About the Psychological Counseling Program
Message from the Program Director
Today, the need to train specialists in the field of trauma therapy is very urgent, especially in the context of the prolonged military hostilities resulting in a large number of forcibly displaced citizens and families who have faced the loss of loved ones. In general, the issues of trauma are more global and they face each volunteer, chaplain, minister, or mental health professional. When we help people, we share in their pain, suffering, experience of physical and sexual violence, secondary injury, and so on. Therefore, the importance of training specialists who are able to provide qualified assistance can not be overestimated.
Ukraine has taken a sure step towards inclusive education for children with special needs. But it's important to understand that children and parents need psychological care and support in the inclusive environment, as well as proper diagnosis and counseling on how to bring up a child with developmental defects, autism, or behavioral problems. Therefore, there is also a need for postgraduate training of psychologists in the field of child counseling.
In Ukraine, there have been many trainings and seminars devoted to the topic of "psychological trauma", but there is currently no other program that provides comprehensive training of specialists that includes supervised practice of clinically-valid therapy methods.
A professional counselor should be able to assist the client while taking into account his or her values and existential beliefs. In a situation of crisis (trauma), issues of meaning, faith, and God are especially actualized. Therefore, the integration of the Christian perspective into counseling will help the counselor work in a broader field of psychological issues, including those of faith and spirituality.
Therefore, understanding how to evaluate the biopsychosocial and spiritual aspects of the problem is central to the diagnosis and development of the correct plan of psychological care. The unique part of our program is that the specialists learn to make a comprehensive psychological assessment, including aspects of spiritual trauma.
Our program is the product of collaboration with several partners:
Regent University (Virginia Beach, USA, https://www.regent.edu/acad/schcou/trauma/)
Center for Psychological Counseling and Traumatology "Open Doors", Kyiv (www.odukraine.com)
with the support of the Institute of Human Rights of the University of Borys Hrinchenko.
The program has existed since 2016 and currently has three levels:
- teaching staff
and three specialties:
- Trauma therapy
- child counseling.
- Family counseling.
The program is non-profit. 3/4 of the cost of training is covered by contributions from the American side.
We teach and accompany with supervision the practice of Ukrainian specialists, who provide psychological help to those who need it qualitatively, responsibly and on the basis of scientifically proven methods.
Olya Zaporozhets, PhD, LPC (VA)
Doctor of Counselor Education and Supervision
Licensed Professional Counselor in Virginia, USA
Postgraduate Program Director
- To provide quality education for mental health professionals in accordance with American standards for providing psychological assistance
- To uphold the confidentiality of clients in the process of counseling and supervision
- To teach training and practice solely with proven, clinically-valid approaches and methods
- To train students on the diagnosis and creation of treatment plans in line with scientific research and best practices in the United States.
- To integrate a Christian perspective on counseling with proven treatment methods in order to help the counselor work in a broader field of psychological issues.
Video about the beginning of the certification program for psychological counseling and trauma therapy in Ukraine.
March, 2016 (at that time in cooperation with the TG Shevchenko University)