Training on Basic Counseling skills

Ramanthapur, May 1: Two day Training on Basic Counseling skills for the Care Administrators and child counselors working in YaR homes in Salesian Province of Hyderabad was held on 29th and 30th April 2016 at Don Bosco Rehabilitation Centre, Ramanthapur. Hyderabad. Counselors from different YaR centers attended the 2 days seminar. Fr Sudhakar Province YaR Coordinator welcomed all the participants for two day training and thanked Fr T D John accepting to animate the two days programme. It was planned in the commission meeting to organize in two paces. The same participants will be attending next programme to be held in September 2016 at Vizag.

We had participants from Don Bosco Navajeevan, Hyderabad, Ekalavya children’s home, Rajamundry, Don Bosco Navajeevan, Vishakapatnam, Don Bosco Navajeevan, Vijayawada, Don Bosco Navajeevan, Warangal, Don Bosco Navajeevan, Kurnool

The first session began with a prayer followed by Introduction of participants, their roles and responsibilities of the work they are doing in their respective homes and their experience working with children.  It was more interactive session where Fr. John explained on the difference between Group Process and Skills Training. Later he explained how the counselor skills enable the children to create friendly environment between both child and centre.

During the self-Introduction lot of ideas that emerged and most of them are very useful while we are working with children, they are: Being specific, Autonomy v/s Dependence, Balancing, Resistance, Resilience, Denial, I Language, Participation, Non judgmental, Self directed, Taking responsibility, Delay gratification, Truthfulness, Speak for yourselves and Avoidance. Based on these qualities each counselor was asked to understand where they stand and to what extend we are practicing these qualities in our dealings with children.

Before going for lunch participants were divided into groups of four and each group was to present their understanding on the word avoidance and how, why and when the child shows sign of avoidance?  In such cases what as a counselor would be our approach? In the second session after lunch continued with the same topics that are mentioned above and later Fr. John added some more points after group discussions on the difference between Relevance and Resistance. He explained how the counselors’ personal problems and other problems affect the children during the counseling.

First days training ended at 5pm with the note that they would prepare and come on the three basic questions given to us; first why am I here? second what is common to us? and third what is my competency to work for children at Risk, what are my existing skills and what are the difficulties I need to overcome and learn?

On the second day 3rd session began at 9am with five minutes of meditation. We continued with the introspection of previous days topics and later slowly Fr. John introduced new topics for our discussion. 1. Participation 2. Controlling 3. Speak for yourself 4. Questioning 5. Being Judgmental.

Basing on the two questions posed by Fr. John, groups were asked to identify 10 problems faced by the counselors during the counseling session. First as a helper what are the qualities we need to learn from the earlier discussed qualities of a counselor? and secondly as a helper what are the qualities I need to change in myself?

In the 4th session Fr. John took up the questions given to them as a home work in the previous day. They had discussions based on the theme avoidance.

Once again all the participants were asked to write down ten difficulties faced by the counselors’ when working with children. He encouraged all of them to pen some of the difficulties faced by them.  Later he listed out 22 problems from all the member in the group and explained how the balancing, Being specific, Autonomy and Dependence, Relevance, Resistance, Questioning, Controlling, Speak for yourself, Participation, Being Judgmental, blaming, denial and others correlated with the problems that the counselors face during the counseling.

The day had happy ending with the proposal of Vote of thanks by Mrs. Jyothi from Vishakapatnam. She thanked Fr. John on behalf all the members and organizers for having given such opportunity to all them. We are happy to know the minimum basic counseling skills and those techniques enlightened us and gave us confidence to go further in the YaR centers and make our homes child friendly.