This HIV/AIDS counselling certificate course is both theoretical and practical. The theoretical aspects are based upon the psychological theories that form the foundation of counselling. Theories are explored and then related to the personal experiences of the participants. These personal experiences then serve as the basis for developing a broad theoretical foundation for counselling. This eclectic approach allows the counsellor to respond to the individual needs of their clients. In the HIV/AIDS area, this will help the participants to understand the psychological theories of counselling in relation to behaviour change and knowledge on HIV/AIDS. To explore pre-, post-test and supportive counselling. To understand the cultural practices, beliefs and decision-making processes in matters of sexuality. To explore difficult issues in living with HIV/AIDS.
The practical aspects focus on self-exploration and self-awareness. Participants reflect upon their life experiences in order to gain a better understanding of ‘who they are’. This is one of the exciting parts of the course, where participants support each other and make a contribution to the group’s learning.
The practical skills of counselling are developed in small groups of three. These small groups give ample opportunity for participants to learn and practice-counselling skills with emphasis on HIV/AIDS-related issues. They video record their sessions and the videos are used to allow participants to observe, analyse and improve their own counselling skills.
The therapeutic factors of counselling are investigated and discussed using the evidence found in the literature. This investigation becomes the foundation upon which participants assess and evaluate their own counselling skills in HIV/AIDS.
During the course, the participants are encouraged to actively contribute to the learning environment and share their experiences on how HIV/AIDS has affected them. At the end of the course, participants submit a video recording of a counselling session, which gives evidence of their practical skills. A written commentary accompanies the recording, describing how the theories of counselling are utilised during the session.