ChapterPDF Available

Counseling in India

Authors:
  • Lindsey Wilson College, Columbia, Kentucky, USA

Abstract

In this chapter, the development of professional counseling in India is discussed over three major eras: ancient India, called Bharata after the name of the legendry king; medieval India, known as Hindustan; and modern India. As a result of economic and social changes in India due to rapid industrialization and urbanization, people are experiencing significant multiple stressors in their lives. There is an acute shortage of trained mental health professionals in India. Given the lack of trained professionals, families often rely on alternative healers to resolve psychiatric issues. Professional counseling is just beginning in India. The awakening and significance of this new profession is getting wide publicity in Indian newspapers and on various websites. Personal counseling, mental health counseling, and academic and career counseling are increasingly gaining in acceptance and popularity in India. One important diversity issue that impacts counselors is physical disability. © 2013 by the American Counseling Association. All rights reserved.
Counseling
Around
the
World
An International Handbook
Editors
Thomas H. Hohenshil
Norman E. Amundson
Spencer G. Niles
• • •
AMERICAN COUNSELING
ASSOCIATION
5999 Stevenson Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22304
www.counseling.org
Copyright © 2013 by the American Counseling Association. All rights reserved. Printed in the
United States of America. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976,
no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or
stored in a database or retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
American Counseling Association
5999 Stevenson Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22304
Director of Publications Carolyn C. Baker
Production Manager Bonny E. Gaston
Editorial Assistant Catherine A. Brumley
Copy Editor Beth Ciha
Cover and text design by Bonny E. Gaston
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Counseling around the world : an international handbook / editors, Thomas H. Hohenshil,
Norman E. Amundson, Spencer G. Niles.
p. cm.
Includes index.
ISBN 978-1-55620-316-9 (alk. paper)
1. Counseling. 2. Cross-cultural counseling. I. Hohenshil, Thomas H. II. Amundson,
Norman E. III. Niles, Spencer G.
BF636.6.C674 2013
158.3—dc23 2012023713
Counseling
Around
the
World
An International Handbook
iii
Table of Contents
Foreword ix
Jane E. Myers and Thomas J. Sweeney
Acknowledgments xi
About the Editors xiii
About the Contributors xv
Section 1 Setting the Stage for Global Counseling
Chapter 1
Introduction to Global Counseling 3
Thomas H. Hohenshil, Norman E. Amundson,
and Spencer G. Niles
Chapter 2
Global Diversity Issues in Counseling 9
Sylvia C. Nassar-McMillan, James L. Moore III,
Heather A. Warfield, and Renae D. Mayes
Section 2 Counseling in African Countries
Chapter 3
Botswana 21
Rex Stockton, Amy Nitza, Kayi Ntinda, and Patricia Ncube
Chapter 4
Kenya 31
Jane E. Atieno Okech and Muthoni Kimemia
Chapter 5
Nigeria 41
Aneneosa A. G. Okocha
iv
Table of Contents
Chapter 6
South Africa 47
Yegan Pillay and Shannon D. Smith
Chapter 7
Uganda 57
Ruth M. Senyonyi and Lois Achieng Ochieng
Chapter 8
Zimbabwe 65
Elias Mpofu, Messiah R. Makuane, Kimberly A. M. Richards,
Magen M. Mhaka-Mutepfa, Jabulani Mpofu, Shupikai Zebron,
and McLytton Nkonde Clever
Section 3 Counseling in Asian Countries
Chapter 9
China 77
Ben K. Lim and Soh-Leong Lim
Chapter 10
India 87
Sachin Jain and Daya Singh Sandhu
Chapter 11
Japan 97
Tomoko Kudo Grabosky, Harue Ishii, and Shizuno Mase
Chapter 12
The Kyrgyz Republic 107
Elena Molchanova, Elena Kosterina, Elena Kim,
Sharon G. Horne, Kanykei Latipova, and Patrick Marius Koga
Chapter 13
The Philippines 117
Ma. Teresa G. Tuason and Ma. Lourdes Arellano-Carandang
Chapter 14
Singapore 127
Lay See Yeo, Soo Yin Tan, and Maureen Neihart
Chapter 15
South Korea 137
Sang Min Lee and Eunjoo Yang
Chapter 16
Taiwan 145
Yuh-Jen Guo, Shu-Ching Wang, and Don C. Combs
Chapter 17
Thailand 153
Varunee Faii Sangganjanavanich and Kannikar Nolrajsuwat
v
Table of Contents
Section 4 Counseling in European Countries
Chapter 18
The Czech Republic 163
Jack D. Simons and Alexandra Durcikova
Chapter 19
Denmark 173
Rie Thomsen and Peter Plant
Chapter 20
England 183
Jenny Bimrose and Deirdre Hughes
Chapter 21
France 193
Jacques Pouyaud and Jean Guichard
Chapter 22
Germany 203
Josef Strasser
Chapter 23
Greece 215
Maria Malikiosi-Loizos and Theodoros Giovazolias
Chapter 24
Ireland 225
Padraig O’Morain, Garrett J. McAuliffe, Kayte Conroy,
and Jennifer Johnson
Chapter 25
Italy 233
Theodore P. Remley Jr., Davide Mariotti, and Tommaso Valleri
Chapter 26
Romania 243
Andreea Szilagyi and Cristina Nedelcu
Chapter 27
Russia 253
Christine L. Currie, Marina V. Kuzmina,
Ruslan I. Nadyuk, and Sergei V. Yevdoschenko
Chapter 28
Switzerland 263
Roslyn Thomas and Stacy Henning
Section 5 Counseling in Middle Eastern Countries
Chapter 29
Egypt 275
Sehar Mikhemar
vi
Table of Contents
Chapter 30
Israel 283
Moshe Israelashvili
Chapter 31
Turkey 293
Fidan Korkut Owen and Oya Yerin Güneri
Section 6 Counseling in North American Countries
Chapter 32
Canada 305
Roberta A. Neault, Blythe C. Shepard, Krista E. Benes,
and Sareena Hopkins
Chapter 33
Mexico 315
Antonio Tena Suck, Eitan Kleinberg, and J. Scott Hinkle
Chapter 34
The United States 323
Marcheta Evans, Thelma Duffey, Bradley T. Erford,
and Samuel T. Gladding
Section 7 Counseling in Oceania Countries
Chapter 35
Australia 335
Margot J. Schofield
Chapter 36
New Zealand 349
Judi H. Miller and Dale S. Furbish
Section 8 Counseling in South and Central American Countries
Chapter 37
Argentina 361
Andres Sánchez Bodas, Mercedes Ballbé ter Maat,
and Lucrecia Sánchez Berneman
Chapter 38
Brazil 371
Aida Hutz-Midgett, Marco Antônio Pereira Teixeira,
and Claudio Simon Hutz
Chapter 39
Ecuador 381
Robert L. Smith and Maria Alexandra Valarezo
vii
Table of Contents
Chapter 40
Guatemala 389
María del Pilar Grazioso, Jennifer Keller, Roberto Swazo,
and Andrés J. Consoli
Chapter 41
Honduras 399
Antoinette Ginés-Rivera and Georgina Panting-Sierra
Chapter 42
Venezuela 409
R. Esteban Montilla
Section 9 Analysis, Synthesis, and Future
Chapter 43
Overview and Analysis of Global Counseling 421
Norman E. Amundson, Spencer G. Niles,
and Thomas H. Hohenshil
Appendix
International Counseling Resources 427
Index 431
ix
Foreword
In their comprehensive text Counseling Around the World, Thomas H. Hohenshil, Norman
E. Amundson, and Spencer G. Niles provide something that never has been attempted:
a snapshot of the counseling profession from a global perspective. The scope of the
book is impressive in that countries from all continents are included and the range of
knowledgeable authors spans a diverse scope of educators, professional counselors,
and scholars worldwide. The chapters are uniformly engaging, thought provoking, and
informative.
