How to find an English-speaking therapist in Oslo
Updated: Jan 26
Do you feel more comfortable expressing yourself in your native tongue? I’ve noticed most people in therapy feel more comfortable expressing themselves in their own language. It’s
only natural to feel more relaxed speaking about your emotions in the language you grew up
In fact, sometimes there are certain nuances and cultural reference points that are tricky to
translate into another language. For therapy to work well it’s helpful if you feel at ease to
build a solid foundation of trust with your therapist.
Photo credit: wix
The national healthcare route
As a newly arrived expat in Norway, it can be quite challenging to navigate the national mental healthcare system as much of the public information is communicated in Norwegian only. My aim is to provide you with some practical insight into the process and to find the therapist with the best fit for you. Please note the following information is not related to asylum seekers, as they have other resources available to them.
The starting point to access national health care is to acquire a so-called identification number. There are two types in Norway and as a foreigner you can contact Skatteetaten (tax authority) to apply for the one most suitable to your specific circumstances.
If you’re experiencing any non-urgent mental health issues and have received a D or fødelsenummer (birth identification number) from Skatteetaten, the normal course through the Norwegian health system would be to book an appointment via your personally assigned GP (Fastlege).
You can book an appointment yourself in the Helsenorge app. If the GP can’t assist, you can ask for a referral to a mental health specialist. Like in many other countries, the drawbacks of being referred to a psychologist within the public system is that it’s often accompanied with waiting times. In addition, you might not have flexibility in choosing the therapist compared to a private practice.
However, the costs are significantly lower. Rask Psykisk helsehjelp is a low threshold treatment option if you’re experiencing anxiety or mild to moderate depression. You don’t require a referral from your GP (if you’re above 16 years old). This route is offered by the Kommune for free. It’s also available if you have sleeping issues or starting to develop alcohol dependency.
Private clinics and practitioners
Below you’ll find some private clinics or individual practitioners that offer therapy in various languages in Oslo.
Bekkestua psykologen https://www.bekkestuapsykologen.no/#psykologene in Baerum and Røa have some English and Spanish speaking psychologists
Oslopsykologen https://oslopsykologklinikk.no/psykologene/ where you can search for the language of your choice.
Psykologvirke https://psykologvirke.no/om-oss/ that have a few native English-speaking therapists.
Please note, this isn't a conclusive list but could serve as an initial starting point to your search of seeking non-emergency mental health assistance in Oslo. For more information, please feel free to contact the relevant clinic or therapist. The information was to the best of my knowledge accurate at the time of publishing but will likely change over time. Contact the appropriate governmental body for further advise.
Now, the next step is to decide what therapist to work with that is the best fit for you.