by Soor Center
Looking out from the penthouse windows of the Soor Center, one can see a brightly lit city of modern buildings and the beautiful Arabian Gulf beyond. The view is sadly contrasted by thousands of Kuwaitis who suffer silently with problems not often or openly talked about in a conservative society such as ours. These problems, emotional mostly, are often far worse than the physical illnesses that will follow if the underlying emotional ones are left untreated. In this landscape of quiet despair, the Soor Center for Professional Therapy and Assessment is a beacon of hope for those silent sufferers.
The Soor Center was founded in 2009 by the late Dr. Jaafar Behbehani and Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa to raise the bar of psychological practice in our region to the rigors of North American standards.
On June 14th, 2012, the Soor Center celebrated its third anniversary. A number of distinguished guests attended the event. Among them were His Excellency, the American Ambassador, Matthew Tueller and His Excellency Dr. Hilal Al-Sayer, former Minister of Health and cofounder of Bayt Abdullah Children’s Hospice. Dr. Hilal marked the event with a heartfelt speech expressing his sincere gratitude to the Soor Center for offering its services pro bono to the children of Bayt Abdullah and lauding Dr. Jaafar’s determination and dedication to provide exemplary services to all who need them. “Unobtrusively,” said Dr. Hilal, “Dr. Jaafar set the wheels in motion for all of us here tonight. Each of us has been given part of the flame that burnt within him to carry forward his integrity, his intellectual vigor and above all his love and compassion for the children.” Dr. Hilal then presented Dr. Naif with a beautiful model of Bayt Abdullah, as “a small token of our huge appreciation for your support in the memory of our late friend Dr. Jaafar.”
In accepting the good wishes of the many friends in attendance, Dr. Naif noted that the Soor Center has grown from 3 therapists at the start to over 25 today. Soor Center professionals have conducted more than 7,000 sessions since the clinic’s inception and have worked with individuals, students, couples and families as well as corporate clients like Dar Al-Shifa and New Mowasat hospitals, Zain Telecom and the Sultan Center. As a US licensed psychologist Dr. Naif has helped ten interns complete some or all of their required hours for certification in the US and Canada at the Soor Center.
Dr. Susannah-Joy Schuilenberg, Clinical Coordinator at the Soor Center, elaborated on how the clinic’s therapists and psychologists are encouraged to pursue additional professional training and certifications. “Nothing speaks more directly of our success than the fact that 40% of our present clients were referred by satisfied friends.” She also explained how Soor provides public education and professional development opportunities to the wider community. She added that the Soor Center gives her the opportunity to continue in Dr. Jaafar’s altruistic tradition that no one who needs help is ever turned away from the Soor Center.