Clinical psychologists with foreign degrees and no Dutch language

Hi everyone,

I'm currently considering moving to the Netherlands with my partner, who has been offered a job in Amsterdam. My concern is that I won't be able to find a satisfying job in the field of clinical psychology, considering I haven't trained in the Netherlands (all degrees and doctoral training in clin psych I've done in the UK), and I don't speak Dutch either.

I have approached agencies that provide psychology services in languages other than Dutch in Amsterdam, and these seem to have vacancies for therapists only, not so much clinical psychologists. I have contacted the NIP to find out some more information about the types of psychologists that exist in the Netherlands, process of accreditation etc. and await their reply, but I thought it would be best to ask the experience of someone who might have been in the same situation I find myself in now.

Any kind of personal view & info would be incredibly useful to help myself and my partner decide whether moving to Amsterdam would be a good decision for my career too.

Thanks!

Matteo

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

Assuming yours is a medical field, then you will need to be registered on the BIG register in order to work anywhere in the Netherlands; this link will take you to their website.

One thing that will cause you a major issue is your Dutch.  There is a section in there "Proof of language proficiency"; I strongly suggest you read it and consider the implications.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

It will be very difficult the competiition is already fierce and without being fluent in Dutch you will not have a chance to land a  job.
And yes you have to be registered in the BIG-register.

Hey Mateo,

As a music therapist, i can tell you that without being fluent in Dutch, it will be very difficult for you. I am not sure about your diplomas since its not my field.

Do you mind sharing which agencies you have contacted? I have been trying to find a job in an international institution but it seems to be very hard for me.

Hope all goes well for you.

Regards,
Katie

Hey Katie,

The agency I contacted is called Kuhler and Partners: https://www.internationalmentalhealth.nl/

Best of luck with your search!

Matteo

matteotdpc wrote:

Hey Katie,

The agency I contacted is called Kuhler and Partners: https://www.internationalmentalhealth.nl/

Best of luck with your search!

Matteo


Good luck! It would be perfect for you.

Must admit I had never heard of a music therapist and was pretty sceptical; so, I asked my wife who is a nurse, she put me right.  I was surprised to hear that her father who is in a care home in the Netherlands has undergone music therapy for the past 12 months and it has really brought him around from his mental health issues.  So, I apologise for my ignorance and I wish you all the best of luck in developing your careers.

The bottom line here is if anybody wants a decent job in the Netherlands, then you really need to speak Dutch.  Yes, there are multi-nationals and yes, many Dutch people speak English, but life around you is in Dutch, the things around you are Dutch.

Your point about needing to speak Dutch makes sense; especially for a language based profession.

Would you perchance be able to recommend a private Dutch language school/tuition/classes? In light of your point, I feel that learning Dutch would need to be a top priority for me. Plus it is always nice to be able to speak to the locals in their own tongue.

Thanks,

Matteo

matteotdpc wrote:

Your point about needing to speak Dutch makes sense; especially for a language based profession.

Would you perchance be able to recommend a private Dutch language school/tuition/classes? In light of your point, I feel that learning Dutch would need to be a top priority for me. Plus it is always nice to be able to speak to the locals in their own tongue.

Thanks,

Matteo


Hi again.

I learnt by speaking it, with my wife correcting me.  There is a Dutch Government-sponsored thing called "Naar Nederland"; this link takes you to the website.  Assuming you're a Brit, it's actually not aimed at people like yourself, but what it does is give you a very basic beginning; there are also some examples on YouTube (just search for NaarNederland).

Once you get there; here's a link you can follow up on.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

matteotdpc wrote:

Your point about needing to speak Dutch makes sense; especially for a language based profession.

Would you perchance be able to recommend a private Dutch language school/tuition/classes? In light of your point, I feel that learning Dutch would need to be a top priority for me. Plus it is always nice to be able to speak to the locals in their own tongue.

Thanks,

Matteo


The best and fastest way to learn Dutch is this institute: Language Institute Regina Coeli

Hi Cynic, I'm not a Brit, I'm Italo-slovenian so hopefully I'll be able to capitalise on my dual-mothertoungue upbringing, and experience of learning other languages, when embarking on learning Dutch. Thanks for sharing the links, they look useful.

Wonderful, thank you, Ramses.

@matteotdpc 

Dear Matteo,


I've found myself in exactly the same situation you described. Currently working in the  NHS with ClinPsyD qualification but moving to the Netherlands due to my husband's job. I was wondering what yiur journey was like trying to convert your HCPC to BIG and looming for a job? Would very much appreciate your wisdom!



J xx
@Jinoys

Hi J, 

My experience ended up being unfruitful, unfortunately. In order to get BIG registration and practice in the Dutch NHS equivalent, your Dutch language proficiency needs to be at B2 level, which is tested, and you also need to pass two other exams, one based on clinical knowledge, which is fine, and the other based on the Dutch healthcare system. Thus you need to know both the language and the system in order to practice in the public sector. Which I ended up not pursuing, seeing how many years that would have taken me. 

What I did instead was looking for work in the private sector, and for the NHS working from here. You can find a number of English speaking private practices with a quick Google search, whereas for NHS overseas fully remote work, I recommend searching through an agency (I use Pulse); agencies are more oriented towards fixed term contracts, and it is technically agency work so no paid A/L, no pension contributions etc. however in my experience still more straightforward than working in the private sector here. 


Any other questions, please let me know, I'd be more than happy to help if I can! Best of luck with your move and job hunt in the meanwhile! 


Matteo
Hi Matteo, 

I appreciate you starting this conversation. I am a Clinical Mental Health Counselor, M.A. in the U.S but from the EU originally. I am looking to move back to the EU now and how I could practice there. In your latest post you mentioned working in private practice. Is there any type of licensure needed to work in private practice in the Netherlands? 

Thank you, 

@Curiouscarrie 

I'm afraid I'm no expert in this, and far less so considering my lack of fortune in actually finding work in the Netherlands. What I would suggest is to check out the relevant websites to get an idea of what the requirements to practice in the Netherlands are, such as https://www.psynip.nl/en/dutch-associat … big-nip/. 

What I do know is that you need a professional registration of sorts (multiple options), and a private insurance, to practice as a therapist.  

That all may sound a bit daunting, and in my experience it can be, but it sounds like you have some excellent skills & qualifications, which is a fantastic starting point. Good luck with all the rest!