It’s no secret that psychologists are in demand these days. They are needed for counseling, therapy, and research. What you might not know is that this career path is still relatively new. And while there are many doctoral degrees in psychology, the University of Oslo (UiO) offers a Bachelor’s degree to future psychologists which can be completed in just three years.
When we began researching this topic, we found out that it was hard to find information about the program online. UiO did not have any information available on their website either so we were unable to find contact details for someone who could answer any questions about the Bachelor’s degree in psychology. These questions included: What kind of background do you need? Is there an interview process? What does this degree entail?
So we had a pretty clear plan about what we wanted to know so we could share some interesting insights with our readers. As we got into the interview, however, we were pleased to see that our conversation took a completely different direction when one of our interviewees starting talking about online therapy – something that is also becoming increasingly popular in Norway, as it has here in the UK. Below, we share what we learned from the psychology students on this topic.
Meet 3 future psychologists from the University of Oslo
The University of Oslo has an excellent reputation for research and teaching excellence. They offer unique study programs in subjects that are highly relevant to the future, one of which is online psychology. We were privileged to talk to three of the highest-performing students, John, Thea, and Andrea.
- John is from Bergen, and favors online therapy as a method of practicing as a psychologist
- Andrea grew up in Tromso, and leans more towards traditional psychology in an office
- Thea is from Oslo, and seems to harbor positive views about both methods
Some are eager to work as online psychologists
Therapy has traditionally been associated exclusively with in-person sessions. But in recent years, there’s been a paradigm shift in the way therapy is offered. Online therapy has grown to be an especially popular option for people who are looking for treatment but either can’t afford it or don’t have the time to take off work.
Therapy is typically considered the solution for acute symptoms that are interfering with day-to-day life, but many people use therapy to help them cope with day-to-day life and work stressors, too. Online therapy gives you access to professional therapeutic services without having to leave your home or office and without needing insurance coverage. It also may be more affordable than traditional therapy sessions since there’s no need for travel or co-pays if you don’t have health insurance.
According to John, the skillset of an online psychologist is very similar to that of a traditional therapist or counselor. In some cases, they might even have more training on the subject because they have dealt with these subjects more often in their career.
Furthermore, he says that in order to be a successful online psychologist, you would need to know how to deal with a variety of people. You need to understand the way that different people think, behave and react. You would need to know how to communicate with them in a way that is both meaningful and makes sense for them. And you would need to all of this over the computer, which can be a big challenge. But John is positive that this is the way for him to go, and he also says that several students in his class are of the same opinion.
Others prefer traditional psychology practice in an office
Despite the benefits of remote therapy, Thea still prefers the traditional office-based model. Office-based psychologists are less expensive than their remote counterparts, but they are also less flexible. They are required to have a landline phone, and they may need to use out-of-date equipment that is unable to provide certain services. This can be a disadvantage for people who want to take care of their mental health during off-hours in the middle of the night.
The main benefit that Thea wants to highlight about working with psychologists in an office is that they are able to give you the one-on-one attention that you need. They are able to understand your needs better than someone who may be looking at your file through a computer screen.
Furthermore, psychologists in an office can use their years of expertise and experience to better assess the situation and provide recommendations.
Whereas John appeared to have set his heart on online therapy, and Thea on traditional office practice, Andrea shared a third perspective that we found quite interesting: she wanted to base her practice in an office, but also be available for online sessions. This is an idea she took from doctors, who are becoming more and more accustomed to giving guidance both in the same room as the person who needs to check up on their health, as well as online.
A big thanks to the future psychologists John, Thea, and Andrea for sharing their perspectives with us!