The Application of Transcultural Counseling Principles and Practices in Developing Countries through a Lay Counselor Training Approach

David K. Carson


Mental health treatment in developing countries is sorely lacking. There is, with few exceptions, a dearth of mental health services and professionals in the developing world. High population densities, poverty and underemployment, disease, pollution, unhygienic environments, rurality, the frequency of natural disasters, and other factors present many challenges to people in resource-limited nations. However, there is increasing evidence that appropriately trained lay counselors within the culture can have a major impact on individuals, families, and communities in the developing world. This article highlights how transcultural principles of counseling, as postulated by the author, can be applied to people’s lives through the training of lay counselors.  Also examined are some of the changes that need to take place in lay counselor training efforts in developing countries, with implications for professional counselors and therapists conducting lay training in international settings.


Transcultural Counseling Principles, Lay Counselor Training, Developing Countries.

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