Counseling Conference in Thimphu and New International Office - NBCC Bhutan

The First Annual National Counseling Conference in Thimphu, Bhutan, was celebrated on February 7-8, 2011. In attendance at the opening ceremony were Her Majesty Queen Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck; representatives of the Bhutan Ministries of Health and Education; the Royal University of Bhutan; Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women (RENEW); the United Nations Development Program, UNESCO; members of the NBCC Board of Directors; and local counselors among others.

The conference, the first of its kind in Bhutan, was sponsored by RENEW, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Royal University of Bhutan and NBCC International (NBCC-I). The conference offered a platform to provide practical knowledge and skills related to the ongoing application of counseling in Bhutan and the United States. It also served to open the lines of communication between Bhutanese agencies and organizations concerned with the education and administration of counseling services. The conference presentations proved to be valuable for the daily counseling practice of the participants, who were excited about the opportunity for collaboration and mutual professional exchange.

NBCC-I announced the opening of a new field office, NBCC Bhutan, during the conference. The news was received with great excitement by the conference attendants. Staffed with local counselors, the NBCC Bhutan office will support initiatives to develop the counseling profession, including credentialing mechanisms, and provide other services to counselors such as the organization of counseling activities, promotion of ethics and advocacy, and development of leadership.

To commemorate the opening of the newest international office, NBCC and NBCC-I presented a plaque to Her Majesty the Queen and to RENEW honoring their dedication to the development of the counseling profession and the promotion of mental health in the Bhutan.

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