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Counsellors serve different people with different needs within the community setting, such as in towns, cities and rural areas.

In our South African community, counselling is orientated towards the importance of the individual as well as the larger group. Counselling is about providing encouragement, assistance, support and care for people, in the communal milieu.

Counselling is thus a helping relationship between the counsellor and community member. In this helping relationship, the focus is on empowering people to deal with acknowledged and shared problems.

The purpose of the counselling relationship is to offer support, help and guidance to enable the individual or group to deal with the present situation. Dealing with this present situation includes making decisions within their current life situation and personal frame of reference.

The individual or group asking for counselling may come from any context within the community setting, such as Inter Trauma Nexus, school, church, clinic, police service centre or a private practice. The awareness of ‘community’ has been emphasised by the South African government’s philosophy of Ubuntu and Bathu Pele.

The field of counselling draws knowledge and applies principles from fields of counselling in psychology, social work, employee assistance programmes, education, victimology, criminology, health professions and the larger church and pastoral fields.

In general, the counsellor’s primary function is to assist people in dealing with specific “here-and-now” problems. However, the counsellor’s focus area may involve people such as the homeless, jobless, widowed, aged, sexually abused, victims of violence, crime and conflict, people living with HIV/Aids and other terminal illnesses, as well as the disabled in the community.

The counsellor may work with individuals, small or large groups, including families and community leaders. The issues presented may include dysfunctions in the community, such as substance abuse, conflict, trauma, disease outbreaks, natural disasters, mental health, relationships, life skills, spiritual needs and other specific “here-and-now” problems.

The counsellor’s tasks include being a situational facilitator and sounding board, to enhance the individual’s understanding of the life situation and encouraging them to take responsibility to make the required changes to enhance their wellbeing.


“I see counselling as a gentle nudge to change and grow towards healing and wellbeing” – Dr Barbara Louw.


Aquilla Training's workshops focus on three main areas: Counselling Skills, Management and Ethical Practices.


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