Trajectory of Psychotherapy In Africa


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This paper examines trajectory of psychotherapy in Africa. It touches on the meaning of psychotherapy, types, as well as goals and relevance of psychotherapy. The key factors is with greater emphasis in psychotherapy where in Africa certain set-backs and challenges have been heavily represented with terrorism leading to posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD) from kidnapping down to Boko-Harram and Fulani herdsmen violence that undermine security and national development. Sequel to this, economic recession and anxiety of the mass is another cancerous triggered to corruption which clinicians identify today as a major set-back in African socioeconomic and political development. Other issues facing the clinicians and students of psychotherapy with the service users are lack of keeping clinical records for data purposes, problems of referrals, poor accessibility to clinical resources and team relationships. The objective of this paper is to discuss in-depths these African issues and a way of advancing psychotherapy in Africa to a lofty heights. Proffering solutions could be identify through extensive training, entrepreneurship model, and also using continuation of professional development (CPD) to generate learning from the existing challenges in Africa through conferences, seminars and workshops. Unfortunately some clinicians in the society lack the zeal of pursuing CPD model of knowledge and experience as they find it difficult not only to engage with others but to come together and work as a team. Training is always a major reflection in working relationship in group practice to make relevance the dynamism required of psychotherapy. Importantly, using working groups formula (WDEP) that is focused in African way on client centred approach will serve as another panacea aimed at understanding clients (patients) in the group processes, while taken cognisance people’s real life situations, to guard against some risks that may jeopardize group in psychotherapy. It is therefore recommended that those practising psychotherapy in African setting should bear in mind the relevance of clinical practice as evidence based and good quality of care in the art of psychotherapy.


(A key note speech presented at the Forth Conference of the World Council for Psychotherapy African Chapter, at School of Psychotherapy and Health Sciences, Okija, Anambra State, Nigeria, 2019)


Adolphus Ikechukwu Ezeakor
Department of Psychology
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Nigeria

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