development of a training curriculum in psychotherapeutic counselling in Uganda

15 October 2011 → 15 October 2013
Federal funding: various
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Economic development, innovation, technological change and growth
psychotherapeutic counselling
Project description

Since 2002, the Department of Orthopedagogics - Ghent University has executed research on the psychosocial well-being of children living in the war-affected region of Northern Uganda. This research has received an important boost with the creation of the Centre for Children in Vulnerable Situations (CCVS), an interuniversity collaboration between Ghent University (Department of Orthopedagogics), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Vakgroep Klinische en Levenslooppsychologie) and K.U.Leuven (Centrum voor Gezins- en Orthopedagogiek). CCVS's central aim is to promote the well-being of children living in vulnerable situations in the South, through: executing practice-oriented research on these children's well-being, and creating pilot projects to promote children's well-being. There is ongoing research in Northern Uganda, Eastern Congo, Uruguay, Bolivia, Nepal and Colombia, and CCVS runs two counselling centres in Eastern Congo and Northern Uganda. The counselling centre in Northern Uganda, called "Centre for Children in Vulnerable Situations-Uganda" (CCVS-Uganda), has been created after extensive consultation with a large number of local and international NGO's based in Northern Uganda, amogst which Gulu Regional Referral Hospital - Mental Health Unit (Gulu RRH - MH)(Dr. James Okello) and Makerere University (Prof. Musisi), and followed by two workshops in North and South Uganda discussing out research results with local stakeholders. Throughout all these discussions, there was one general emerging theme: many youths are still suffering psychologically from the aftermath of the war that dominated lige in North Uganda for over 20 years, and caused many deaths and tremendous suffering to the entire population. However, there are very few possibilities to support these children, because of the lack of psychotherapeutic care facilities and trained psychotherapeutic counsellors. In response to this general outcome of the consultations, the creation of a pilot project providing specialised, psychotherapeutic counselling for Northern Ugandan youths (i.e. in Lira-district), to cover partly these expressed needs, has emerged. Furthermore, we noticed, through the expertise gained in this centre and through further consultations with stakeholders, that there is an additional important gap, in essence the lack of rained psychotherapeutic counsellors. One of the reasons for this is the lack of a specialised training in this subject. Consultations with local NGO's and Makerere University further lead to the set-up of this project, specifically aiming at the development and implementation of a training in psychotherapeutic counselling.