All Professional Bodies, National Associations (e.g. Mental Health, School, Guidance, Addiction, Faith-based etc.) and Accrediting Organisations.
Universities and Other Education and Training Institutes
- University Website: www.uni-sofia.bg
- Programme Website: N/A
- Programme Types: Master program in Career Education and vocational Training, Bachelor of social activities, Master: Pedagogy of Deviant Behavior, Master in Social Work, Master in Clinical Social Work
Counselling Agencies, Services, Group Practices, Counselling Centres
Background & Context
Counselling cannot be seen as an independent activity in Bulgaria. Most counselling services are provided by psychotherapists or social workers.
The very roots of psychotherapy in Bulgarian can be searched for in the beginning of the 20th century as well as in the developments between the world wars – processes that have been almost completely stopped and vanished in the times of communism to be re-started and renewed again in the very end of 70s and most of all in the very beginning of 80s of the 20th century.
The Bulgarian Association for Psychotherapy (BAP) exists legally since 23.11.1993, registered as an NGO. The BAP also has declared and plays the role of an umbrella organization to the psychotherapy sphere in Bulgaria in general.
In schools, universities and other educational institutions, counselling services are often available (although they are not obliged to do so) not only the pupils and students, but also the parents or teachers are involved with the help of discussions, workshops, or training courses. specialists who advise in schools and other educational institutions include psychologists, educators, speech therapists, career consultants and pedagogical therapists.
Furthermore, the field of vocational guidance covers a wide range of counselling. the exercise of vocational guidance requires many specific competences, which can be acquired within the framework of several master’s programmes and the global career development faciliator (GCDF).
One of the main private providers of counselling training using an online platform is the Business Foundation for Education with the Prometheus project.
Current Regulatory Status / Level of Recognition:
Counselling in the field of health is not a regulated profession.
Counselling and Guidance centres offer services to:
- young people
- nursery schools, schools and other educational institutions
Challenges & Trends
It is very difficult to quote exact mental health data for Bulgaria, because the country does not have a unified consistent policy for keeping statistics in this field. It is probably a heritage from the region’s communist past, when mental health has been treated separately from the general system of health care. It is peculiar, but even today, despite all reforms, that were implemented, aiming to abolish the outdated ill practices, psychiatric hospitals still have a different status from the rest of the medical facilities.
Mental health reforms are in the pipeline.
Additional Information & References
It will remain difficult for Bulgaria to compete with other EU States in relation to salaries for skilled workers, as only about two percent of the country’s health budget is earmarked for mental health.