September through November were busy months for Live Again Rwanda. We have been continuing with our regular counselling classes on Monday nights and Saturday mornings. Six hours of class per week. This is a huge commitment for our students but they are diligent and determined and Manage to get themselves there every week. We are pleased to share that Our students have completed their first level of the 6 month lay Counselling training!!! 45 hours of teaching in Basic Counselling Skills. Topics include: What is Counselling, Confidentiality, Active Listening, Attending Behavior, Empathy, Open and Close Ended Questions, Emotions vs.Thoughts, Primary and Secondary Emotions, Goal Setting, Termination and Self Care of the Counselor.
Our students need to complete at least 80% of the classes in order to receive a certificate of completion at the end of the 6 months. Certificates are very important to our students, so, they are making every effort to be there and participate fully. Our Foundations level has been both exciting and challenging for our students as they have learned to practice their new found skills with one another.
This has been “terrifying” for some, as it is a foreign concept to be practicing skills rather than just listening to a lecturer. Our program has a strong practical component which I believe is the way good counselors are made….not simply through learning the theory.The students practice their counselling skills every Monday night in class and Saturdays mornings are our theory days. During their sessions on Monday nights, I have asked the students to talk about real issues in their sessions and it has been amazing to see how much they are helping each other with the concerns in their lives.
The inspiring part comes in when you hear how the teaching has been impacting our students, amazing learners with ability to pick up knowledge that easily confirms how needed counselling skills are! One girl reported last week that she felt so connected and understood by her counselor that she began to cry and felt like a weight lifted from her during their time together. Another student shared with theacher that one of her in-class clients called her and asked if they could meet for a counselling session outside of class time as she had felt so helped by her when they met in class And yet another student who was trying desperately to not “give advice” to her client (as the teacher has hammered this point into them that advice giving is not counselling) said to her client who was struggling with a tough conversation she was about to have with someone, “Do you think that we could practice that conversation before you have it? I can pretend to be the person you will be conversing with and you talk about the things that are bothering you. So far it has been an amazing experience both to Live Again Rwanda and student, there is more stories as our classes have not been only challenging but also fun and inspiring . We invite you to like our Facebook Page Live Again Rwanda for daily updates .