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: http://www.qu.edu.qa/
- Programme Website: http://www.qu.edu.qa/artssciences/departments/social-sciences/programs/BA-Psychology
- Programme Types: Bachelor Degree in Psychology
Doha Institute for Graduate Studies
- University Website: https://www.dohainstitute.edu.qa/EN/Pages/Default.aspx
- Programme Website: https://www.dohainstitute.edu.qa/EN/Academics/SOSH/Programs/Psychology/Pages/Default.aspx
- Programme Types: Master’s Degree in Clinical or Social Psychology
Counselling Agencies, Services, Group Practices, Counselling Centres
Background & Context
Khan and El-Gaili (2020) explain that Qatar mostly uses natural remedies to heal health problems including mental issues. That was until hospitals were created and provided a place that these health services could be regulated (Khan & El-Gaili, 2020). In the instance of someone being in a psychosis state, they were usually “restrained or locked up at home” (Khan & El-Gaili, 2020, p. 4). However, most Arabic countries, including Qatar, have accelerated exposure to psychology during the mid 1960s which has helped spread awareness of the counselling field (Ibrahim, 2011). Another reason why the psychology profession (including counselling, psychiatrist, etc.) in Qatar suddenly increased is because of the large number of Arabic students who have had the opportunity to study psychology in other countries (Ibrahim, 2011). Counselling has also been implemented in the school setting, specifically in universities where the university will send a counsellor to the students residence for counselling sessions (Khan & El-Gaili, 2020). Khan and El-Gaili (2020) further explain the benefits of school counsellors which include supporting the successes of the students, as well as creating a safe place for the students.
Current Regulatory Status / Level of Recognition:
Qatar does have a stand alone policy or plan for mental health since 2013 as well as a stand alone law for mental health since 2016. Qatar also receives financing for mental health from the Government. In 2017, the total expenditure on mental health was 0.61% of the total Government health expenditure (Khan & El-Gaili, 2020). Despite the low funds allocated to mental health, there are many private counselling services/centers in Qatar, mostly in Doha (Khan & El-Gaili, 2020). Almost every state university in Qatar has established independent psychology departments as well as school counselling services for students (Khan & El-Gaili, 2020).
Although the number of counsellors in Qatar is unknown, counsellors practice in settings such as:
- Private practice
- School counselling
- State based counselling
Challenges & Trends
Although there are quite a few counselling services in Qatar and Doha, mental health problems are still highly stigmatized and inadequately understood by the general public due to the lack of awareness, objective information, education, and people’s holding onto myths and stereotypes revolving mental health issues. Although the mental health field in Qatar has come a long way in the past 40 years, it has taken continuous training, and education to allow new ways of thinking to help lessen the stigma on mental health. The lack of education causes barriers for implementing new policies or programs because there is still not enough support from the general public.
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:
- Ibrahim, A. S. (2011). Arab World Psychology. Cross-Cultural Psychology. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/9781118339893.wbeccp032
- Khan, S., & El-Gaili, T. (2020). Mental health and wellbeing among college and university students. In A. Haque, L.L. Gilstrap, & S. Ghuloum (Eds.), Mental health in Qatar: Challenges and prospects (pp. 217-242). Cambridge Scholars Publishing https://books.google.com.my/books?id=0LXkDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA217&lpg=PA217&dq=challenges+and+trends+in+counseling+in+qatar&source=bl&ots=FoEY4p6Qva&sig=ACfU3U39dBQ89qWtUmw-TnoYPESs49sZmQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjNpYzSp6nqAhUeyDgGHbcPAfoQ6AEwAHoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=challenges%20and%20trends%20in%20counseling%20in%20qatar&f=false