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
Counselling Agencies, Services, Group Practices, Counselling Centres
Maadi Psychology Centre
- Phone: (02)-2359-2278 (Maadi Branch), 01284436347 (New Cairo Branch), (02)-28166620 (Behman Hospital)
- Organization Size: Private
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Organization Size: Private
Background & Context
Modern psychology flourished in Egypt after the establishment of the first formal university in 1908 (The Egyptian University). In 1945, the Egyptian Journal of Psychology was established in parallel with the founding of the Association of Integrative Psychology. However, the Egyptian Journal of Psychology had a short lifespan from 1945 until 1953, when it was terminated due to financial issues. Later on, in 1956, a law was passed, defining the legal status of psychotherapists, and in 1959-1960 a postgraduate diploma in applied psychology was started at Cairo University.
According to the World Health Organization, they stated that there were two systems in the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population MOHP which manage mental health. The first one was the general secretariat of mental health that managed the five major mental hospitals. The second was the general administration for mental health in MOHP , which managed the other 10 mental hospitals, outpatient clinics all over the country and psychiatric departments in general hospitals. The second system was under the control of local authorities of each governorate.
Current Regulatory Status / Level of Recognition:
At the present time, there are no formal mechanisms in Egypt for accrediting mental health practitioner training programs. Efforts particularly in the private sector are currently underway to certify participants who complete some of the lengthier workshops or training courses. In response to the absence of systematic counselling and psychotherapy skills training at educational institutions, many universities, private clinics and professional associations arrange for workshops and training courses by visiting psychotherapy “masters” from other countries, particularly from the USA and UK. In addition, such certification or accreditation would be obtained from international organizations, particularly from the UK.
According to the Ministry of Education, the total number of school counsellors in middle and high schools in Egypt in 2011 was 9082, while the demand for school counsellors in that same year was 31,736. This represented that there was a shortfall for counsellors in Egypt. However, counselling and psychotherapy are provided in various settings in Egypt. For example, public and private psychiatric hospitals, private clinics, prisons, schools and so on. In 1960s, behavioral therapy began to gain prominence in Cairo among both psychologists and psychiatrists, including techniques such as systematic desensitization, deep muscle relaxation and behavior modification. Nowadays, these techniques have become increasingly popular and prevalent with cognitive- behavioral therapy forming the core orientation at Cairo University.
Challenges & Trends
In Egypt, there are common myths and misconceptions about the public image of psychology, including a belief that mental health is a sign of weakness in the faith, people who need psychiatric care should be locked away in special institutions and so on due to the significant role of religion in Egyptians’ lives. Egyptians who seek help from a religious healer may do so because they believe that emotional or interpersonal symptoms are due to the evil eye, black magic or even influence from the jinn or spirits.
Moreover, societal challenges include urban poverty and slum areas, illiteracy, economic hardships and unemployment. These socio-economic hardships contribute to the national burden of mental illness, substance abuse and youth behavior problems (Amer, 2013). Egyptians who suffer these mental health problems, however, avoid seeking professional services for fear of shame and loss of family honor.
Additional Information & References
For a deeper exploration of the counselling profession in the country, interested readers are recommended to read the following journal articles:
Amer, M. (2013). Counseling and Psychotherapy in Egypt: Ambiguous Identity of a Regional Leader.. Moodley, R., Gielen, U. and Wu, R., 2013. Handbook Of Counseling And Psychotherapy In An International Context. New York, NY: Routledge, pp.19-29.