology (SPPS) is a scientific society for the promotion and dissemination of Health Psychology, scientific research and for the promotion of scientific achievements. It is currently headquartered at: Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo, n º 35 – 11 B, 1050-118 Lisboa, Portugal, Tel. + 351 213542409.

It was formed, in 1995, by a group of people who were connected to Health Psychology, either as researchers or as professionals, belonging to a broad geographical range. This group was born during the 1st National Congress of Health Psychology, organized by various professional psychology associations and associations related to the education in psychology. The constitution of the group, that included researchers, academics, teachers and professionals, expresses the broad range of the association

Link to webpage: http://www.sp-ps.com

Education, training and professionalisation:

In Portugal, it is possible to have access to a specific training in Health Psychology in a second cycle of studies in Psychology. After a first degree in Psychology, which is generic, students can apply to a second cycle of studies in distinct domains, including Health Psychology (that is available in many public and private Portuguese universities). This second cycle of studies includes a practical training in real contexts of practice (e.g. hospitals, heath care centers, private clinics).

Very recently (2010), it was instituted, for the first time in the country, the Association of the Portuguese Psychologists (Ordem dos Psicólogos Portugueses, https://www.ordemdospsicologos.pt). This constituted a huge difference to psychologists practice. Now, it is not enough to have completed with success the first and second cycles of studies in Psychology to be able to work as a psychologist. All the individuals who complete both cycles of studies have also to do an additional period of training (than can vary between 12 to 18 months) to be recognized as able to have an independent practice.