Tips for counsellors at psycho-education workshop

|     Syazwani Hj Rosli     |

SEVENTY-ONE counsellors from several primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and sixth form centres as well as officers from the Counselling and Career Unit, Students Affairs Section of the Departments of Schools attended the ‘Psycho-Education Intervention Workshop: Psycho-Education Group Module’ at the Main Hall of the Islamic Da’wah Centre yesterday.

Acting Special Duties Officer (Corporate) at the Department of Schools and Chairman of the Workshop Committee Haji Mohd Sharifuddin bin Haji Mohd Salleh officiated the two-day workshop organised by the Department of Schools.

The workshop aims to provide participants an opportunity to acquire the latest skills and knowledge in counselling tailored to the needs of schools in Brunei Darussalam.

It aims to improve the skills of school counsellors in dealing with psychosocial problems among students and ensure that counselling methods and techniques are efficient.

The workshop is facilitated by Associate Professor Dr Aslina binti Ahmad, a lecturer at the Department of Psychology and Counselling, Faculty of Human Development, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), Tanjung Malim Perak Darul Ridzuan.

Associate Professor Dr Aslina binti Ahmad, a lecturer at the Department of Psychology and Counselling, Faculty of Human Development, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), Tanjung Malim Perak Darul Ridzuan
Participants during the workshop. – PHOTOS: SYAZWANI HJ ROSLI

“Depression is a common mental disorder, characterised by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that one normally enjoys, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities for at least two weeks, or even months or years,” said Associate Professor Dr Aslina during her keynote speech titled ‘Depression: Psychology and Counselling Approach’.

She outlined several types and symptoms of depression as well as its contributing factors and ways to prevent it.

Associate Professor Dr Aslina will also cover topics such as personal welfare and psychoeducational intervention, and speak on how efficient psychoeducation can be to indentify symptoms of depression among students and how intervention can help prevent or manage the problems.

Participants will undergo special counselling modules and learn about several methods and techniques in recognising and handling student problems such as depression and moral issues.

These include the Psychoeducation Group Module, where participants will be introduced to some of the contemporary methods used in psychological treatment through creativity and learning-based games.

Religious aspects and protective steps to prevent depression will also be emphasised. The module additionally will focus on improving the way the counsellors carry out their therapy sessions with their clients, giving them ideas on how to enhance their sessions and incorporating creative new methods in their treatments.

Issues relating to student discipline are becoming an increasingly complicated problem for schools, and proper strategies are required to deal with them efficiently.

To do so, school counsellors need to keep their skills and knowledge in the field up-to-date constantly. There is also a need for more qualified counsellors in the country to properly cater for the needs of students.

Presently, there are only 63 full-time certified school counsellors in Brunei and 223 guidance teachers appointed to carry out counselling and guidance duties; the skills of these teachers however are limited, having only obtained basic guidance and counselling course certificates from the Counselling and Career Unit.