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
Lebanese American University
- University Website: https://www.lau.edu.lb/
- Programme Website: http://sas.lau.edu.lb/social-sciences/programs/ba-psychology.php & http://sas.lau.edu.lb/social-sciences/programs/minor-psychology.php
- Programme Types: Bachelor Degree in Psychology & Minor in Psychology
Counselling Agencies, Services, Group Practices, Counselling Centres
Georgian Center for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture (GCRT)
- Website: http://gcrt.ge/ka/
- Types of therapy: Prolonged Exposure Therapy, CBT, Somatic and more
- Modalities: Individual, Group and Family.
Background & Context
The history of the counselling profession in Lebanon illustrates the lack of development the career has experienced. However, the need for school counselling services has been emphasized in the last 50 years. Ayyash-Abdo et al. (2010) explained how this is partly caused by the ongoing social change and that students often experience “social, emotional, academic, and/or physical problems to which the school staff, and sometimes parents, were insensitive to or not qualified to intervene” (Ayyash-Abdo et al., 2010, p. 13). Despite the urgency for school counselling services, the development has been rather slow, while most of the developments that were made are focused on career guidance (Ayyash-Abdo et al., 2010). There currently is no specific degree that school counsellors receive, rather they just complete intensive training after receiving a degree in education (Ayyash-Abdo et al., 2010). However, some of the school counsellors receive a master’s degree in educational psychology, educational administration, psychology, or sociology (Ayyash-Abdo et al., 2010). School counselling is not part of the educational process regardless of how much effort Lebanon’s Ministry of Education has made (Ayyash-Abdo et al., 2010). This is primarily caused by Lebanon’s constant political instability and conflict which may have hindered the development of school counselling (Ayyash-Abdo et al., 2010).
Current Regulatory Status / Level of Recognition:
Although Lebanon has the Ministry of Education, there is still no regulatory body that regulates counsellors in Lebanon. The lack of regulation has caused problems with the qualifications and credibility of school counsellors. Additionally, “there are school counsellors present in approximately 100 public elementary and middle schools out of 619 public schools throughout Lebanon” (Ayyash-Abdo et al., 2010. p. 14). The training to become a school counsellor only requires the teachers to have a minimum of five years of teaching and they also have to have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology, or philosophy (Ayyash-Abdo et al., 2010). After completing their training, those newly recognized counsellors will then balance their time working between being a counsellor and being a teacher (Ayyash-Abdo et al., 2010).
Although it is not clear exactly how many counsellors practice in Lebanon, the various practice settings for counsellors are as follows:
- Private schools
- Public schools
- Counselling services from associations
- Private counselling centers
Challenges & Trends
The main challenges that Lebanon faces regarding counselling services are that the qualifications are not regulated at high standards, the available training is limited, and the regulatory bodies are not creating positive change for the profession. What is known about school counsellors is that their degree does not have to be in school counselling, they just have to receive specialized training. This can cause problems for individuals seeking counselling services because the counsellor does not have extensive training and knowledge in the field.
Not only is the training limited to a select few to become a school counsellor, but once they become a school counsellor, their time working is shared between teaching and being a school counsellor. This takes away their focus from the important job duties that counsellors have which lowers their credibility as counsellors.
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:
- Ayyash-Abdo, H., Alamuddin, R., & Mukallid, S. (2010). School counseling in Lebanon: Past, present, and future. Journal of Counseling & Development, 88(1), 13–17. https:doi.org/10.1002/j.1556-6678.2010.tb00143.x