The Director of Sumedha Centre was invited to facilitate a training programme in Basic Counselling Skills for 21 members of the staff, including the President and Principal of Maris Stella College, Vijyawada, Andhra Pradesh. The training was held from 6th to 11th August.
Maris Stella is an
accredited as “a College with Potential for Excellence.” This year the college
completed 50 years. The Golden Jubilee Celebrations were held a few days before
the training programme. The College is run by the Franciscan Missionaries of
Mary. Autonomous College
The training programme was organised by Sr. M. Goretti Kanakarathinam, who is the Head of the Department of Value Education at the College. The training was in view of setting up a Students’ Counselling Centre at the College. Sr. Kanakarathinam is also a visiting Faculty member at Sumedha Centre.
The training focused on the person of the counsellor and on attending, listening and responding skills. Besides inputs from the trainer, participants were given carefully chosen reading material. Theory was put into practise through exercises on the fundamental skills of counselling and through practice labs where participants took in turn the roles of counsellor, counsellee and observer. The practice sessions were critiqued in small and large groups. Training videos also helped to demonstrate the skills.
The trainees were very pleased with the training and found it very useful “We were able to clarify our misconceptions about counselling. Most of us had thought of counselling as giving advice or solving problems. Now we know it is very different,” said one participant.
Participants found the training useful not only in learning to help their students; it also provided insights and skills for improving their relationships in general.
One participant said that she had been impressed by the need to really listen. “I have made special efforts these days to really listen to my sons at home. It has made a difference to our relationship.”
“I not only learned counselling skills. My life has really been enriched by this training. I have become a better person. I am learning to relate to people with greater sensitivity,” observed another.
These sentiments were shared by other trainees as well.
The College is planning follow-up programmes.