The Britannica Encyclopedia describes counseling as:
the process of helping individuals discover and develop their educational, vocational, and psychological potentialities and thereby to achieve an optimal level of personal happiness and social usefulness. The concept of counseling is essentially democratic in that the assumptions underlying its theory and practice are, first, that each individual has the right to shape his own destiny and, second, that the relatively mature and experienced members of the community are responsible for ensuring that each person’s choice shall serve both his own interests and those of society. There are many different paths in which one can take to become a counselor. Some countries require a Master’s Degree in Counseling while others require just a Bachelor’s Degree with some training in the field of education, sociology and psychology. According to Lovell (2012) “there are no firm policies in place that governs the practice of counseling in Belize”. Having a Masters Degree in Counseling guarantees that you are a counselor and will be able to practice in Belize. Due to the lack of counselors and inadequate policies just about anyone can practice counseling. This can be done by attending a one week course/training in counseling after which one can offer such services. Practices like these causes inadequacies in the system as many may not be getting the proper counseling needed. There is a huge gap in the provision of psycho-social care in our country with only one Child Psychologist, Dr. Augustine, one Psychiatrist, Dr. Cayetano and ten certified counselors (Masters Degree in Counseling). The Psychiatrist is allowed to make medical prescription as she holds a degree in medicine; however, (only in Belize) the Psychiatric Nurses can also do medical prescriptions. There is only one counselling centre in our country which is staffed with one full-time professional counsellor and complemented by a team of social workers. The...
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