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Being a foreign psychologist in Taiwan?

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Being a foreign psychologist in Taiwan?

Postby tomoya97 » 31 Dec 2015, 14:48

Hello everyone, currently I'm in the last semester of high school, I want to study psychology, and since I want to move to Taiwan after college...I was wondering if it's possible for a foreign psychologist to practice his/her profession in Taiwan as a Psychotherapist.
I already learned some Chinese (I was in Taiwan as a exchange student last year) and I will continue studying it in college. I'm from Mexico BTW
(Sorry for my broken English)
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Re: Being a foreign psychologist in Taiwan?

Postby bob_honest » 04 Jan 2016, 17:22

I am sure there would be enough customers. Would have been one myself, yet lacking an English speaking help now have named all my invisible friends alphabetically and invite them to a weekly conference. No problems ever since.
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Re: Being a foreign psychologist in Taiwan?

Postby finley » 05 Jan 2016, 00:22

I would say "probably not", simply on the basis that mental health is not really taken seriously in Taiwan. In stark contrast to the rest of the medical establishment (generally speaking), quality of service in that department is pretty low, which means the incumbents wouldn't want anyone rocking the boat.

Apart from that, I've never seen any foreign medical professionals in Taiwan. I don't think there's a specific law preventing them from working here; it's simply that the hours are long, the pay unimpressive, and the language hard to acquire. Anyone with that skill set would simply go elsewhere.
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Re: Being a foreign psychologist in Taiwan?

Postby bigeartu » 28 Jan 2016, 10:53

There are things you should consider other than just the need for a foreign psychologist in Taiwan. First, you should investigate how you could obtain a work permit as a psychologist. I am unsure if there is a legal path to getting a work permit as a psychologist, or what qualifications the government may require.

Second, as to the need, I agree with other posters that mental health is still a bit of a taboo subject in Taiwan. There could be a market with the expat community who are experiencing the stress of living in another culture, dealing with relationship issues, etc. Several of my expat friends here have expressed frustration on the inability to obtain counselling in Taiwan.

There are of course, a lot of highly qualified local practitioners who do speak English. Many of these practitioners were educated overseas, and speak English well. My understanding is that psychological counselling falls outside of the national health insurance system, so this would be a cash business with the patient paying the amount. This is something else you should investigate.

So in the end, I think you should consider three things.

1. Work permit.
2. Required qualifications.
3. Competition from local qualified practitioners.

Best of luck to you.
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Re: Being a foreign psychologist in Taiwan?

Postby jesus80 » 28 Jan 2016, 11:37

I'm CRAZY, AND I need HELP.

Well, I can change that help for a big heap of money, honestly.
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Re: Being a foreign psychologist in Taiwan?

Postby Icon » 30 Jan 2016, 15:59

finley wrote:I would say "probably not", simply on the basis that mental health is not really taken seriously in Taiwan. In stark contrast to the rest of the medical establishment (generally speaking), quality of service in that department is pretty low, which means the incumbents wouldn't want anyone rocking the boat.

Apart from that, I've never seen any foreign medical professionals in Taiwan. I don't think there's a specific law preventing them from working here; it's simply that the hours are long, the pay unimpressive, and the language hard to acquire. Anyone with that skill set would simply go elsewhere.


One of the ex ambassadors is a doctor and after his term ended, he remained in Taiwan, working at a local hospital.

I know of several Overseas compatriots who had to take the tests to practice here as their degrees were acquired abroad. Those tests are hard, and most had to take them several times until they succeeded in getting licensed to practice medicine in Taiwan.

Mental health might be a neglected field, but I guess foreign residents would be willing to pay to bridge the language barriers. There are also several foreign oriented, medical tourism type of facilities which may also benefit from someone with expertise on this field.
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Re: Being a foreign psychologist in Taiwan?

Postby finley » 03 Feb 2016, 20:55

oh, I'm sure there are some foreign doctors here - but as you said, they have to convert their qualifications, and it'd be done for love rather than money. I can't imagine there are more than a dozen foreigners practicing medicine (or psychology/psychiatry) in the whole country.

I was just suggesting to the OP that there might be much simpler ways of getting residence here with a Psychology degree. Like, um, teaching English. There could also be opportunities in UX/UI engineering (which, apart from in the big companies, is of a disgraceful standard). After five years he'd be eligible for an APRC and could set up a part-time practice, I guess, but the smallish number of loopy foreigners in need of counselling probably wouldn't make him rich.

And frankly, if I had to do it all again, I wouldn't have chosen to study psychology :D
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Re: Being a foreign psychologist in Taiwan?

Postby tomoya97 » 04 Jun 2016, 23:48

Well, at the end, I changed my mind at the last second, and I chose philosophy instead.... not the smartest thing to do if I want to get a job in the future, but yeah..
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Re: Being a foreign psychologist in Taiwan?

Postby hsinhai78 » 05 Jun 2016, 00:34

tomoya97 wrote:Well, at the end, I changed my mind at the last second, and I chose philosophy instead.... not the smartest thing to do if I want to get a job in the future, but yeah..


My reply may be useful to others who consider becoming a psychologist in Taiwan.

1.) Foreigners are not prohibited from being a psychologist.

2.) Foreigners need to sit the same examinations as ROC nationals before they can practise in Taiwan.

Article 60 of the Psychologist Act http://law.moj.gov.tw/LawClass/LawSingle.aspx?Pcode=L0020098&FLNO=60
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Re: Being a foreign psychologist in Taiwan?

Postby BigJohn » 05 Jun 2016, 01:25

tomoya97 wrote:Hello everyone, currently I'm in the last semester of high school, I want to study psychology, and since I want to move to Taiwan after college...I was wondering if it's possible for a foreign psychologist to practice his/her profession in Taiwan as a Psychotherapist.
I already learned some Chinese (I was in Taiwan as a exchange student last year) and I will continue studying it in college. I'm from Mexico BTW
(Sorry for my broken English)


That's a tricky one! I don't know that anyone has done such a thing before. The best analog to that would be medical doctors, probably. I have known some doctors working here, but they were ABCs, Taiwanese with US passports. It's also possible that some religious organizations with missionaries have provided health care services with non-Taiwanese-citizen practitioners in recent times. I'm no expert, but I'd guess it was theoretically possible but a bureaucratic nightmare unless you found the right "hack", so to speak.
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