Papua New Guinea is grossly starved of trained, skilled, and professional Counselors to meet the demand for counseling in a country with diverse cultures and complex issues that need to be attended to by Counselors.
Counselling has been part of the Melanesian culture, especially during peace negotiations, marriages, at schools, in families after the loss of loved ones, and to the victims of family sexual violence but must now be made professional in order to address all other social issues.
President of Papua New Guinea Counsellors’ Association (PNGCA) Mrs. Susan Setae in an interview with Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council (CIMC) said the association is focused to give professional training to the local counselors who practice counseling in the communities.
She said PNGCA aims to empower and up-skill the local counselors with training modules designed according to the PNG context. She further stated that PNGCA offers certificate 4 training which is competency and skill-based training designed to empower and up-skill the counselors so as to assess their performances.
“Professionalism and competency in counseling is about helping the client to understand their problems and realize possible and provide fitting strategies to solve their problems”
“The counselors’ part is to guide their clients find solutions themselves, and not to give orders or commands but make suggestions for the client to explore the options available that will suit his or her issue”
“Counsellors are not there to tell the client on how to do it, because sometimes if the counselor directly orders a client to do something and they fail, they then blame the counselors”
PNGCA has developed its own Diploma in Counselling Curriculum which is expected to be offered as a course program next year at any higher learning institution.