Professional Psychology Associations in the GCC: Positive Institutions Whose Time Has Come


Professional associations have a mandate to protect and regulate those members deemed qualified to provide mental health services to the public. This is accomplished through supervision and policing of practitioners’ conduct, informed by an understanding of the application of ethics. Yet, in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, many hurdles preclude the development and maintenance of professional organizations, such as a lack of understanding of the range of services available within psychology, little professional oversight and no legal mandate for it, as well as a disinterest in professionalizing the field. Yet, by adopting a positive psychology framework, the current view from a focus on wrongdoing to a more positive approach that encourages psychologists to reach a state of professional excellence, can be accomplished via the notion of positive supervision, positive ethics, and virtuousness as an organizational trait. We explore multiple ways for how this can be accomplished in the region.

Middle East Journal of Positive Psychology, 2, 61-78
Dr. Scott I. Donaldson
Dr. Scott I. Donaldson
Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine