From conducting workshops with parents on how to tackle adolescent issues of their children to advising a family on how to overcome a personal tragedy, counselors in the UAE deal with a large number of issues.
Trained clinical psychologists and psychotherapists use a number of methods to treat their patients ranging from music therapy to hypnotherapy, using hypnosis to deal with fears and phobias. Most counselors in Dubai are actually clinical psychologists.
Social counselors involved with handling family problems like marital discord or counseling children with special needs must obtain license from Community Development Authority (CDA).
The requirements include university or equivalent degrees from UAE-accredited institutions in social care-related disciplines, one year of work experience in a relevant discipline, and the demonstration of good conduct at all times, with no history of conviction for any criminal offense.
To become a counselor handling specific issues such as anger management, couples in conflict, and alcohol and drug counseling, you may get the necessary training while already employed, or after graduating and a period of employment. Certified training institutes offering counseling-related programs do not necessarily require a background in psychology although they do consider academic or career-related criteria. Fees and the number of hours required to finish training vary depending on the program.
* Most counselors have a background in psychology
* Clinical psychologists need to obtain DHA license
* Social counselors need a license from the CDA
Source: S. Dhar, Special to Classifieds
The writer is a freelancer