University cooperation in the training of future psychologists will continue in 2023
Terveystalo offers students in the final phase of psychology the opportunity to complete an in-depth internship under the guidance of Terveystalo's occupational health psychologist. In the spring of 2023, 13 future psychologists will start training at Terveystalo, who will develop their expertise to meet the needs of working life and society. The work of the psychology trainee is done under the guidance of an experienced occupational health psychologist, who is responsible for the psychology trainee's activities.
During the training period, psychologist trainees have solid support for their work, e.g. through a joint induction program, personal support from the internship supervisor and peer support from other trainees. They do occupational health psychologist's reception work all over Finland in different locations, participate in workplace activities and, according to the agreement, also in other occupational health activities, together with an experienced occupational health psychologist. In addition, they are on call for occupational health clients in Terveystalo's Mental Chat and Sparri services.
When making an appointment, employees can choose whether they want to do business with an intern or with one of Terveystalo's professionals. Psychologist trainees have sufficient skills to work under supervision in the profession of psychologist, but every patient has the right to refuse the service provided by the psychologist trainee and choose another Terveystalo recipient. In addition, patients are always asked to consent separately to the use of the service provided by the intern before the reception. In 2023, the reception provided by the psychology intern for the employer costs 49.50 euros/visit, but the intern's reception does not receive Kela compensation. If the trainee does occupational well-being work with the instructor (e.g. information sessions, lectures), the price is €49.50 + VAT 24%.
Permanently to Terveystalo through training
In the academic year 2021-2022, approximately 20 psychology trainees participated in occupational health activities under the guidance of a supervisor. Most of them graduated immediately after the internship and moved on to practical work. After the spring 2022 internship, Anni Tossavainen continued at Terveystalo and now works as an occupational health psychologist both at Terveystalo Tapiola and at the remote reception.
Psychology studies in themselves provide good preparation for work, but through the internship, Tossavainen gained much more experience and self-confidence in her own identity as a psychologist. For her, the internship at Terveystalo offered the opportunity to peek into the Finnish working life, because at work she could immediately get access to issues arising in occupational health with simultaneously having suitable support all the time available.
– I felt that during the internship I could easily get to know and learn about different aspects of the job. The job description of an occupational health psychologist is quite broad. It is good to know both practical mental health issues, working life nodes and organizational psychological phenomena. Systematic induction, trainings and working as a pair of own supervisor and psychologists responsible for clients also taught me a lot, says Tossavainen.
Positive encounters at the reception
At the beginning of the appointments, Tossavainen always told the customers that she was an almost graduated psychologist with one training short.
– The customers accepted this well and I don't think the attitude differed exactly from how I am treated now as a trained psychologist. For many customers, coming to a psychologist appointments is quite exciting, and I felt that structuring things together and discussing them started very smoothly, says Tossavainen.
At the occupational health psychologist's appointments, a wide variety of topics are discussed, the most typical being coping at work, stress, recovery, anxiety and depression symptoms, sleep problems and various life crises. Although it is an occupational health psychologist's reception, in the meetings the talk is not solely about work.
– However, we always evaluate work ability at some level, because many factors affect it. At first, the situation is mapped and then different solution options are considered together and possible follow-up treatment options are planned, such as short psychotherapy. In the meetings, guidance, advice and communication are emphasized in a preventive way - so that the situation can be affected in time, Tossavainen describes.
During the internship, Tossavainen worked mainly at a local reception, but she felt that for many customers the option of choosing a remote reception brought much-needed flexibility.
– It was often meaningful for the customer to meet on site for the first time and continue the rest of the visits remotely. However, the customer's choice of channel does not really affect the topics to be discussed, because almost all the same things can be handled at a remote reception as at a local reception. For example, the relaxation exercise can also be smoothly done remotely, and the self-assessment forms can be sent to be filled out after the meeting if it is not possible to fill them in by phone.
For Tossavainen, working as a psychologist responsible for clients has been pleasant, and next in the plans for her is a qualifying training in occupational health, which will start within two years of starting work.
– In recent years, Terveystalo has borne social responsibility by offering internships of which there has been a shortage for students in the final phase of psychology studies. Internships are available all over the country, which makes it easier for graduating psychologists to work elsewhere than in growth centers if they wish. We have gained really skilled and enthusiastic new colleagues from the trainees, which enriches the entire group of colleagues of Terveystalo's occupational health psychologists, says Terveystalo's leading occupational health psychologist Kaisu Behm.