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
Background & Context
Psychology became one of the training requirements for teachers during the 1970s and then made its way into the education system several years later (Alzubaidi & Ghanem, 1997). Alzubaidi and Ghanem (1997) explained that in 1990, the Yemeni Psychological Association (YPA) was successfully created and it aimed at promoting psychology to the community. Despite the seemingly lack of funds, there is still an abundance of governmental support that allows for psychology in Yemen to prosper while the students receive opportunities to study in other countries as well (Saleh, 2008). With the increase in funding and recognition of psychology within school, there have been several master’s programs developed at various Yemeni universities since the 1990’s (Alzubaidi & Ghanem, 1997). Additionally due to the increase in education of psychology, there have been psychological research articles published by the faculty at several Yemeni universities (Alzubaidi & Ghanem, 1997).
Current Regulatory Status / Level of Recognition:
The level of recognition is significantly low in the psychology field as there is currently no law in Yemen that addresses mental health because mental health is not integrated in the primary health care system. Additionally, there are no known regulatory bodies other than basic governmental financial assistance to help regulate the counselling services that are provided. The expansion of mental health is also hindered as some agencies reported that it is forbidden to mention mental health problems, which is why counselling is not predominantly recognized in Yemen. The stigma put on mental health is that it is connected to supernatural practices which has caused the growth of this field to slow down.
The number of practicing counsellors in Yemen are unknown. The practice settings for counsellors in Yemen currently includes:
- Non-profit & Non-governmental Organizations
- Private Practice
Challenges & Trends
Although several universities have added a department of psychology, the curriculum mainly focuses on teaching and it does not include research or service activities (i.e., counselling practices). One of the main reasons is because of the shortage of supply and resources. The programs are also typically based in a degree of arts or a degree of education rather than a degree in psychology.
As there has been an on-going war since 2015, the biggest challenge would be rebuilding and reintegrating counselling and psychology after one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world after unlawful airstrikes on Yemen. The health supplies are limited and oftentimes completely absent due to the building feud. This war spiked mental health problems in Yemen with hardly any resources to combat it exist.
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:
- Alzubaidi, A. S., Ghanem, A. (1997). Perspectives on Psychology in Yemen. International Journal of Psychology, 32(5), 363–366. https://doi.org/10.1080/002075997400728
- Human Rights Watch. (2020). Yemen: Events of 2019. https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/yemen
- Saleh, M. B. Q. (2008). Psychology in Yemen. American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/international/pi/2008/05/yemen
- Saleh, M. B. Q., Makki, A. M. (2008). Mental health in Yemen: obstacles and challenges. International Psychiatry. 5(4), 90-92. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31507960/