Early in the book issues of diversity are defined and contribute to a clearer understand-
ing of the need for global literacy. Readers of this book will experience an enormous in-
crease in their own global literacy. Thus, we highly recommend the book as required read-
ing for all who aspire to become or who already have become professional counselors. The
subtle influences of culture in the development and implementation of counseling services
requires that one have a full awareness of these issues prior to reading the other chapters
in the book.
The editors’ introductory and concluding chapters are not to be missed, as they pro-
vide an overview of the challenges to the globalization of counseling and a succinct yet
comprehensive and in-depth analysis of similarities and differences across nations. The
scope of similarities is at once surprising in its simplicity and complex in its implications.
Whereas counselors in the United States might imagine that their challenges to forming a
clear professional identity are unique to their culture, the authors note that counselors in
other countries face similar challenges. These include educating various publics about the
counselor’s wellness, preventive, developmental approach to helping; establishing edu-
cational standards and recognition for those who call themselves counselors; and over-
coming professional competitiveness and jealousies. Though counselors in many countries
face similar challenges to the development of the profession, issues of language, culture,
and diversity combine to make these challenges unique in each setting. The editors extend
their analysis to a discussion of future challenges, defining both the state of counseling
globally and directions for the future.
Credence is given to the valuable leadership of NBCC International and the Council for
Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (the International Registry
of Counsellor Education Programs) in the global development of the counseling profes-
sion. Chi Sigma Iota within its mission and practice also seeks to support the goals identi-
x
Foreword
fied in the final chapter, especially networking and sharing between and among countries
and practicing professional counselors, counselor educators, and counseling researchers
and scholars. This book provides a strong foundation for such networking and allows
readers to grasp the nuances of the counseling profession as it has evolved and continues
to evolve within varying cultural contexts.
This book is destined to be a classic cited for generations to come, as it establishes the
evolution of the counseling perspective to this point in time, identifies challenges and bar-
riers to its advancement, and proposes needs to be addressed as counselors move into the
future. Counseling Around the World merits integration into core counseling programs and
courses that deal with all aspects of diversity and professional practice. East meets West in
very basic, practical ways when theories of counseling are challenged as to their applicabil-
ity in more collectivist cultures or when spirituality and counseling are thought of as one in
the same for helping. Continuing education programs for professional counselors will also
find this book to be an important resource for planning continuing education. In the com-
ing years, counselors in settings from schools to private practice will find more children,
family members, and persons of other countries of origin coming to them for assistance.
The editors of this book are to be commended for providing a resource that is global in
scope, in depth in content, and at once both realistic and aspirational in terms of defining
both the challenges and potential for the globalization of the counseling profession. This is
essential reading for all counselors!
—Jane E. Myers
Executive Director, Chi Sigma Iota
Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
—Thomas J. Sweeney
Executive Director Emeritus, Chi Sigma Iota
Professor Emeritus, Ohio University
xi
Acknowledgments
Thomas H. Hohenshil
It has been an exciting and extraordinary learning experience working with my excel-
lent coeditors and the contributing authors of this book. Both coeditors have contrib-
uted significant editorial assistance and many excellent suggestions. The 100+ contrib-
uting authors collectively contributed international knowledge about the counseling
profession that is not available anywhere else. To the contributing authors I extend a hearty
thank you for helping transform me into a more globally literate counselor. Thanks to Carolyn
Baker and the other members of the American Counseling Association publications staff,
whose expertise was quite helpful throughout the publication process. And finally, a
special thanks to my wife Sue for her encouragement and assistance throughout the
development of this book. Sue was a professional counselor for more than 20 years and,
thanks to her undergraduate major in English, is an excellent editor in her own right.
• • •
Norman E. Amundson
The breadth of this project is truly quite remarkable and much needed in a time of in-
creasing globalization. Pulling all of this together has required ongoing support from
the American Counseling Association as well as a team of editors and international
writers who have committed themselves fully to the task. I am thankful to be part of
such a team, and I look forward to continued collaboration. Like Tom, I also must ac-
knowledge the help of my wife Jeanette, who works as a spiritual director and is some-
one I can turn to on an ongoing basis for editorial and technological support. The
creation of any new product is truly the result of many minds and hands, and I am very
thankful to be part of the process.
• • •
Spencer G. Niles
I am grateful to my coeditors for their excellent work and leadership on this project. I
am also especially grateful to the international colleagues with whom I have had the
honor of working (many are contributors to this book). They have taught me much
about the international perspective on counseling in the 21st century. We are fortunate
to have such leaders in our global profession.
• • •
xiii
About the Editors
Thomas H. Hohenshil
Dr. Thomas Hohenshil is a Professor Emeritus of Counselor Education at Virginia Tech
(the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg) and a licensed profes-
sional counselor in Virginia. He is the author or coauthor of 125 publications; has served
on the editorial boards of eight national and international counseling and psychology
journals; and is currently the associate editor of the Journal of Counseling & Develop-
ment, with major responsibilities for international counseling. Dr. Hohenshil has also deliv-
ered approximately 125 presentations on a variety of mental health topics at state, national,
and international conferences and workshops. He has received the Distinguished Alumni
Award from Kent State University, the Arthur A. Hitchcock Distinguished Professional
Service Award from the American Counseling Association (ACA), the William H. Van
Hoose Career Service Award from the Virginia Counselors Association, and the ACA Fel-
low Award and was elected to the Academy of Teaching Excellence at Virginia Tech. His
professional interests are broad and include international counseling, the use of technology
in counseling and counselor education, the use of diagnosis based on the Diagnostic and Sta-
tistical Manual of Mental Disorders in counseling, and counseling persons with special needs.
• • •
Norman E. Amundson
Dr. Norman Amundson is a professor of counseling psychology at the Faculty of Educa-
tion, University of British Columbia, Canada. His professional interests center on career
and cross-cultural counseling with a more dynamic and metaphoric experiential ap-
proach (active engagement). He is currently an associate editor of the Journal of Counsel-
ing & Development and was previously the editor of the Journal of Employment Counseling.
Dr. Amundson is the author of many professional articles and has also written a number
of books. His books have been translated into 14 different languages. He has received
awards from many associations, including the National Career Development Associa-
tion, the National Employment Counseling Association, the Canadian Counselling and
Psychotherapy Association, the British Columbia Career Management Association, the
Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling, and the Swedish Career
Development Association. He has also received an honorary doctorate from Umea
University in Sweden.
