All Professional Bodies, National Associations (e.g. Mental Health, School, Guidance, Addiction, Faith-based etc.) and Accrediting Organisations.
Latvian Career Development Support Association (LKAAA)
- Website: http://lkaaa.lv/node/1
- Organisation Size: N/A
Universities and Other Education and Training Institutes
Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies
- University Website: https://apply.llu.lv/
- Programme Website: https://apply.llu.lv/courses/course/20-professional-master-career-counsellor
- Programme Types: Professional Master in Career Counsellor
Rezekne University of Applied Sciences
- University Website: https://www.ru.lv/en/
- Programme Website: https://www.masterstudies.com/Master-in-Education-for-Career-Counsellors/Latvia/RTA-Rezekne/
- Programme Types: Master of Education for Career Counsellors
Counselling Agencies, Services, Group Practices, Counselling Centres
Background & Context
Counselling does not seem to have a long history in Latvia, as this profession or the job title “counsellor” does not exist at this time. In contrast, a discipline such as psychology can look back on a longer and more traditional history.
Current Regulatory Status / Level of Recognition:
In Latvia, a distinction is made between the term’s psychotherapist, psychiatrist and psychologist. A psychotherapist is a specialist who can help solve people’s problems, including problems of emotional and psychosomatic or physical health, with the help of scientifically based methods (see Rigas Stadina Universitate 2020). A psychologist is not a doctor and has no right to treat people, including prescribing medication. The activity of a psychologist is not subject to the law on medical treatment, and a psychologist has no legal responsibility for the patient’s health (cf. Rigas Stadina Universitate 2020). A psychiatrist can additionally treat the patient with medication (cf. ibid.).
Psychological counselling is mostly offered by trained psychologists (cf. Rigas Stadina Universitate 2020). Above all, however, career counselling and school counselling seem to be well developed in Latvia. Thus, counselling in Latvia is offered in the education and labor sectors. Under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and Science, schools have the main responsibility for providing career guidance to students. Labor offices, operating under the supervision of the Ministry of Welfare, provide career guidance for the labor market (see Euroguidance.eu 2020).
Higher education institutions are autonomous by law and can determine what services they provide to their students (cf. Euroguidance.eu 2020). Many universities in Latvia offer psychological counselling to their students.
In the labor sector, the State Employment Agency (SEA) provides the full range of career counselling for job seekers, employees, and people undergoing training (cf. ibid.). This makes it easier for people to obtain information or psychological support to help them achieve their career goals (cf. ibid.).
The Ministry of Welfare and the Ministry of Education and Science are the main institutions overseeing the career guidance system in Latvia and the guidance services offered in educational institutions and employment offices (cf. Euroguidance.eu 2020).
The State Employment Agency is responsible for implementing career guidance policy by providing services in the labor sector. Its tasks include the development of guidance tools and methods and the training of guidance practitioners in their use, as well as monitoring the quality of the guidance services provided (cf. ibid.).
The State Agency for Educational Development, under the Ministry of Education and Science, is the main body developing recommendations and tools to improve guidance in schools, including online information on educational opportunities and the world of work, and career self-assessment tests (cf. Euroguidance.eu 2020).
- Psychological counselling at universities (cf. University of Latvia 2020)
- School counselling (cf. Euroguidance.eu 2020)
- Counselling for job seekers (cf. Euroguidance.eu 2020)
- Vocational and career counselling (cf. Euroguidance.eu 2020)
- Addiction counselling
- Psychological counselling (e.g. for unemployed, job seekers) (cf. Euroguidance.eu 2020)
Challenges & Trends
Since the analysis of the English-language literature reveals little information about the state of counselling in Latvia, it can be concluded that psychological counselling does not exist as an independent profession in the country. Thus, the development as well as the establishment of the standards and regulation of the counselling profession could be the major challenges.
Additional Information & References
For a more in-depth look at the counselling profession in the country, interested readers are encouraged to read the following journal and website articles:
- Euroguidance.eu (2020). Guidance System in Latvia. Euroguidance.eu: https://www.euroguidance.eu/guidance-system-in-latvia.
- Rigas Stadina Universitate (2020). A psychotherapist, a psychiatrist and a psychologist: Von Vilnius zur Kurischen Nehrung. Von Rigas Stadina Universitate: http://psihosomatika.lv/differences.