Chaitanya, Shimoga, February 01, 2024: The Shimoga Multipurpose Social Service Society®, Shimoga organised 2 days workshop on Counselling Skills for its Social Work staff working. The workshop was held at Chaitanya on 31 January and 01 February 2024. Rev. Fr Joyson Sujay Vas SJ was the resource person. The workshop began with the quote saying counselling is nothing but “To Be More Human”.  We need to trust and respect everyone and be confident. The entire team was divided into 5 groups for all further activities. The activity to know and to discover the best self and one’s dark self made everyone to reflect one’s own life. This activity enabled everyone to appreciate the strengths acquired and to work on the weaknesses. We always live in the past or future which brings in negativity to our life. He explained the characteristics of Counselling i.e., being empathetic, maintaining confidentiality and patience listening. 

Later on the process of counselling was explained. There are five stages of counselling: establishing relationship, assessment, goal setting, interventions, and termination & Follow up. Group work enabled the participants to understand the process more practically.

The session on basic counselling skills provided the participants the steps involved in counselling. Active listening, empathy, non-judgemental attitude, effective communication, problem solving and decision making, establishing boundaries, building trust and referral & collaboration are essential in counselling.  

Counsellor skills were put into practice by analysing case studies in groups through attentive listening, paraphrasing and summarizing.

Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) is used to reduce depression, anxiety, addictive behaviours, phobias, overwhelming feelings of anger, rage, procrastination, disordered eating habits, aggression and sleep problems.

The advice given was, never ever judge any counselee, let counselling be more listening and less talking, let the counsellor be more human and identify the problem of the people from their face.

The counselling workshop ended with a session on The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012.

The purpose of this workshop was to prepare barefoot counsellors who can understand that a person is undergoing some difficulty just by looking at the person. By identifying the issue at the initial stage and helping the person to avail proper guidance and counselling can save the person from going into depression. The staff members were happy that they have received some skills which will help them to be more effective in their work.   

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