• • •
xiv
About the Editors
Spencer G. Niles
Dr. Spencer Niles is a Distinguished Professor and Department Head for Educational
Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education at The Pennsylvania State University. He
is also the director of the Center for the Study of Career Development and Public Policy
at Penn State and serves as the director of research for Kuder, Inc. (a Web-based career
planning service). Dr. Niles is a National Career Development Association (NCDA)
Fellow and an American Counseling Association (ACA) Fellow and is the recipient of the
NCDA Eminent Career Award, ACA’s David Brooks Distinguished Mentor Award, the
ACA Extended Research Award, and the University of British Columbia Noted Scholar
Award. He has served as president of the NCDA and editor of The Career Development
Quarterly. He is currently the editor of the Journal of Counseling & Development and serves
on the editorial boards of an additional six national and international journals. He has
authored or coauthored approximately 120 publications and delivered more than 125 pre-
sentations on career development theory and practice. He has lectured in more than 15
countries and is an honorary member of the Japanese Career Development Association,
an honorary member of the Italian Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance,
and a lifetime honorary member of the Ohio Career Development Association.
• • •
xv
About the Contributors
Norman E. Amundson, PhD, is a professor of counseling psychology, University of Brit-
ish Columbia, Canada (Book coeditor, Coauthor Introductory and Summary chapters).
Ma. Lourdes Arellano-Carandang, PhD, is a professorial lecturer in psychology, Univer-
sity of the Philippines, and founder of the Ma. Lourdes Arellano-Carandang Institute
for Children and Families, Quezon City, Philippines (Coauthor, Philippines chapter).
Krista E. Benes, MA, is a consultant for the Canadian Career Development Foundation,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (Coauthor, Canada chapter).
Lucrecia Sánchez Berneman is a licensed psychologist and an assistant professor at Holos
San Isidro Institute, Buenos Aires, Argentina (Coauthor, Argentina chapter).
Jenny Bimrose, PhD, is a professor and deputy director, Institute for Employment Re-
search, University of Warwick, England (Coauthor, England chapter).
Andres Sánchez Bodas is a licensed psychologist and university professor, founder and
director of the first counseling program (Primera Escuela Argentina De Counseling
and Holos San Isidro Institute) in Buenos Aires, and chief executive officer of NBCC
Argentina (Coauthor, Argentina chapter).
McLytton Nkonde Clever, DClinPsych, is a mental health clinician, Ballarat Psychiatric
Services, regional Victoria, Australia (Coauthor, Zimbabwe chapter).
Don C. Combs, EdD, is an associate professor and department chair, Department of
Educational Psychology & Special Services, University of Texas at El Paso, United
States (Coauthor, Taiwan chapter).
Kayte Conroy, PhD, LMHC, CRC, is an assistant program director and clinical coordina-
tor, Rehabilitation Counseling Program, University of Buffalo, United States (Coauthor,
Ireland chapter).
Andrés J. Consoli, PhD, is a professor and associate chair, Department of Counseling,
College of Health & Human Services, San Francisco State University, United States
(Coauthor, Guatemala chapter).
Christine L. Currie, PhD, LPC, NCC, is a professor, director of the Center for Counseling
and Soul Care, and Coordinator of International Relations, School of Social Work and
Counseling, Russian-American Institute, Moscow, Russia (Coauthor, Russia chapter).
Thelma Duffey, PhD, is a professor and chair, Department of Counseling, University of
Texas at San Antonio, United States (Coauthor, United States chapter).
Alexandra Durcikova, PhD, is an assistant professor, Eller College of Management,
University of Arizona, United States (Coauthor, Czech Republic chapter).
xvi
About the Contributors
Bradley T. Erford, PhD, is a professor of education specialties, Loyola University
Maryland, United States (Coauthor, United States chapter).
Marcheta Evans, PhD, LPC-S, NCC, is associate dean (Downtown Campus) and an as-
sociate professor, University of Texas at San Antonio, United States (Coauthor, United
States chapter).
Dale S. Furbish, EdD, is a senior lecturer and program leader, Graduate Diploma and
Master of Career Development, School of Education, Auckland University of Technology,
Auckland, New Zealand (Coauthor, New Zealand chapter).
Antoinette Ginés-Rivera, PhD, is an assistant professor and Director of Internship & Field
Placement, Alliance Graduate School of Counseling, Nyack College, New York City,
United States (Coauthor, Honduras chapter).
Theodoros Giovazolias, PsyD, is an assistant professor of counseling psychology, University
of Crete, Greece (Coauthor, Greece chapter).
Samuel T. Gladding, PhD, is a professor and chair, Department of Counseling, Wake
Forest University, United States (Coauthor, United States chapter).
Tomoko Kudo Grabosky, PhD, is an associate professor/counselor, Department of
Counseling Services, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, United States (Co-
author, Japan chapter).
María del Pilar Grazioso, PhD, is director of the Master’s Program in Counseling Psychol-
ogy and Mental Health, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (Coauthor, Guatemala
chapter).
Jean Guichard, PhD, is a professor of vocational psychology and career counseling, In-
stitut National d’Etude du Travail et d’Orientation Professionnelle—Conservatoire
National des Arts et Métiers, Paris, France (Coauthor, France chapter).
Oya Yerin Güneri, PhD, is an associate professor, Guidance and Psychological Counseling
Program, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey (Coauthor, Turkey chapter).
Yuh-Jen Guo, PhD, LPC-S, NCC, is an assistant professor of counselor education, Depart-
ment of Educational Psychology & Special Services, University of Texas at El Paso,
United States (Coauthor, Taiwan chapter).
Stacy Henning, PhD, LPC, ACS, is an assistant professor and Worldwide Director of
Counseling, Webster University, United States (Coauthor, Switzerland chapter).
J. Scott Hinkle, PhD, is Director of Professional Development, National Board for Certi-
fied Counselors, United States (Coauthor, Mexico chapter).
Thomas H. Hohenshil, PhD, LPC, is Professor Emeritus of Counselor Education, Virginia
Polytechnic Institute and State University, United States (Book coeditor, Coauthor In-
troductory and Summary chapters).
Sareena Hopkins, MEd, CCC, GCDFi, is the coexecutive director of the Canadian Career
Development Foundation, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (Coauthor, Canada chapter).
Sharon G. Horne, PhD, is an associate professor, Department of Counseling and School
Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Boston, United States (Coauthor, Kyrgyz Re-
public chapter).
Deirdre Hughes, PhD, OBE, is an Associate Fellow, Institute for Employment Research,
Warwick University, United Kingdom, and an associate at the Centre for Educational
Sociology, Edinburgh University, United Kingdom (Coauthor, England chapter).
Claudio Simon Hutz, PhD, is a professor of psychology, Federal University of Rio Grande
do Sul, Brazil (Coauthor, Brazil chapter).
Aida Hutz-Midgett, EdD, is an associate professor of counselor education, Boise State
University, United States (Coauthor, Brazil chapter).
Harue Ishii, PhD, is a counselor, Office of International Affairs, Hokkaido University, Sap-
poro, Japan (Coauthor, Japan chapter).
Moshe Israelashvili, PhD, is an associate professor, Department of Special Education &
School Counseling, Tel Aviv University, Israel (Author, Israel chapter).
xvii
About the Contributors
Sachin Jain, PhD, is an assistant professor, Department of Counseling, Oakland University,
United States (Coauthor, India chapter).
Jennifer Johnson, MA, is a doctoral candidate, Counselor Education Department, University
of Central Florida, Orlando, United States (Coauthor, Ireland chapter).
Jennifer Keller, MA, is a graduate of the master’s program in counseling psychology and
mental health, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (Coauthor, Guatemala chapter).
Elena Kim, MA, is a doctoral candidate and assistant professor, Psychology Program,
American University of Central Asia, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic (Coauthor, Kyrgyz
Republic chapter).
Muthoni Kimemia, PhD, is an assistant professor, Department of Educational Psychol-
ogy and Special Education, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, United States
(Coauthor, Kenya chapter).
Eitan Kleinberg, MS, NCC, is a counseling trainer at Universidad Iberoamericana in
Mexico City and coordinator of NBCC Mexico and its certification affiliate, the Aso-
ciación Mexicana de Orientación Psicológica y Psicoterapia A.C., Mexico (Coauthor,
Mexico chapter).
Patrick Marius Koga, MD, MPH, is an associate clinical professor of international health,
Department of Public Health Sciences, University of California–Davis School of
Medicine, United States (Coauthor, Kyrgyz Republic chapter).
Elena Kosterina, MA, is chair, Psychology Program, American University of Central Asia,
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic (Coauthor, Kyrgyz Republic chapter).
Marina V. Kuzmina, MA, is a clinician at Compass Youth and Family Services, LLC,
Norfolk, Virginia (Coauthor, Russia chapter).
Kanykei Latipova, MSW, is an instructor, Psychology Program, American University of
Central Asia, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic (Coauthor, Kyrgyz Republic chapter).
Sang Min Lee, PhD, is an associate professor, Department of Education, Korea University,
Korea (Coauthor, South Korea chapter).
Ben K. Lim, PhD, LMFT, is a professor of marriage and family therapy, Bethel University,
San Diego, California, United States (Coauthor, China chapter).
Soh-Leong Lim, PhD, LMFT, is an associate professor of marriage and family therapy, San
Diego State University, California, United States (Coauthor, China chapter).
Messiah R. Makuane, MSc, is a rehabilitation counseling graduate, Faculty of Health Sci-
ences, University of Sydney, Australia (Coauthor, Zimbabwe chapter).
Maria Malikiosi-Loizos, EdD, is a professor of counseling psychology, University of
Athens, Greece (Coauthor, Greece chapter).
Davide Mariotti, Diploma di Laurea (DL), is director, Associazione Culturale Komidé—
Studio e Scuola di Counseling, Pesaro, Italy (Coauthor, Italy chapter).
Shizuno Mase, MS, is a part-time college counselor, Temple University Japan and Musashi
University, Tokyo, Japan (Coauthor, Japan chapter).
Renae D. Mayes, MEd, is a doctoral student, The Ohio State University, United States
(Coauthor, Global Diversity chapter).
Garrett J. McAuliffe, EdD, is a university professor of counseling, Old Dominion University,
Norfolk, Virginia, United States (Coauthor, Ireland chapter).
Magen M. Mhaka-Mutepfa, MEd, is Student Counseling Services Director, the University
of Zimbabwe (Coauthor, Zimbabwe chapter).
Sehar Mikhemar, MEd, is an assistant lecturer, Faculty of Education, Ain Shams University,
Egypt (Author, Egypt chapter).
Judi H. Miller, PhD, is an associate professor and Coordinator of Counsellor Education,
Health Sciences Centre, College of Education, University of Canterbury, Christchurch,
New Zealand (Coauthor, New Zealand chapter).
Elena Molchanova, MD, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology, American University
in Central Asia, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic (Coauthor, Kyrgyz Republic chapter).
xviii
About the Contributors
R. Esteban Montilla, PhD, is an assistant professor and Coordinator of Latin American
Program Development, St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas, United States
(Author, Venezuela chapter).
James L. Moore III, PhD, is an associate provost, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, profes-
sor of counselor education, and director of the Todd Anthony Bell National Resource
Center on the African American Male, The Ohio State University, United States (Co-
author, Global Diversity chapter).
Elias Mpofu, PhD, DEd, is a professor and head of rehabilitation counseling, Faculty of
Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia (Coauthor, Zimbabwe chapter).
Jabulani Mpofu, MEd, is a lecturer in psychology and special needs education, Zimbabwe
Open University (Coauthor, Zimbabwe chapter).
Ruslan I. Nadyuk, PhD, is the dean of the School of Social Work and Counseling, Russian-
American Institute, Moscow, Russia (Coauthor, Russia chapter).
Sylvia C. Nassar-McMillan, PhD, LPC, NCC, ACS, is a professor and Program Coordina-
tor of Counselor Education, North Carolina State University, United States (Coauthor,
Global Diversity chapter).
Patricia Ncube, MSN/PGDE, is deputy director, Affiliated Institutions, and a doctoral
candidate, Counselling and Human Services, University of Botswana (Coauthor,
Botswana chapter).
Roberta A. Neault, PhD, is president of Life Strategies Ltd., Aldergrove, British Columbia,
Canada (Coauthor, Canada chapter).
Cristina Nedelcu, PhD, is executive assistant, NBCC Romania (Coauthor, Romania chapter).
Maureen Neihart, PsyD, is an associate professor and head of psychological studies,
National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (Co-
author, Singapore chapter).
Spencer G. Niles, EdD, is Distinguished Professor and Department Head, The Pennsyl-
vania State University, United States (Book coeditor, Coauthor Introductory and
Summary chapters).
Amy Nitza, PhD, is an associate professor and Coordinator of School Counselor Educa-
tion, Indiana University–Purdue University, Fort Wayne, United States (Coauthor,
Botswana chapter).
Kannikar Nolrajsuwat, EdD, is an assistant professor, Counseling Program, Chulalongkorn
University, Bangkok, Thailand (Coauthor, Thailand chapter).
Kayi Ntinda, MSW, is a doctoral candidate, Counselling and Human Services, University
of Botswana (Coauthor, Botswana chapter).
Lois Achieng Ochieng, MA, is a counseling psychologist and director, Healing Talk Coun-
seling Services, Uganda (Coauthor, Uganda chapter).
Jane E. Atieno Okech, PhD, is an associate professor, Counseling Program, University of
Vermont, United States (Coauthor of Kenya chapter).
Aneneosa A. G. Okocha, PhD, is a full professor (2000–2003 chairperson), Counselor
Education Department, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, United States (Author,
Nigeria chapter).
Padraig O’Morain, MA, MIACP, is a core tutor, Institute of Integrative Counselling and
Psychotherapy, Dublin, Ireland (Coauthor, Ireland chapter).
Fidan Korkut Owen, PhD, is a retired full professor, Counseling and Guidance Program,
Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey (Coauthor, Turkey chapter).
Georgina Panting-Sierra, EdD, is a clinician in private practice and adjunct professor,
Asbury Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida, United States (Coauthor, Honduras
chapter).
Yegan Pillay, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Higher
Education, Patton College of Education, Ohio University, Athens, United States (Coau-
thor, South Africa chapter).
xix
About the Contributors
Peter Plant, PhD, is a professor in the Career Counseling Program, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus
University, Copenhagen, Denmark (Coauthor, Denmark chapter).
Jacques Pouyaud, PhD, is a senior lecturer in work psychology, vocational psychology, and
career counseling, University of Bordeaux Segalen, France (Coauthor, France chapter).
Theodore P. Remley Jr., JD, PhD, is a professor and the Batten Endowed Chair, Depart-
ment of Counseling and Human Services, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia,
United States (Coauthor, Italy chapter).
Kimberly A. M. Richards, PhD, NCC, SACC, is a faculty researcher, Department of Public
Health, Oregon State University, Corvallis, United States, and a consultant with the
Harare Research Group, Zimbabwe (Coauthor, Zimbabwe chapter).
Daya Singh Sandhu, EdD, NCC, NCCC, NCSC, LPCC, ACA Fellow, is a Distinguished
Professor of Research and former chairperson (1996–2004), Department of Education-
al and Counseling Psychology, University of Louisville, Kentucky, United States. He
twice received the Senior Fulbright Research award for India (Coauthor, India chapter).
Varunee Faii Sangganjanavanich, PhD, is an assistant professor, Department of Counseling,
The University of Akron, Ohio, United States (Coauthor, Thailand chapter).
Margot J. Schofield, PhD, is a professor of counseling and psychotherapy and head,
Department of Counselling and Psychological Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne,
Australia (Author, Australia chapter).
Ruth M. Senyonyi, PhD, is a counseling psychologist, Bank of Uganda, Kampala (Coau-
thor, Uganda chapter).
Blythe C. Shepard, PhD, is an associate professor, Faculty of Education (Counselling),
University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada (Coauthor, Canada chapter).
Jack D. Simons, MEd, is a doctoral student, Division of Counseling and Family Therapy,
University of Missouri–St. Louis, United States (Coauthor, Czech Republic chapter).
Robert L. Smith, PhD, is a professor and chair, Department of Counseling & Educational
Psychology, Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, United States (Coauthor, Ecuador
chapter).
Shannon D. Smith, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Educational and
Clinical Studies, College of Education, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, United States
(Coauthor, South Africa chapter).
Rex Stockton, EdD, is Chancellor’s Professor and Counseling Psychology Program Training
Director, Indiana University, United States (Coauthor, Botswana chapter).
Josef Strasser, PhD, is an associate professor of education, University of Augsburg,
Germany (Author, Germany chapter).
Antonio Tena Suck, PhD, is director of the Psychology Department, Universidad Iberoamer-
icana in Mexico City, and director of NBCC Mexico (Coauthor, Mexico chapter).
Roberto Swazo, PhD, is an associate professor and Coordinator of the Counseling Program,
College of Education, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, United States (Coauthor,
Guatemala chapter).
Andreea Szilagyi, PhD, is director of NBCC Romania, vice-president of the European
Board for Certified Counselors, and an associate professor, Petroleum-Gas University
of Ploiesti, Romania (Coauthor, Romania chapter).
Soo Yin Tan, PhD, is a senior lecturer in psychological studies, National Institute of
Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (Coauthor, Singapore chapter).
Marco Antônio Pereira Teixeira, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology, Federal
University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (Coauthor, Brazil chapter).
Mercedes Ballbé ter Maat, PhD, is an associate professor, Counselor Education Program,
Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, United States (Coauthor,
Argentina chapter).
Roslyn Thomas, DPhil, is a professor and head of psychology, sociology, and counseling,
Webster University, Geneva, Switzerland (Coauthor, Switzerland chapter).
xx
About the Contributors
Rie Thomsen, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University,
Copenhagen, Denmark (Coauthor, Denmark chapter).
Ma. Teresa G. Tuason, PhD, is an associate professor in the Clinical Mental Health Coun-
seling Program, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, United States (Coauthor,
Philippines chapter).
Maria Alexandra Valarezo, MS, is a graduate student, Department of Counseling & Edu-
cational Psychology, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi; and a research assistant,
Antonio E. Garcia Art & Education Center, Corpus Christi (Coauthor, Ecuador chapter).
Tommaso Valleri, Diploma di Laurea (DL), is the secretary general, AssoCounseling
Associazione Professionale di Categoria, Milan, Italy (Coauthor, Italy chapter).
Shu-Ching Wang, PhD, CSC, is an adjunct professor of counselor education, Department
of Educational Psychology & Special Services, University of Texas at El Paso, United
States (Coauthor, Taiwan chapter).
Heather A. Warfield, MA, NCC, is a doctoral candidate in counselor education, North
Carolina State University, United States (Coauthor, Global Diversity chapter).
Eunjoo Yang, PhD, is an associate professor, Department of Psychology, Korea University,
Korea (Coauthor, South Korea chapter).
Lay See Yeo, PhD, is an associate professor of psychological studies, National Institute of
Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (Coauthor, Singapore chapter).
Sergei V. Yevdoschenko, MA, MDiv, NCC, is a Gestalt therapist and a professionally
practicing psychotherapist, Krasnodar, Russia (Coauthor, Russia chapter).
Shupikai Zebron, MEd, is a lecturer in counseling, Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe
(Coauthor, Zimbabwe chapter).
• • •
From Traditional Healing to Professional Counseling:
An Historical Development of a New Profession in India
Sachin Jain and Daya Singh Sandhu
Historical Introduction
India has one of the oldest civilizations and has a rich cultural heritage. As such it also
has many ancient healing traditions. With more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most
populous country in the world, next only to China. While Hindi and English are the official
languages, there are in addition 22 major languages and more than 7000 dialects. All children are
required to master at least three languages, their mother tongue, Hindi, and English.
India is a land of contradictions. There is a large gap between the rich and the poor.
While there are mud huts like those highlighted in the movie Slum Dog Millionaire, there are
also many skyscrapers. There is also a new awakening with respect to communication. It is quite
common to see a person sitting on a donkey or pulling a rickshaw and talking on their Nokia
mobile phone.
No civilization can remain resilient or even survive without good guidance, mental
health, and spiritual help. Indian culture is no exception. As one of the most ancient civilizations,
India has a long history of help seeking behaviors. The very essence of counseling and
psychotherapy concepts, as known in modern times, dates back to the age of the Vedas, written
as far back as 2500 BCE. What has changed over time, however, is the nature of the purposes,
sources, and relationships of the help seekers and help providers.
We would like to start by discussing the development of professional counseling over
three major eras, namely ancient India called Bharata after the name of the legendry king,
medieval India known as Hindustan, and then modern India. The healing traditions of India
could be viewed in three broad streams or forces, namely shamanism, spirituality, and scientific
(3s). These three major healing traditions could be viewed as independent approaches of mental
health, sometimes working simultaneously with one another. These three traditions have also
been described as local and folk traditions, mystical, and medical traditions (Kakar, 1991).
Ayurveda is considered one of the most ancient medicines practiced in India as early as
the 6th Century B.C. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means a science of life. It is a system of medicine
that classifies most human problems into three major categories - the psychic, exogenous, and
the endogenous. Its psychic branch is called Bhuta Vidya and this deals directly with mental
health and psychiatric problems.
Since ancient times, Indians rishi and munis (saints) sought to develop methods to
conquer the mind. This process is a form of self-realization that integrates personality with the
spiritual. The Atharva Veda described good mental health as the restoration of equilibrium of
three components of human personality called gunnas, Vatta, Pitta, and Shelshma or Kaph. The
practitioners of Ayurveda are called Vaids who believe that imbalance of gunnas is the main
cause of various illnesses and mental health problems. For instance, wrong food and uninhibited
sexual indulgence, and environmental factors such as excessive cold or hot weather can cause
physical and mental disturbances. Similarly, excessive cold can cause depression, excessive heat
can cause excitement, and excessive bile can cause hostility (Kapur, 1975). It is interesting that
this very early system integrates nutrition, the environment and psychological well being, a
holistic approach to mental health.
Treatment in Ayurvedic treatment methods includes a variety of herbs, food restrictions,
decoctions and oils. At times, forced continence was practiced to regain the equilibrium. In
addition to Ayurvedic Vaids, Kapur (1975) also identified Mantarwadis and Patris as two
additional types of traditional healers in the rural villages of India. These healers believed that
people suffered because of misdeeds committed in their present or previous lives. The Law of
Karma has impacted the Hindu psyche for centuries. This deterministic belief asserts that we
must pay for our actions either in the present or in our next lives. Misdeeds are never forgiven.
This prevalent belief has helped people to accept their misfortunes, diseases and illnesses, as well
as poverty and destitution as the consequences of personal conduct (Laungani, 2005).
Lord Shiva, the Lord of Destruction, punishes a person for misdeeds through his army of
spirits or by bringing a malign conjunction of unlucky stars. Generally, Mantarwadis uses their
knowledge of the zodiac to treat their patients for mental problems and psychological distress
through some potent mystical verses from Vedas, by blowing their breath on the holy threads, or
by giving the patients a talisman to wear (Kapur, 1975). Vedas are replete with hymns, poems,
and verses which consist of secret mantras, prayers, and absolutions that are offered to Vedic
gods for appeasement and forgiveness through penance and repentance.
On the other hand, a Patri acts as a medium for a spirit who actually conducts the
therapeutic act. Generally, a Patri may induce a self-possession state for the master spirit through
incense, dance or music and becomes his or her master’s voice. According to the Patri, mental
afflictions are caused by the evil spirits. Animal sacrifices or ritual feasts are offered to the
possessing spirits and they are asked to leave the body of the patient.
Patri healers often chant sacred verses, sprinkle holy water or give their patients a
talisman to wear at all times to keep the evil spirits away. On occasions some psalms from the
holy books are assigned and patients are asked to recite them several times a day and before
bedtime. Patri are considered as a conduit between the patient and the spirit and they can
negotiate an exorcism.
The beliefs in Vedic astrology are strongly ingrained in the minds of Indian people since
Vedic times. There are a large number of astrologers, horoscope specialists, and palmists
available in India at any time who profess to understand the benevolent or malevolent influences
of planets on individual lives. Beliefs in astrology and the malevolent and benevolent influences
of planets on one’s life are strongly ingrained in the Indian psyche.
Current status
As a part of the economic and social changes in India due to rapid industrialization and
urbanization for the last decade, people are experiencing significant multiple stressors in their
lives, caused by social and cultural upheaval. Some of these stressors are causing some very
serious mental health concerns including clinical depression, anxiety, mental stress, marital
discords, domestic violence, and serious alcoholism and substance abuse problems. Naturally,
several psychosomatic and physical health problems develop such as hypertension, cirrhosis of
the liver, heart problems, and psycho-social phobias (Sandhu, 2011).
The National Mental Health Programme estimates that at least 30 million people in India
are in a dire need of mental health services. The elderly, women, migrants, refugees, street
children and newly coming out of the shadows gays and lesbian populations are particularly
vulnerable. “In India, at a given point of time, nearly 15 million people suffer from serious
psychiatric illness, and another 30 million from mild/moderate psychiatric problems…
According to the NIMHANS estimates, we have a burden of nearly 100 million people with
neuropsychiatric and substance abuse problems” (Sinha, April 10, 2010).
Of course, these figures are limited only to severe psychiatric problems relating to
psychosis. The number of mental health problems relating to neurosis is also very high. We
believe that every tenth person in India faces a mental health challenge of some sort. Thus, the
number of people suffering from psychological problems in India is more than 100 million.
Furthermore, it is interesting to note that most of India’s problems start with the letter “p”
such as population, prejudice, pollution, and poverty (Sandhu, 2007). These problems are
perpetuating and permanent in nature. In addition there are some non-permanent or temporary
problems which include police, politicians, preachers and Pakistan.
Most of these problems are at the societal level but they do have the real potential to add
to the mental health afflictions or emotional problems of the individuals at a personal level. For
instance, all of the ‘p’ problems mentioned earlier could create, aggravate or exacerbate mental
depression, stress, anxiety, fear, and suicide ideation.
Without doubt, there is truly a mental health crisis in India. Lack of availability and
access to trained professionals is making things worse. To cope with the psychological and
mental health challenges of life, a large number of people visit priests, spiritual healers, mystics,
and indigenous practitioners as the field of mental health counseling is still at a very initial stage.
The District Mental Health Program (DMHP) is a flagship initiative of the Indian
Government to help people cope with their mental health problems. The DMHP is designed to
integrate mental health services into primary health care and is presently implemented in 125
districts. A budgetary allocation of Rs. 28 crore (approximately $280 million) was made during
the Ninth Plan for the National Mental Health Program.
It is commendable that in response to growing psychological problems in the country, the
Government of India drafted the Mental Health Act of 1987 which came into effect in all states,
including the union territories, in April 1993. While we applaud the Government of India’s
efforts, the Mental Health Act of 1987 is limited only to the treatment and care of mentally ill
persons who suffer specifically from diseases such as schizophrenia, bipolar, and obsessive-
compulsive disorders. Most of these problems are psychiatric problems, generally caused by
psychosis. The India Mental Health Act of 1987 is beneficial only at laying down guidelines for
the establishment and maintenance of psychiatric hospitals and nursing homes.
The Indian Mental Health Act of 1987 is limited in scope and does not include persons
who suffer from numerous other mental health problems such as suicide ideation, alcoholism and
substance abuse, family and community violence, anxiety and stress disorders, to name a few.
Unfortunately, all these unresolved psychological problems become the underlying reasons for
many untold number of suicides, homicides, family and marital difficulties, school-related
problems, and workplace incompetence and violence. While the Indian Mental Health Act of
1987 and the District Mental Health Program (DMHP) are applauded for their focus on
psychiatric services in hospitals and institutions, regrettably they do not address issues relating to
the psychological mental health of most of the population.
There is an acute shortage of trained mental health professionals in India (Barua, 2009).
