Andrews selected to attend Bhutan Institute

(09-14-2011)

The honor of being one out of 12 individuals, from across the nation, to attend the Bhutan Institute in October was bestowed upon Adams State College Dr. Barb Andrews, associate professor of counselor education.

"It is a once in a lifetime experience," Andrews said. "I am truly honored to have been chosen."

According to Dr. Theodore Remley, Jr., professor and Batten Endowed Chair at Old Dominion University, Andrews was chosen because of her outstanding background and potential contributions to the people of Bhutan.

"The country is very protective about who enters the country." A Bhutan Queen, in the royal government, invited the US to bring counseling into the ancient land located in the Himalayas.

The institute is intended to introduce participants to the country of Bhutan, allow participants to provide counseling service to citizens of Bhutan for a brief period of time, and participants will be working to continue efforts to establish the counseling profession in that country.

During the first two weeks of the three-week institute, most participants will provide direct counseling service to the citizens of Bhutan in the capital city of Thimphu. Participants will be assigned to a school, the psychiatric and substance abuse unit of a hospital, or a women's center, depending on the expertise and interests of the participants.

Andrews does not yet know which area she will serve. "It is a real honor and a huge step for the country." Bhutan's government is dedicated to preserving the culture of the land.

During the first two weeks of the three-week institute, two to four of the participants will be assigned to a campus of the Royal University of Bhutan, either in Paro, or Samptse, where they will counsel university students and consult with university officials who plan to establish student counseling centers on those university campuses. Andrews hopes the country will begin to embrace counseling and believes this visit by counselors across the nation can benefit the area and enhance the idea of counseling becoming accepted with the Bhutan government.

The National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) and the government of Bhutan are underwriting much of the expense of the institute and the NBCC is instrumental in arranging logistics with the Royal Government. Andrews plans to cover some of her expense personally and appreciates the support from the Adams State Counselor Education Department and the college.