Lay Counsellors Can Provide Psychiatric Help


There is a chronic shortage of psychiatrists, psychologists, and trained professionals worldwide, especially in “third world” countries. With both natural as well as man-made disasters, the need for effective treatment is great.

Here is an opinion piece that appeared in a Norwegian psychiatric journal by Audun Irgens, PhD., and Anne Udal, PhD. Dr Irgens is a Norwegian psychologist who has co-authored several research studies on the effectiveness of Thought Field Therapy. The TFT community, including Suzanne Connolly, Carolyn Sakai, Irgens, and others have pioneered an approach whereby lay counselors who are trained in a brief, two-day training deliver TFT therapy to people in their communities suffering from anxiety, depression and PTSD.

They conclude:
“Psychiatric treatment provided by lay counselors who have undergone training and work under supervision can be an important contribution to extending effective psychiatric health assistance far more widely to people in low-income countries. This will also be significantly less resource-intensive and time-consuming than training a sufficient number of professionals. We, therefore, hope that the results of this study will be seen and used by national health authorities in many countries, as well as by Norwegian humanitarian aid authorities.”

The article, “Legfolk kan gi psykiatrisk hjelp” was published in the Norweigan psychiatric journal Tidsskrift for Den norske legeforening.

English translation can be downloaded here.

John Freedom, CEHP

“Together we can heal the wounds of the World………”

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