There are only 37 mental health institutions, 3500 psychiatrists, and 1000 clinical psychologists
to serve such a population of 1.3 billion people. Most recently, it was reported by the Indian
Government that there is only 1 psychiatrist for every 400,000 persons. It is one of the lowest
ratios anywhere in the world. A country like the United States has 64 psychiatrists for every
400,000 persons.
We strongly believe that there is an urgent and immediate need for trained mental health
care professionals and for counseling facilities such as university and community mental health
counseling centers to help the people of India to meet their guidance and counseling needs. It is
important to note that all the p-problems of India (population, poverty, prejudice, and so on) are
amenable to professional counseling services.
Counseling practices which work best
Due to a lack of trained professionals families often rely on alternate healers for resolving
psychiatric issues. Their therapeutic approaches include reading the individual horoscopes,
prescribing mantras and prayers from Vedic scriptures and making special offers to a particular
deity at a Hindu temple. Vedic astrology considers nakshtras, the zodiac in which a person is
born, to be of utmost significance. It is a particular nakshtra which determines one’s destiny at
birth and charts the course of life with regard to pleasure and pain. However, planetary effects
can be changed by wearing clothes of special colors or by using different types of stones as
suggested by the astrologer or joytishi who has knowledge of the heavenly bodies.
In addition, there are a variety of other people such as diviners, shamans, sadhus, swamis,
matas (spiritual ladies), bhagwans, and babas (spiritual men) available who claim to possess
mystical and spiritual powers to remove their clients’ psychical distress through prayers and
mantras. Overall, these healing traditions are quite popular as they do not require much
responsibility on the part of the afflicted persons except to pay for the services. For this reason,
most of the family members of a mentally ill person usually seek help from a traditional healer or
a religious shrine before consulting modern day psychiatric services.
Generally, the relationship between a traditional healer and the mentally ill can be
described as a relationship between a guru (teacher) and the shishya (disciple). In this highly
epitomized relationship, the guru is considered to be similar to a spiritual guide. Having a deep
reverence and concern for each other, this guru and shishya relationship is considered sacred and
complete, much wider and deeper than that of the therapist and patient relationship in Western
psychotherapy.
Professional counseling is just beginning in India. The awakening and significance of this
new profession is getting wide publicity in Indian newspapers and on various websites. In a
recently published article, Chopra (2011) described counselors as confidants, advisors, and
teachers who help people with family, mental health, drug and alcohol addiction and career
decisions in different settings including, schools, clinics, NGOs, and AID counseling centers.
Modern day living with increasing pressures is driving people in India to seek more professional
help for their vocational, social, and emotional problems. According to Chopra (2011) a well
trained professional counselor will be never a without a job in India. However, there is also a
dire need for counselor educators who can provide adequate training. At the present time, there
are a handful of universities that offer training in counseling. Some of these universities include
Annamalai University, Punjab University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, National Council for
Research and Training (NCERT), New Delhi, and Karnataka University.
There are some sporadic attempts by professionals, trained in the United States, United
Kingdom or Canada to provide professional counseling through private practice. For instance,
one such internet advertisement referred to counseling as life coaching and promised to help
clients deal with un-surmountable problems such as handling problem children, balancing
between work and home, managing issues of repatriation, study-related problems, meeting
parental expectations, and finding meaning in life. This particular professional psychotherapist
claimed to be trained in cognitive therapy and have Indian clients from all around the world.
Most recently, with the help of United States India Education Foundation (USIEF) and
Vice Chancellor, the second author, Dr. Sandhu, developed a post graduate diploma in mental
health counseling at the Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar. This diploma program is for one
year with an additional four months of internship experience under the licensed psychiatrists
practicing in the city of Amritsar. This diploma program is unique and it is an ambitious attempt
since its course requirements are designed to meet all the CACREP standards.
Sandhu (2011) also established the Association of Mental Health Counselors-India on
May 4, 2010 based on the model of the American Counseling Association. As an Executive
Director of the Association of Mental Health Counselors-India, Dr. Sandhu signed a
memorandum of understanding with the American Mental Health Counselors Association
(AMHCA) on July 14, 2011 to develop collaborative relationships between AMHCA and
AMHC-India. AMHC-India has also developed a collaborative relationship with the Counseling
Association of India (CAI) that was established in 2005. The first author, Dr. Jain, played a
leading role in starting and registering this association as an N.G.O. under the Bombay Public
Trust Act of 1950.
Increasingly personal, mental health counseling, academic and career counseling are
gaining in acceptance and popularity in India. It is important not to overlook Delhi based Pervin
Malhotra, India’s top career counselor. She has become an icon of career and academic
counseling. Malhotra is hailed by the media as a Career Encyclopedia and Career Queen. Her
daily columns reach an audience of more than 50 million people. Her career guidance through
her institute CARING (Career Information and Guidance) has already impacted millions of lives.
Arulmani (2007) noted that in a survey on the importance of counseling conducted in
1993, only 5 percent of school heads believed that counseling in schools was important. After
seven years, the same survey reported that 95 percent of school heads agreed that school
counseling was not only important, but is an urgently required service. There has been a
significant economic and cultural change in India during the last ten years. There is a great
opportunity in India now for professional counseling if it incorporates the contextual realities of
India. Also, the Government of India has started policy actions to support counseling services to
address the needs of adolescents in a Five-Year Plan. This seems to be a golden time for school
counseling in India.
Diversity issues
As per the last census survey of India out of the total population of little over 1 billion,
80.5 percent are Hindus, 13.4 percent are Muslims, 2.3 percent are Christians,1.9 percent are
Sikhs, 0.8 percent are Buddhists, 0.4 percent are Jains, and 0.6 percent belong to other religions
(census, 2001). The census survey also highlighted the linguistic diversity- 6600 mother tongues
grouped in 122 major languages which includes the 22 official languages listed in the
Constitution of India (Mohanty, 2010). The population of India itself is not homogeneous, and
subgroups retain their own cultural and religious practices (Durvasula and Mylvaganam, 1994).
Hierarchical differences also exist in the ethnic identity of people based on their caste (Kohli &
Faul 2005). There are four major castes followed by three sections of socially disadvantaged
groups- Scheduled Caste (SC), Schedule Tribes (ST), and other backward classes (OBC)
comprising, 16.2%, 8.2% and 54.4% of the country’s population respectively (census, 2001,
Bayly 1999). Living standards in SC, ST and OBC households are much lower than the
mainstream population, comprising the Hindu ‘forward castes’ and other religions, including
those belonging to the Christian, Muslim and Sikh religious faiths (Gang, Sen & Yun, 2008).
Individuals from SC, ST and OBC groups are underrepresented in high-status positions in
business, government, and society (Weisskopf, 2004). Lack of role models, support, and stigma
attached to individuals belonging to socially disadvantaged groups (Naudet, 2008) may be some
of the reasons for high dropout rates at elite educational institutions such as the Indian Institute
of Technology (Banerji, 2011). Neighborhoods are segregated based on religion and caste. Such
segregation coupled with lack of diversity education (Kohli & Faul 2005) has led to critical
biases (Sowell, 2004).
