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Director from the Norwegian Psychological Association Visits APA

Much as in the U.S., psychologists in Norway who are faced with a variety of stressors that affect their professional functioning may be reluctant to seek help and assistance.

By Sally Leverty

Eilert Ringdal, the Director of Professional Affairs for the Norwegian Psychological Association (NPA) visited APA headquarters to meet with Norman Anderson, CEO, Michael Honaker, Deputy CEO, and Katherine Nordal, PhD., as well as staff from the Practice Directorate, Ethics Office and the Office of International Affairs. Mr. Ringdal’s visit concluded with a tour of the APA headquarters building.

During his visit, Mr. Ringdal described the work of his department and current issues he addresses for the Norwegian Psychological Association. Mr. Ringdal’s office supports the professional and financial interests of the Norwegian association’s members including negotiating for wages and protecting the rights of psychologists in the workplace. In Norway, in contrast to the US, the professional association acts much as a trade organization in negotiations with employers.

A psychologist, Mr. Ringdal is particularly interested in how to provide support and assistance to psychologists who may be in distress. At a recent visit to APA headquarters in Washington, DC, he met with Katherine Nordal, Lynn Bufka and Dan Galper in the Practice Directorate, to discuss this topic. Much as in the U.S., psychologists in Norway who are faced with a variety of stressors that affect their professional functioning may be reluctant to seek help and assistance. Each of the counties within Norway, through the efforts of the NPA, has identified psychologists as contacts within that area to provide support to colleagues. However, the NPA finds that relatively few psychologists reach out for such support. APA staff shared strategies that have been used in the United States and discussed barriers to providing such support and assistance. Mr. Ringdal was invited to join an e-mail listserv of APA members who all share an interest in the subject of colleague assistance and share resources and information electronically. Mr. Ringdal was also referred to information on self care and colleague assistance available on line at APA Practice Central under Professional development, self care resources.

APA welcomes such visits from its colleague associations. For further information or to arrange a visit please contact the International Office. Ψ