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A 10 days orientation programme for counselors on family counseling.

9- I8 December 2002

Scope and objectives

Counselling is a process of enabling the individual to know himself and his present and possible fixture Situations in order that he may make substantial contributions to the society and to solve his own problems through a face to face personal relationship with the counsellor.

Counsellors working at Family counselling centres must acquire certain social qualities and experiences to counsel in the society. Social qualities such as adjustments in social setup, building interpersonal relationship, positive attitude, values, honesty and co-operation- These are mostly acquired through the process of sodalisation. Family counselling is the assistance given to people to develop a varieties of social characteristics such as values, life, philosophy so as to maintain desirable interpersonal relationship in the family.

There is a continuing need throughout assessment and intervention to explain the roles and requirements of the client and the counsellor, the sequences of the counselling process and the rationale for procedures. Counsellor-client contracts, structure the helping process by identifying among other items, the duration of intervention as well as desired outcomes. In order to train the new counsellors towards understanding ihe skills, attitudes and techniques involved in the family counselling process, a 10 days orientation course on family counselling is organised with the components suggested by the Pondicherry State Social Welfare advisory board.


This orientation programme is for counsellors who may have joined the Family Counselling Centre (FCC) recently. All the new counsellors will be permitted to undergo an orientation and training programme for a period of 10 days by getting attached to a FCC which is effectively functioning and is situated in the nearest area.

Scope and Objectives

  • The main Objective of the programme is to possess knowledge related to changes within family and about inter relatedness of family as a system with other systems.
  • To possess knowledge about various schemes, programmes, provisions (socio-economic-legal) for restoration of human rights within family and those of the family.


  • To develop those effective skills of working towards the needs of individuals within the family (skills of interviewing, interpersonal relationship skills, relating etc.)
  • To develop skills related to restoration of human rights with and on behalf of families e.g. skills of advocacy, negotiating etc.,


  • Develop positive attitudes towards changes in family structure and functions.
  • Develop positive attitude towards gender equity, egalitarian relationship, democratic relationship within families.

Methodology of the Programme

  • Ice-breaker exercise so as to have interpersonal relationship among the trainee counselors. Placing goals of FCCs. General discussions regarding what is the module and sharing contents of the 10 days broadly.

    Family as a unit of society, as a system within other systems. Family Dynamics - Rules, power structures, patriarchal values and practices and their impact on interactions, role conflicts, cohesion, etc., Contemporary family patterns - of extended families, single parent families, female headed households to alternate family patterns -co-existing homosexual couples etc.,

    (Studies : Leela Gulati's paper on male migration in Kerala to Middle East and its impact)
  • Understanding family within the Ecological perspective (1) To understand the inter relatedness of the oilier systems, i.e. law, health, education, communication, employment etc., to the family, (2) To identify the impact of contemporary changes viz, economic policies, employment situations, educational policy, etc.. On the family as a unit and also identify linkages between these to the various issues related to family as a until and also identify linkages between these to the various issues related to family structures (e.g. migration and female handedness), functions. Manifestations of the above in various situations, e.g. violence against women, substance abuse etc.,

    Methodology : Participator;', examples to interlink should be encouraged and issue like dowry, domestic violence, alcoholism, gender inequality practices, issues of access all in relation to empowerment, should be discussed.

    Taking from above, need to inter link these to the objectives of working with families and communities through FCCs: moving towards 'rights perspectives'. The objective of working (role) of a counselor in FCC should move towards - establishing religious ties between family members, democratic practices. Gender equity, and restoration of family's rights relation to the environment.

    Methodology : The counselors may be asked to identify and intervention strategy used by them and its base.

    Ref: 1) Family centered social work practice by Hartman and Laird,
           2) Ghnrdar, Aslia Dawie, Pumshotam Prakashan, Mumbai.
  • Identification of various promotive, developmental, clinical strategies of working with families.

    Methodology : Drawing out from various programmes, activities, campaigns etc., conducted by the counselors or their agencies and fitting into/under various strategies. Discussions to be followed. Relevance of family counseling : The philosophy of counseling value base of counseling.

    Belief System : Individual worth, acceptance, respect, self-determination, mutual trust and confidentiality. Concept and approaches in counseling (clinical to developmental)

    Methodology : Case Material to be distributed for preparation for the next day.
  • Process of Counseling :
    Initial Stage
    Middle Stage

    Methodology : Small groups. Presentation of cases, Identification of skills techniques.
    Review and feedback for 1 hour.

    Special problems - imparting knowledge and also strategies of dealing with these problem cases.
    Actual examples of each problem area and working through them.
  • Process Continued

    Final Stage
    Follow up.

    Mental illness, suicide. Alcohol and substance abuse, Dowry related problem, atrocities against women.
    Use of referral services to support counseling.
    Emphasis on skills of mobilizing, resource mobilization, advocacy, negotiations.

    Methodology : Discussion on Difficulties arising, encouraging group members to respond by relating to their own experiences of dealing.
  • Self as a tool in the process.

    Methodology : Only experimental, to be facilitating preferably by an outsider. Here, a field visit could be organized and this a field this sessions could be conducted there.

    Major legal provisions relating to - adoption, dowry age of marriage, separation, divorce, maintenance, maternity benefits widow's pension, neglected and delinquent children, family courts, legal aid to the poor, etc.

    Procedure to the followed in legal redressed of family problems.
  • Major Legal provisions in relation to-Adoption, inheritance with property rights, dowry age at marriage, separation, divorce and maintenance, and custody rights under personal laws of marriage, maternity benefits, social security, consumer protection, laws against abuse and violence of women and children, 498A, family courts act, access mechanisms for legal aid especially to the marginalized groups.

    Methodology : Legal Activities who have adopted alternate strategies which have worked effectively within limitations of legal framework and have facilitated restoration of these rights All Acts may discussed and critically reviewed to identify their applicability and also strategies to overcome difficulties.

    Ref. : Human Relations Training, VIII Volumes, Pfiffer and Jones.
  • Half day session highlighting specific skills required at the FCC level, viz,, skills of networking, liaison, advocacy, lobbying effective communication, resource mobilizing, documentation of one's work.

    Methodology : Basically drawing on experience through role-plays, etc.,


This orientation programme will be of a 10 days from 9 to 18 December 2002 with minimumof6 hours a day.

Evaluation of Participants:

In order to achieve the optimum success of the programme the course shall have inbuilt monitoring and evaluation system. The participants shall be assigned specific tasks and they shall be required to submit assignments on the various components of the course. These assignments shall be evaluated by the course coordinator and discussed with the participants.

The evaluation of course could be carried out in three different ways.

  • Self Evaluation by participants in terms of their own perceived attitudinal change and skills development and resource persons.
  • Programme evaluation by the participants, to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme.
  • Formal evaluation of participants in terms of their achievement.

During the orientation programmes, every effort is made to inculcate the value of constant [earning, skills development, involved participation, voluntary punctuality and committed sincerity in their participation. The performance of each course has been assessed on the course contents, resource persons, infrastructural facilities, etc., While assessing the participants systematic approach has been evolved to maintain fair and objective evaluation.

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