Counselling across the globe is more similar than different.
Counselling in United Arab Emirates (UAE) despite existing, is still fairly unknown and clients are
generally open to all options in Counselling or Psychotherapy. I saw the most varied medical
schemes in UAE with generous insurance schemes for some and not others. It is interesting to know
the UAE has such a multicultural setting who have experienced therapy in their home countries and
have mainly stayed connected to their home therapists. In fact, expats from over 200 countries have
made the UAE their own home and as expats make up 9 million compared to a total population of
10.17 million in 2023 with Emiratis making up 11.48% of the total population (Source: United Arab Emirates (UAE) Population Statistics 2023 | GMI), we only now see counselling increasing due to growing challenges in personal, psychological, social, vocational and cultural living in this rapid changing society.
My experience in Counselling in Dubai and Abu Dhabi was seeing a mix between expat and local women mainly in individual or group sessions. Emirate women which make up 3.2 million of the population preferred individual sessions to protect their own privacy as they deal with topics that are culturally nor socially acceptable. I noticed all gendered expats mixed it up between individual counselling and group counselling sessions. The main areas of topics were around change whether it was with their work, family or relationships.
Counselling in Australia, Singapore and UAE allowed me to work with similar mental health care especially with depression, anxiety and high stress levels. Individual sessions are still the most popular type of session in all countries but also couple and group in Australia and Singapore. The differences are what is on offer from insurance and the quantity of therapists between Counselling and Psychotherapy. Australia also has more access to free counselling services. Whether it is in Australia, Singapore or the United Arab Emirates, mostly all clients want to grow, learn and change.
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