Counselling Associations

All Professional Bodies, National Associations (e.g. Mental Health, School, Guidance, Addiction, Faith-based etc.) and Accrediting Organisations.

Icelandic Psychological Society

Icelandic Educational and Vocational Guidance Association

Universities and Other Education and Training Institutes

University of Iceland

  • University Website:
  • Programme Website:
  • Programme Type: The Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Iceland offers a Master of Arts program with at least 120 ECTS for counselors, who must have a bachelor’s degree in e.g. education or social sciences. Upon completion of the MA program, the graduate can register with the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture as a certified career counselor (cf., 2020).

Counselling Agencies, Services, Group Practices, Counselling Centres

Background & Context

There is some literature describing the history of psychology in Iceland. Counselling as academic counselling or vocational counselling seems to have been established in Iceland in the 20th century. Nothing can be found on the history of psychological counselling, which may be because it is not considered a separate discipline.

Current Regulatory Status / Level of Recognition:

Psychological counselling in Iceland is not recognized as a specialty. Therefore, its training and practice philosophy is not included in the study programs and, accordingly, is not supported by the state (see Ægisdóttir/Leach/Romano/Tomlinson-Clarke/Canel-Çınarbaş 2019, p. 582).

School and university counselling, in particular, as well as career counselling, are widespread in Iceland. Academic counselling is regulated by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. Lifelong learning centers also provide career counselling and career guidance for students, but they are mostly subordinated to various trade unions and other public agencies (see EACEA National Policies Platform 2018). The Directorate of Labor, under the Ministry of Welfare, also provides career counselling and guidance for people of all ages as part of its labor market initiatives (cf. ibid.). Public funding is managed at the central level of each ministry. The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and the Ministry of Social Affairs are the two ministries most involved in career guidance and counselling services (cf. EACEA National Policies Platform 2018).

Practice Settings

  • School and university counselling (see EACEA National Policies Platform 2018).
  • Vocational guidance (cf. EACEA National Policies Platform 2018).
  • Counselling for women (cf. Kvennaráðgjöfin 2020).
  • Counselling for immigrants (cf. 2020).

Challenges & Trends

One of the biggest challenges for psychological counselling in Iceland is its acceptance as a distinct professional sector. It is also important to define the difference between psychology and psychological counselling. At the present time, the two disciplines, psychological counselling and psychology, are difficult to distinguish from each other in Iceland (see Ægisdóttir/Leach/Romano/Tomlinson-Clarke/Canel-Çınarbaş 2019, pp. 581ff.).

Additional Information & References

For more information about the counselling profession in the state, interested readers are encouraged to read the following journal and website articles:

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