While India is one of the fastest developing countries in the world, poverty remains
widespread throughout the country. Approximately 70% of the population is still living in rural
settings and more than 40% of the population falls below the international poverty line. The
combination of poverty and gender disparities has put females in the poorest stratum of society
and at a great disadvantage (Balatchandirane, 2003). The gender differences are reflected in
educational attainment, access to nutritious food etc. For example around 80 percent of girls
from households in the top 20 percent on the asset index complete grade eight, as compared with
only 9.5 percent of the girls from the poorest 40 percent on the asset index (Filmer and Pritchett,
2009). Filmer and Pritchett (2009) analyzed the data from 35 countries and the study asset index
constituted the lower 40 percent, the middle 40 percent, and the top 20 percent of the population.
To improve the condition of females, in 1993 the constitution was amended to ensure that a third
of all seats in locally elected councils (in the panchayati raj system) were reserved for women
(Mehrotra & Kapoor, 2009).
Another important diversity issue that impacts counselors is working with those persons
with a physical disability. World Bank’s report (2007) estimates 40-90 million individuals with
disabilities. The report also lists the state-wise percentage of out of school children with
disabilities. The percentage varies from 55% in the north-east state of Assam to 27% in the
southern state of Kerala. Children with disabilities very rarely progress beyond primary school
(Singal, 2009). Factors such as low educational attainment, poor employment prospects and
stigma (disability being the result of “sins” of disabled people or their parents) result in poor
living conditions of such families. Previous research shows that approximately 70% of the
disabling conditions are preventable (Alkazi 1992 as cited in Kuruvilla and Joseph, 1999).
Counselors can play a major role as part of multi-disciplinary teams in preventing such disabling
conditions.
The other important population that counselors need to be competent to work is the
members of Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) community. In July 2009, the
Delhi High Court decriminalized homosexual intercourse between consenting adults throughout
India. Before this legal verdict, more than one million members belonging to this community
were often ostracized socially and persecuted by the police (Prakash, 2011).
Indian culture has valued the wisdom of elderly people and has always been very
supportive of their needs. The traditional joint family system has reduced the abuse of elderly
people. With an increase in migration towards cities there has been an increase in nuclear
families. Counselor trainees need to be competent to serve this population as “younger clinicians
may find that the acceptance of their role and function in counseling middle-aged and older
adults takes time.” (Carson, Jain & Ramirez 2009, p. 50).
Counselor education/training
Dr. N.N. Sengupta who worked under Professor Hugo Munsterberg, a former student of
Wundt, established the very first Department of Psychology in 1915 at the Calcutta University. It
was the first time that western style psychological teaching and research was introduced in India.
In the beginning, western psychology as a ready made package, became quite popular to replace
the intellectual and indigenous systems that had been in vogue for several thousand years
(Nandy, 1974). Until 1960’s western psychology with its emphasis on scientific inquiry became
a very attractive field of study in many Indian universities and colleges. However, after the
1960s, a number of signs of growing crisis and dissatisfaction with western psychology started
appearing. Due to a lack of cultural relevance western psychology lost much of its early
momentum (Pareek, 1980). Indian researchers added very little to western psychological
knowledge and there was only a minimal demonstration of originality (Sinha, 1993). Western
psychology in India was quite encapsulated, an academic subject confined to the classrooms but
rarely practiced in the field. However, there are some significant revival efforts being made by
the Government of India to promote psychological research throughout the country. For this
purpose the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) was established in 1968.
Many clinical and counseling psychology programs in India are unaccredited (Raney &
Cinarbas, 2005). The University Grant Commission (UGC) is authorized by the Government of
India for coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of university education in
India. Amity University, Bharathiar University, Delhi University & VBS Purvanchal University
are accredited by UGC for offering masters program (2 year) in Applied Psychology (with a
focus on clinical and counseling skills). Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar and the National
Council of Educational Research and Training are offering Post Graduate Diploma (1 year)
programs in Counseling. Annamalai University offers 1 year hybrid (distance & face-to-face
component) Post Graduate Diploma programs in Counseling. Curriculum mainly resolves around
abnormal psychology, theories, research, and assessment. None of the programs manage on
campus counseling centers for students’ practicum or internship hours. Most of the students
complete their internships at mental health settings under supervision of a clinical psychologist
or a psychiatrist. Other settings such as K-12 schools and special education institutions lack
qualified professionals for supervision, particularly in rural settings. A World Health
Organization report has shown that per 100,000 people in India, there are currently 0.02
psychiatrists, 0.05 psychiatric nurses, 0.03 psychologists, and 0.03 social workers available
(WHO and Ministry of Health, 2006). Due to a lack of qualified mental health professionals the
average case load at psychiatric centers is 70-80 clients per day.
Two core components particularly lacking in the curriculum are professional ethics and
diversity. The profession of clinical psychology is regulated by the Rehabilitation Council of
India (RCI), but counseling is not regulated by any government agency (Juvva, Redij, & Koshy,
2006). The Counseling Association of India (CAI) is in the process of drafting a code of practice
for counselors. Most recently, the Association of Mental Health Counselors-India adopted the
ethical codes of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) and developed
mutual collaborative relationships (Sandhu, 2011).
Despite the diversity in the Indian culture, there is very little attention being placed on
tackling the diversity issues in training. Kohli and Foul (2005) in their research comparing
graduate students’ attitudes about diversity issues found that raising volatile diversity issues in
the classroom is found to be inappropriate and insensitive.
Future of counseling
A number of challenges face the provision of mental health services in India:
1. Raising awareness levels in the general public about mental health issues and services.
The complexity in terms of educational, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds of
such a diverse population needs to be considered.
2. With the support from World Health Organization and USAID each district Hospital
(serves approximately 600,000 individuals) is hiring one counselor for prevention and
counseling of HIV/AIDS. Further resources are needed to ensure the even geographical
distribution of mental health professionals, particularly for people living in remote and
rural settings.
3. Reducing the brain drain and attracting the Indian diaspora to help increase the number of
professionals.
4. Setting licensing/certification boards and defining the scope of practice for professionals.
5. Evaluating and expanding the professional and educational training needs to continue to
meet the needs of the profession in the country.
6. Improving clinical and applied research by establishing on-campus counselor training
clinics.
Conclusion
At the present time, India provides a rich and fertile ground for the growth of professional
counseling. The cultural milieu and the zeitgeist of this rapidly developing country is such that
counseling is desperately needed to address the personal and social problems of more than one
billion people. We believe that next thirty years will be the renaissance period of counseling in
India. There will be a plethora of opportunities to develop because of the large population and
because of social, economic, scientific and technical advances. However, it must be noted that
professional counseling will only supplement but not supplant the traditional healing methods
because of their strong and deeply rooted historical heritage in India. Spiritual healing and other
healing traditions such as Ayurveda, palmistry, joytish vidya, and black magic will continue to
co-exist. The role of the sacred has always been salient in the past and shall continue to have
significance in this spiritually rich land.
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Sachin Jain is an adjunct faculty, Department of Counseling, University of South Dakota,
Vermillion, SD. Daya Singh Sandhu is distinguished professor of research and former
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