International Opportunities in Psychology
Have you always wondered how your skills are needed in other countries? We have many places that need your help:
KENYA: Sexual Abuse – almost already full for 2020!
While physical abuse/ domestic violence is beginning to be addressed throughout the world,
sexual abuse is still taboo and unaddressed. This program is an exception for Africa.
Experienced in trauma, sexual abuse, gender based violence, EMDR and/or PTSD? We need you here!
Therapists with backgrounds in music, art or dance therapies especially helpful
as Freudian based therapies and most talk therapy is very new and foreign in Kenya.
UGANDA: explaining Psychology & PTSD
We had a psychotherapist come in last year to help youth women who are experiencing PTSD who had been child soldiers and sex slaves under Joseph Kony and Lord’s Resistance Army. It was not so straight-forward as we thought it would be.
Many in rural Uganda think these women are possessed or cursed when they are experiencing flashbacks or nightmares.
The Ugandan director said, “The people did not understand. We do not have psychology here.
She has asked that we establish a better foundation to work from, explaining psychology & PTSD.
Need psychologists with years of experience, ideally Africa experience and immense cultural savvy.
KENYA: Mentoring youth in Kibera slum
1 billion people on this planet live in slums. Kibera slum, in Nairobi, is Africa’s largest.
Emphasis is not psycho-emotional counseling, but as per Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, survival challenges.
Do you have strong experience with youth? With inspiring and guiding youth? With using music or activities to connect?
Do you have drug/ alcohol experience? HIV experience? Working with the homeless? We need you here!
CAMEROON: Alternatives to Violence
When a therapist from Canada asked an audience of 50 men, how many of them beat their wives. 48 hands went up!
“Why?” “How else would you get them to mind?” You will also see corporeal punishment in schools and homes.
Come teach positive reinforcement, non violent communication and positive interaction.
You would work in both the capital and remote, rural villages – a real window on how Cameroonians live.
GHANA: Out Patient Psychiatric Unit & Community Outreach
Two days a week, you would work in their Out Patient clinic. The rest of the week, you would do home visits or educational work in the community. Why is this important? Much of Africa, still believes that you are bewitched or cursed if you have a psychosis. The family & community may reject a family member with mental health problems because they are cursed. They would like “skills transfer” – showing their staff techniques or skills to improve standard of care.
This community is in the heart of the Ashanti empire, 2 hours from the capital and an hour from the coast.
Ghana is known for its drumming, dancing and friendliness. Ghana is also soccer crazy. If you are a soccer player,
we would love your help coaching soccer after your work in outpatient clinic or outreach work.
CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA
COSTA RICA: Domestic Violence – Spanish fluency required
Work in the shelter: do crisis, individual or group counseling and/or play therapy with the kids; advocacy in court;
community education; help women become economically independent so they can leave abusive relationships.
This is great for both beginners & for clinicians with years of experience – we will adjust your role to fit your skills.
INDIA: Psychology with Disabilities
This center which helps kids with developmental, physical/ motor and speech disorders has a strong Psychology staff which does the Psych testing with the kids. If you have a strong interest in Psych testing, this is a great place to learn & practice it under the wing of an experienced Indian psychologist. This part of India gives me great hope for humanity:
high literacy resulting in solving many social problems; very friendly and safe.
INDIA: Training Barefoot Counselors
This program was started by an Indian social worker. Because language poses a barrier to actually counseling,
they ask for people that can train their staff in mental health issues such as depression, suicide, abuse and psychosis;
and help their para-professional counselors build their counseling skills.
NEPAL: Sex Trafficking
Sex traffickers prey on young women in rural Nepal that want out of poverty.
Traffickers promise them a job; instead girls are tricked into prostitution and sexual exploitation in India.
Come help in the remote rural villages: teach English and literacy to create another life for these girls.
This actually does not involve counseling but it is a rare opportunity to help prevent sex trafficking.
MENA (Middle East & North Africa)
Since the Syrian Crisis we get more requests to work in the Middle East or MENA region.
LEBANON: Physical, Sexual & Child Abuse
This very professional organization does an extraordinary job with treatment and community education about abuse.
They rarely let volunteers do direct counseling but ask your help with community education. Arabic a plus.
For psychologists who have years of experience with physical, sexual and child abuse, they ask that you train their staff.
Beirut has earned the moniker “Paris of the Middle East.” Amazing (small) country, food and culture.
MOROCCO: Youth Getting Out of Detention
Youth workers who have experience or interest in working with criminal justice system and youth are needed in innovative organization in Morocco. These youth need help re-integrating into community, creating or finding gainful employment, creating positive alternatives for themselves. Director sees this program as an important antidote to disenfranchisement, disillusionment, unemployment which can breed violent extremism. Beautiful country, awesome food, fascinating culture!
PALESTINE: Youth & Children
Work in this after school enrichment program: psycho-social and trauma healing work does not happen via talk therapy but activities: dance, drama, music, sports or anything that you are passionate about that you think the kids would love. …astronomy, circus, capoeira. Or teach English or computers. Many find that the West Bank really captures their heart.
JORDAN: Women’s Empowerment – this program currently on hold
This organization which is under the wing of the king and queen, is doing ground-breaking work with women:
1. economic empowerment – teaching job skills & entrepreneurship, including helping women work in the trades (which is really, really unusual for the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region);
2. social empowerment – launching discussions about women’s & men’s roles – which is also very unusual – and expanding what women can do and how they see themselves;
3. building leadership skills & political participation.
4. reproductive & sexual health. They would like social work students & professionals who can work with women at one of their 50 centers around country. You do not need to be able to speak Arabic but clearly it is great if you can.
JORDAN: Early Childhood Education & Disabilities
Disability program would like experienced Psychologists who can build the skills of their Psychology staff.
They serve people with developmental/ cognitive and physical disabilities….people of all ages.
It is great if you can speak Arabic, but they will translate if necessary. Jordan has earned its reputation as super friendly.
Rather than pick one of the many opportunities, it is helpful to see your Questionnaire and resume,
then we can discuss which opportunities would fit best for you.
These are volunteer opportunities.
Both students & seasoned professionals are needed.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
WHEN TO APPLY
*People are already beginning to apply to volunteer in May, June, July & August.
We send this first announcement in Oct or Nov for those that like to get a leap on their summer plans.
We will send a 2nd, sometimes slightly revised, announcement in Jan or Feb.
It is smart to finish application process by March so you have time to prepare to go to another country.
Our volunteer programs do not just run in June, July & August – that is simply when the most people can go.
Except primary & secondary schools that have school schedules to adhere to, most of our programs run year round.