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    Third Meeting of the Rwanda Psychological Society (RPS), 7-8/01/2017, Best View Hotel, Musanze District

     2019-09-27 18:16:16

    From 7th to 8th January 2017, members of the RPS Assembly of Representatives are gathered at Best View Hotel, Musanze District, for their third (3rd) bi-annual meeting and wi

    Celebrating the World Mental Health Day

     2019-09-27 18:09:53

    Every Year the World celebrates a mental health day as a way to raise awareness around mental health and the global challenges affecting mental health. This universally celebr


    Study Psychology in Rwanda

    The University of Rwanda is the only public institution that offers a training of psychologists, especially clinical psychologists, in addition to the private University of Kibungo. The department of Clinical Psychology at the University of Rwanda is one of the departments that compose the School of Medicine and Pharmacy, within the College of Medicine and Health Sciences.

    The department of Clinical Psychology offers a Bachelor's degree (BSc with honors, 4 years), a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology and Therapeutics (MSc, 2 years) and a Doctoral Program in Psychology (PhD by research, 4-5 years). To date, the University of Rwanda have graduated 932 BSc, 51 MSc and 1 PhD in Clinical Psychology. The same, the University of Kibungo counts 1128 graduates in Clinical Psychology.


    A rapid survey of the employment of Clinical Psychologists showed that apart from the Ministry of Health where they serve in district hospitals and other clinics (SCPS, CARAES), Clinical Psychologists are serving in several other social ministries in the country. Clinical Psychologists are also serving in the Ministry of Justice (e.g. Rwanda Public Prosecutor Authority), the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), the Rwanda Defence Force (e.g. Department of Mental Health at Rwanda Military Hospital; the Peace Keeping Mission in Sudan), the National Police (e.g. Isange One Stop Centre), the Ministry Education (e.g. Secondary schools handling Trauma issues), the Ministry of Internal Security (e.g. National Prison Service), Ministry of Youth (e.g. IWAWA Rehabilitation Centre), national and international organization (Ibuka, AERG, AVEGA, Handicap International, Hope and Homes for Children,Partners in Health, WE-ACT, Haguruka, Agahozo Shalom, etc), etc.

    The scope of work, as published in Official Gazette Number 06 of 08/02/2016 determining the Medical Services provided at each level of health facilities in Rwanda as per MINISTERIAL ORDER NUMBER 20/39 OF 29/02/2016 (pp. 60-61), Clinical Psychologists working in health care facilities are expected to address a number of psychological and mental diffiulties, which include (not limited to), personal and family relationship problems (e.g. family conflicts/violence/Intimate Partner Violence/child abuse and neglect, couple and marriage problems,etc), sexual dysfunctions and disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, etc.

    about psychology

    What is Psychology ?

    Psychology is the scientific study of the behavior and mental behaviors. The behavior encomposses outward or overt actions and rections while mental processes include internal, covert activity of the mind.

    Topics in Psychology

    Psychology is a multifaceted discipline and includes the following branches, to list a few :

    • Clinical Psychology,
    • Cognitive psychology, Developmental psychology,
    • Forensic psychology,
    • Health Psychology,
    • Neuropsychology,
    • Social Psychology,
    • Occupational Psychology,
    • Educational Psychology,
    • Counselling Psychology

    Psychology in Rwanda

    Psychology in Rwanda is a discipline that exists since 1987 with the creation of the departement of School Psychology within the former National Universtiy of Rwanda. This department was replaced in 1998 by the Department of Clinical Psychology, which is the only one in the public higher learning institutions in Rwanda. To date, the University of Kibungo offers also a bachelor's deggree training in Clinical Psychology, a private university in the Eastern Province. As a backgroung of the department of clinical psychology, and following the 1994 genocide perpetrated against Tutsi in Rwanda, the government resolved in 1998 to start the training of clinical psychologists as a response to the mass traumas from the genocide. The first clinical psychologists graduated from the then National University of Rwanda, and immediately the graduates were absorbed in the community to start assisting those requiring psychological help.

    Psychologists in Rwanda are contributing to the development of the country and playing a very vital role raising awareness around mental health and psychotrauma in particular. However, an imminent need concerns the large gap between demand and supply in the domain of healing from psychological trauma. As in other post-war societies, the pervasive impact of psychological trauma is damaging for the social development and growth of the country. Severe attachment trauma, for instance in the large group of genocide orphans and widows survivors of the 1994 genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi, and other trauma related problems have a massive impact on families and lead to trans-generational trauma.

    In addition to trauma experienced by surviving victims and perpetrators, families who have to live as neighbours of perpetrators as well as families being stigmatized because of murders perpetrated by one of them are other examples for the many impacts of trauma on the Rwandan society. While after the genocide some initiatives have been taken aiming to heal or at least reduce the burden of trauma, most of them remained at a surface and helped to survive rather to be healed. For example, psychologists, psychiatrists and other professionals in Rwanda that could assume this task currently receive only a general training, without a focus on trauma-specific approaches.

    With the time being, it became evident that, plus the general training get from universities, psychologists at work require more opportunities for contuining professional development (CPD) training and supervision. Moreover, psychologists can volunteer and contribute to the country development through community engagement and outreach activities. Psychologists therefore gathered on August 1st 2015 and resolved to create the Rwanda Psychological Society (RPS), a professional organization, a response to both the training gap and the community involvement.

    Third Meeting of the Rwanda Psychological Society (RPS), 7-8/01/2017, Best View Hotel, Musanze District

    From 7th to 8th January 2017, members of the RPS Assembly of Representatives are gathered at Best View Hotel, Musanze District, for their third (3rd) bi-annual meeting and will discuss different issues, including a 2016-2017 activities progress report, approving new members and will resolve on the coming six months' priorities.

    In his welcome note, Prof. Vincent Sezibera, the RPS President, highlighted the background, the mission and the activities of the organization. As a background of the RPS, Psychologists in Rwanda (i.e. Social Psychologists, Clinical Psychologists, Counselling Psychologists, etc) convened on 1st August 2015 for a Constituent Assembly and resolved to establish the "Rwanda Psychological Society", RPS, a national professional organization. As a main mission of the organization, the RPS was established to avail opportunities for continuous training to psychologists at work (RPS objective one), to enforce psychologists' core values and professionalism (RPS objective two) and to contribute to the awareness around mental health through community engagement and advocacy.

    The meeting was started with talks delivered by senior officials and practitioners in psychosocial and mental health domains. Presentations included:

    • Opening the 3rd Session of RPS Assembly of Representatives, by Hon Senator Dr Sebuhoro Celestin, Guest of Honor
    • Rebuilding the country after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda: Healing the wounds of the genocide, by Hon. Mukandera Iphigenie, Member of Parliement (MP)
    • The holistic approach in mental health care and practice.Dr. Arthur Rukundo, Psychiatry, Musanze District Hospital.
    • The Mental Health in post-genocide: trends, policies and strategies. Dr. Jean Damascene Iyamuremye, RBC/Mental Health Division.
    • The training of mental health professionals in post-genocide Rwanda: achievements, challenges and lessons learned from the University of Kibungo, Department of Clinical Psychology. Prof. Dusingizemungu,Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic, University of Kibungo, & Dr. Cindi Cassady, Lecturer and Consultant, University of Kibungo.