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What is Counselling?
By definition counselling refers to one person (the counsellor) helping another person (the client) to work through some difficult or painful emotional, behavioral or relationship problem or difficulty. According to Dr John McLeod (An Introduction to Counselling, 2003) "Counselling is a wonderful twentieth-century invention. We live in a complex, busy, changing world. In this world, there are many different types of experience that are difficult for people to cope with. Most of the time we get on with life, but sometimes we are stopped in our tracks by an event or situation that we do not, at that moment, have the resources to sort out".
Counsellors are trained to listen non-judgmentally to your worries and issues, providing help to make sense of what is happening and to then assist you in finding means to improve your situation. Normally people are nervous at first in what appears to be a new and different environment, but these feelings soon diminish. It is often difficult to take that first step, but whatever your problem, however big or small, you will be accepted here and listened to with respect. There are many different types of problems for which clients seek help. Sometimes it is long-standing problems, such as family difficulties, and past abuse or recent problems related to relationships etc.
Christian counselling refers to the integration of psychology and Biblical principles. Both Christian counselling and secular counselling share the same desire to help people to overcome their problems, find meaning and joy in life, and become healthy and well-adjusted individuals, emotionally and mentally. Christian counselling is based on the Word of God (Bible) and attempts to address problems with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and develop the potential in the client, realising this potential as a product of been created in the image of God.
A Registered Counsellor.
The Professional Board for Psychology of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) implemented the category of registered counsellor to address the needs of the South African population at primary intervention level. The scope of practice of a registered counsellor includes short-term, supportive counselling, psycho-education and psychological assessments, e.g. intellectual/ scholastic abilities, aptitude, interests, career placement, personality profiling.
The Board for Psychology has therefore also approved ten practice fields for registered counsellors: career counselling; school counselling; trauma counselling; community mental health; sport counselling; employee well-being; family counselling; HIV/AIDS counselling; pastoral counselling and human resources. Registered counsellors are trained to assist with a range of problems in daily living such as divorce, death, family conflict, substance abuse, trauma, career counselling, life coaching etc. Without such counselling and support, the risk of developing a disorder increases requiring intensive long term therapy or clinical intervention.