The Danish Forum of Sport Psychology (DIFO) has currently about 120 members: About 10 members doing research, 15 members counselling, and about 40 members are involved with teaching and coaching. A group of members have a general interest in sport and exercise psychology, i.e. as a physiotherapist. In the international field, DIFO stands out as the organizer of the next European Congress of Sport Psychology, which will take place in Copenhagen in July 2003
The Danish Forum of Sport Psychology has the task of promoting and stimulating sport and exercise psychology in Denmark. The organisation is an open forum for everybody interested in the area, regardless of educational and professional background. The country seems to be too small to have any restrictions on the membership.
Compared to many other highly developed countries, sport psychology had a late start in Denmark. In 1970 the Danish psychologist Arno Norske was the first who published a book in the field of sport psychology, so he can be named as one of the pioneers of Danish sport psychology. It was not until the 21 March 1992 that the Danish Forum of Sport Psychology (DIFO) was founded as the organisational basis for the development of Danish sport and exercise psychology.
The founding president was Jørn Richter, a psychologist who has worked with applied sport psychology for the last two decades. The ISSP World Congress 1985 in Copenhagen was a central event for the stimulation of the interest in Danish sport psychology. A study group in sport psychology was founded under the protection of the Danish Sport Federation. This group took the initiative to arrange several satellite workshops with some of the international leading sport psychologist who participated in the ISSP World Congress in Copenhagen. In the following years this study group took the initiative to organize the establishment of the national sport psychological organisation DIFO.
In 1999, Reinhard Stelter, the current president of DIFO, has published the first comprehensive and research-based handbook in exercise and sport psychology in Denmark. The book is published by the Danish Psychology Publisher, one of the leading publishing houses in the field of psychology in Denmark. The publication was sponsored by the Danish Sport Federation. The expectation is that this handbook will have a stimulating impact on the further development of Danish sport psychology.
PROMOTING SPORT AND EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY
During the last decade, DIFO has organized a two-day conference every autumn. It seems to be the case that the members of DIFO and people interested in sport psychology are predominantly interested in broad and non-competitive seminar and conference topics. The topics of the last couple of years were the following:
1. Psychological Problems in Team Sport
2. Anxiety and Well-being in Swimming and Water Activities
3. The Future of Sport Psychology
4. Sport and Movement as Psychological Treatment
5. When the Lights go out
6. Stress and Health
7. Sport Injuries and Pain
CONTACTS TO UNIVERSITIES
DIFO has established relations to the three Danish universities, which offer a degree in sport science and physical education: The University of Copenhagen, the University of Odense and the University of Aarhus.
The Institute of Exercise and Sport Sciences at the University of Copenhagen has an establish program in sport psychology where the students can write dissertations in sport psychology up to the PhD-level. The University of Copenhagen is also a partner university in the Socrates program for the European Master in Sport and Exercise Psychology, which is promoted by FEPSAC, the European Association of Sport Psychology.
APPLIED SPORT PSYCHOLOGY
Several consultants have work relations with the Danish elite sport organisations Team Danmark or the Danish Sport Federation. There is neither a formalised accreditation system for sport psychologist, nor a formalised professional training for becoming a sport psychologist in Denmark. According to the Danish legislation on psychologists from 1 January 1994 only graduates with a master degree (Danish "cand.psyk." or M.A.) in psychology obtained at an institute of psychology are allowed to call themselves psychologist. The same rule is effective for the designations sport psychologist, organisational psychologist etc.
For further information please take contact to the president of DIFO:
Carsten Hvid Larsen