Azerbaijan

Summary

Counselling Associations

All Professional Bodies, National Associations (e.g. Mental Health, School, Guidance, Addiction, Faith-based etc.) and Accrediting Organisations.

Baku International Mental Health Center 

Centre for Positive Psychotherapy Baku 

Universities and Other Education and Training Institutes

Azerbaijan State Pedagogical University 

Azerbaijan University 

Baku State University 

Khazar University 

Ganja State University 

Counselling Agencies, Services, Group Practices, Counselling Centres

Background & Context

In Azerbaijan the field of Counselling is very new. 15 years ago there were no such field as Counselling or Psychology and the people did not really care about them too much. Nowadays the state guarantees the right of citizens to receive timely and quality psychological assistance and tries to create conditions that ensure the psychological well-being of the population of the Republic of Azerbaijan and improve their quality of life. Optimization of mental development, adaption and integration of the person into society and support of rehabilitation is getting more and more important.

Psychological assistance is either provided free of charge or on a paid basis. Citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan in urgent cases, people which are educated in educational institutions, People detained and arrested or released from punishment, persons who have suffered from domestic violence and Servicemen serving in the Armed Forces have the right for free psychological assistance. Paid psychological assistance is based on a contract between the client and the institution (cf. Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan 2020).

Counselling as an own field is not common in the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Current Regulatory Status / Level of Recognition:

Psychology and psychological counselling (which is the only form of counselling there really is) is regulated by the government. In accordance with paragraph 1 of Part I of Article 94 of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, this Law determines the legal basis for the provision of psychological assistance in the Republic of Azerbaijan, the rights and responsibilities of persons receiving psychological assistance and psychologists, regulates relations in this area.

A Psychologist is a person who meets the requirements established by this Law, received higher education in the field of psychology or received the specialty of psychologist in the form of additional education in accordance with the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On Education” and has the right to provide psychological assistance. 

The legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic on psychological assistance consists of the Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic, this Law, other normative legal acts and international agreements to which the Azerbaijan Republic is a party (cf. Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan 2020).

Practice Settings

Emergency psychological assistance – specialized psychological assistance provided to persons in crisis.

Family therapy – an independent branch of psychotherapy aimed at providing psychological assistance to families.

Psychological counselling – the process of helping a person to understand and solve psychological problems.

Psychological assistance in educational institutions – provision of psychological assistance at all levels and levels of education in order to ensure a healthy psychological environment, personal development and psychological needs of students.

Psychological assistance in health care institutions – The scope of clinical psychologists includes psychopathology, developmental psychology, neuropsychology, basics of behavioural psychology, health psychology and psychotherapy (cf. Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan 2020).

Challenges & Trends

Challenges:

As psychology and counselling is fairly new in Azerbaijan and it was not known by many citizens of the Republic 15 years ago, many are not really comfortable with going to a counsellor or a psychologist. Though there is a framework given by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan on what is needed to become a psychological counsellor there are not many educational or training institutes. Counselling on its own is not represented in Azerbaijan, it only exists in combination with Psychology. Therefore you need to have studied Psychology to become a psychological counsellor. A simple Bachelor is not enough to become a successful Counsellor, graduated students work in private psychological centres to improve their skills and knowledge (cf. Karimiva 2020).

 

Trends:

The biggest trend in Azerbaijan is the implementation of psychological counselling and awareness-raising activities, as well as preparation and broadcasting of social advertisements and the organization of hotline.

Mostly counselling is combined with psychological assistance and is frequently practiced in educational and medical institutions (cf. Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan 2020).

A more specific trend is the Rogerian therapy (person-centred communication) (c. Karimova 2020), which is about a multitude of personal development paths towards autonomy, supportive community, empathy, acceptance and congruence. The communication that thus emerges will be explored from the outside regarding its nature and characteristics. This happens with the steady awareness that any attempt at describing a phenomenon that is constantly evolving and thus in motion can only lead to an approximate description of its nature (cf. Motschnig/Nykl 2014: 25f).

Another Trend is the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) (cf. Karimova 2020), which encompasses a wide range of practices that incorporate both cognitive and behavioural conceptualizations and interventions with the goals of cognitive and behavioural change (cf. Iarussi, M. 2020: 34).

Additional Information & References

For a deeper exploration of the counselling profession in the country, interested readers are recommended to read the following journal & website articles:

  • Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan (2020): About psychological help.  http://www.e-qanun.az/framework/41280 [04/09/2020]
  • Motschnig, R. / Nykl, L. (2014): Person-Centred Communication: Theory, Skills and Practice. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education.
Azerbaijan
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