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Albania is a small country located in southeastern Europe. Based on the last census conducted in 2011, 2.8 million residents were living in Albania.

The Albanian climate is Mediterranean, with a hot and dry summer, whereas winter is short and mild, so the best time to visit Albania is May.

What is a characteristic of Albanians? We are very welcoming, and people keep their promises. What is the most special thing in Albania?

Both major religions in Albania, Christianity and Islam, co-exist happily with each other. There is no religious distinction or prejudice. Every religious celebration is a nation-wide celebration.

Immediately after World War II, Albania was positioned in the Communist Camp. Like elsewhere, the fall of the Berlin Wall affected the establishment of political parties and the fall of dictatorship. We have suffered the communist dictatorship for 45 years, and this has significantly affected an individual’s psychology. The existing spirit was that the Communist Party in power could take care of everything, even the individual’s emotional state. There was no independent thinking or acting. Only the services of psychiatrists were available for severe mental health issues. People were victims of stigma, and their problems remained quite often within the walls of the house due to feeling ashamed of sharing their issues.

After the 1990s, a lot of things changed, including psychology, of course.

The First Department of Psychology was established in 1996, and the first psychologists graduated in clinical psychology, school psychology, and organizational psychology in 2000.

In 2016, 20 years later, the Law “On the Order of Psychologists in the Republic of Albania” was approved. The First Founding Assembly was held on January 28, 2017, and thus the OPA was officially established.

Throughout these years, OPA has worked hard to empower the role of the psychologist. The inclusion of all psychologists under one umbrella was a real challenge. Can you imagine how difficult it is to do that and to impose rules after 20 messy years in the exercise of the profession?

Currently, the number of psychologists is about 1800, with some committees subordinate to the Order and a large team of collaborators. OPA has worked hard during that time to define the fields of competence, strengthen the continuing education system, increase the number of employed psychologists, and improve service standards.

Meanwhile, we also believe that we have achieved some significant successes in the international arena. We became members of EAWOP, are the 38th members of EFPA, Global Psychology Alliance, and IUPsyS, and have signed Memoranda of Understanding with our Spanish counterparts and APA.