The Monitor :: Letís Not Stigmatise Counselling
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Last Updated
Thursday 22 November 2018, 12:31 pm.
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Letís Not Stigmatise Counselling

Many communities around the world tend to shun counselling, and worse, tend to be verbally abusive towards individuals who seek counselling services.
By Monitor Editor Mon 12 Feb 2018, 11:52 am (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Letís Not Stigmatise Counselling








Most of the time, people who seek counselling do it in secret, in an effort to avoid nasty labels such as ‘crazy’, ‘mad’ just to mention but a few.

Simply defined, counselling is ‘the process that occurs when a client and counsellor set aside time in order to explore difficulties, which may include the stressful or emotional feelings of the client’.

From this definition one, can clearly see that counselling is something that most people will need at some point in their lifetime, but the fear of being stigmatised by others often leads people to avoid seeking professional help.

Individuals respond differently to challenges, hence the need for someone to seek professional help, when they feel overwhelmed. While this is a worldwide problem, our communities seem to be up there in the list in terms of stigmatising both mental health, as well as seeking counselling for whatever reason.

Seeking psychological services can be for a variety of reasons, which include, but are not limited to seeking help for a chronic, diagnosable mental disorder or for processing the death of a loved one.

The sooner the society acknowledges and accepts the importance of counselling or ‘tshidilo maikotlo’ in Setswana, the better for the nation at large.

Murder cases continue to rise in the country, some of

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which come as a result of lovers’ quarrels. On Thursday, a third-year University of Botswana (UB) student was brutally attacked by her ex-boyfriend, who is also a third-year student.

Embracing counselling might pose a positive move in curbing tragic incidents such as this one.

Had the young man taken the route of seeking professional help, perhaps the tragic events could have been avoided.

The young man as a result of not being able to control what he might have felt ended up stabbing his ex-girlfriend several times with a pair of scissors. It’s fortunate, that other students who heard the young woman’s screams came to her rescue, otherwise, it could be a different story all together.

The young man allegedly stabbed himself also in an effort to commit suicide. The young woman, who is reported to be in a critical condition is hospitalised at Princess Marina Hospital (PMH), as well as the ex-boyfriend who tried to kill.

We as Batswana usually dismiss certain traits in children and tend to discipline children and say ‘motho yo o dira ka bomo’, rather than seeking professional help for the child, and establishing why the child is not able to control their emotions. Let’s preach the gospel, and give counselling the emphasis it deserves.

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