In the Netherlands, there is a system of title protection which has been established with the introduction of the BIG Act. BIG stands for Individual Health Care Professions (“Beroepen in de Individuele Gezondheidszorg”).
BIG-register is a governmental body that provides a list of officially acknowledged professionals that meet the expertise requirements to carry the protected title (Siemons, 2014). Ms. Papageorgiou is a BIG-registered healthcare (gezondheids GZ) psychologist, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist. A healthcare psychologist treats mental health problems that have an impact on clients’ life or the underlying psychological aspects of physical illnesses or disabilities. The major tasks of a healthcare psychologist are care needs assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. In addition, Ms.
Papageorgiou, as a recognized psychotherapist, assesses individuals presenting with multiple and complicated psychological problems and provides complex methods of treatment. Furthermore, she is a clinical psychologist, which is a specialization of the healthcare psychologist. A clinical psychologist is specialized in diagnostics and treatment of individuals suffering from complex and severe mental and/or psychosomatic problems such as complex personality or mood disorders or serious physical illnesses. Furthermore, a clinical psychologist has knowledge regarding scientific research conduction and healthcare management.Ms. Papageorgiou, as a registered clinical psychologist, offers the last two echelons of the Dutch Healthcare System. The Mental Healthcare system in the Netherlands comprises three levels:· Mental Healthcare (“geestelijke gezondheidszorg” GGZ) provided by the general practitioner (GP) or a supporting counsellor (“Praktijkondersteunend hulpverlener geestelijke gezondheidszorg” POH) (GP- or POH- GGZ)· Generalistic Basic Mental Healthcare (“De Generalistische Basis” GGZ GBGGZ)· Specialized Mental Healthcare (“De Gespecialiseerde” GGZ GGGZ)General practitioners provide the first step in the mental healthcare (GP-GGZ).
A GP is a medical doctor that offers primary care and determines the need and referral to a specialist. All residents in the Netherlands are registered to a GP, who usually works in private practice. Additionally, primary mental healthcare is also provided by a POH at the GP’s practice. A POH is either a psychiatric nurse, psychologist, social worker, or general nurse.
The GP and POH-GGZ treat mild symptoms that do not pertain to the categories of the DSM (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD, 2014).Light and moderate cases that are too complex to be handled by the GP or the POH are referred to a general mental healthcare provider (GBGGZ). GBGGZ is delivered by a psychologist, psychotherapist, or psychiatrist. Furthermore, it can be provided by a form of online mental health support (e-health), which is quite developed in the Netherlands, or by a combination of sessions with a therapist and online support (OECD, 2014)Individuals presenting with a mental disorder according to DSM standards, which is more complex, for instance, personality disorders or PTSD are referred to specialized mental health care (GGGZ). GGGZ is provided by psychiatrists or clinical psychologists that work in mental health institutions, hospitals, or private practice (OECD, 2014). Figure 1. Mental healthcare system in the Netherlands.
Figure 2. The various psychology professions in the Dutch mental healthcare system.Ms. Papageorgiou is also a member of the Netherlands Institute of Psychologists (“Nederlands Instituut van Psychologen” NIP) and registered as a NIP Psychologist. Furthermore, she is a recognized group psychotherapist and affiliated with the Dutch Association for Group Dynamics and Group Psychology (“Nederlandse vereniging voor groepsdynamica en groepspsych” NVGP). She is an accredited EMDR Europe Practitioner affiliated with the Netherlands EMDR Association (“Vereniging EMDR Nederland” VEN) and the Dutch Association of Independent Psychotherapists (“Nederlandse Vereniging van Vrijgevestigde Psychotherapeuten” NVVP).