BULGARIAN CENTER FOR HUMAN RELATIONS
Director: Assoc. Prof. Toma Tomov, Ph.D.
NBU, building 2, room 114, tel: +359 2 8110594
The Bulgarian Center for Human Relations develops and studies the sphere of human behavior and human relations in the context of the current social development of Bulgaria. The Center summarizes the experience of introducing of new practices into courses and programs. The man is studied within the relationship scientific paradigm. It studies the processes of interaction among individuals, their experience and emotions in the process of their social participation, the dynamics of development and functioning of human groups – families, organizations, communities.
The development of the relationship paradigm in Bulgaria is related to quickly increasing need of development of social services, counseling and therapy as part of the establishing civil society. The newly-adopted Law for Protection of the Child and National Program for Psychic Health Service Reform confirm the engagement of the state in the development of this type of services and form the market for their realization. The professional rendering of services in the sphere of social activities, psychotherapy and psychosocial rehabilitation and the individual and organizational counseling are based on methods, which take into account and understand the emotional life of the individual and of the groups by means of categories that the psychodynamic schools work with – school of object relations, school of group relations, etc.
BCHR focused its research and training activity on the field of psychic health. This is related to a number of factors: the adopted national program for reforms in psychiatry in based to a greater extent on the relationship paradigm, which provides for the BCHR participation in the reform as a research and training unit; the establishment of new services in the communities reveals specific fields of incompetence, in respect of which BCHR is capable of developing training; BCHR disposes of a wide network of contacts with the international community of reformists in psychiatry and is internationally recognized as a training institution in this sphere.
BCHR pursues its mission through participation in the establishment of a practice of psychic health and counseling services within the community of Bulgaria and of other countries from Eastern Europe and the Balkans, studies its own experience and the experience of other institutions and transforms it into adequate for the context training. This activity requires flexibility, openness to changes, sensibility towards the market of services and training. For the realization of its objective, BCHR chose to develop as an enterprising organization.
Within Bulgarian culture, entrepreneurship and academism are considered to be antipodes. BCHR does not regard them as incompatible; on the contrary, it believes that their appropriate combination is a guarantee of success and prosperity of an educational institution on the labor market.
The aim is to connect the training with the research and project-enterprising activity of the center. The provision of high quality training is decisive for the prosperity of BCHR, since it ensures the development of project activity and exploration of new market niches.
BCHR has developed and maintains three master programs – Clinical Social Work, School Psychological Counseling and Family and Marriage Counseling.
Each of the programs is related to at least one internationally recognized training institution in the said field –Smith College in Boston, the University of Louvain, Belgium, the Institute of Family Therapy in London.
In relation to the need of training through supervision of clinical practice, as one of the main BCHR methods, arrangements are made for student internships in a number of clinics.
BCHR is in the process of establishment of an international training institution – Academy for Psychic Health, intending to unite the efforts of teachers in the sphere of psychic health from Central and Eastern Europe.
The projects of BCHR are related to training of professionals in the sphere of psychic health, counseling and development of services in the community of the countries in Eastern Europe and the former USSR. They are funded by international sources. The main partner in these projects is “Geneva Initiative on Psychiatry” Foundation, seated in the Netherlands.
Among the major research projects of BCHR are: