The Ghana Psychology Council has been called to ensure that people who are not yet licensed to practice as paraprofessionals or lay counsellors be vetted and given license.
Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, the Minister of Health, said this to the council in a speech read on his behalf, at the maiden induction ceremony for licensed professionals, paraprofessionals and lay practitioners in Accra on Tuesday.
The induction was held under the theme: “Professionalism-Integrity and Service”.
Mr Agyeman Manu said the license should be given when practitioners meet the qualification criteria as stipulated in the law."The law, however, recognises that training and competence define who practices psychology as therapists, counsellors, paraprofessionals and lay practitioners and it is important that you practice within your areas of expertise and within the boundaries of your qualifications," he said.
Mr Agyeman Manu urged Ghana Psychology Council to inject discipline and best practices in psychology field."We recognize the delicate issues of power differentials between psychologists and their clients and urge the council to be firm in ensuring the absence of abuse of such power among practitioners.
"It is expected that the Council will expedite the completion of its Legislative Instrument and table it before parliament by mid-2018," he said.Acknowledging the critical role of practitioners under Act 857 in promoting and maintaining emotional and mental well-being in the country, Mr Agyeman Manu urged the council to strictly enforce Act 857 to protect the vulnerable.
The Health Minister urged the practitioners and professionals, to live up to the challenge of being the best psychology professionals and lay practitioners.He also urged them to continually acquire the requisite knowledge and skills needed for practice.
"Above all, you must develop the right attitude of heart, which will add value and meaning to the care you will provide for your clients," he said.Professor Angela L. Ofori-Atta, the Chairperson of the Ghana Psychology Council, said more efforts would be made to help protect the Council’s Act.
She also said there would be representation of the Council in the various regions that would sharpen the training and practice of psychology.One hundred and forty-one practitioners were inducted as clinical psychologists, whiles 75 are counselling psychologists, two were inducted as sports psychologists, eleven educational psychologists, one a community psychologist and 26 industrial and organizational psychologists.
The others were made up of eleven social psychologists, 24 paraprofessional psychologists, nine psychologist assistants and eight lay counsellors.