Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Our Work

Center For Counselling training and services was founded by Magdalene Jeyarathnam in May 2005 and is a registered Non Government Organisation.

East West Center for Counselling is another organisation  founded by Magdalene Jeyarathnam and registered as a private ltd company in June 2007.

Both offices are located in Chennai, India.

Profile of Magdalene Jeyarathnam  as a counsellor,  counselling supervisor and counselling trainer -

  1. I was hired by the Royal Government of Bhutan as consultant to write the counselling guidelines and develop their first counselling training module (2005)
  2. I was invited as consultant by WHO Myanmar to write the National guidelines for their country on voluntary counselling and testing (2006)
  3. I am part of the team that developed the Counselling Manual for WHO-SEARO for South east Asia (2003)
  4. I was part of the expert panel of counselling trainers for WHO from 2003 to 2005. I have trained counsellors hailing from almost all of the South east Asian countries.
  5. I am on the counselling expert panel for National Aids Control Organisation(NACO) since 2003
  6. I was hired by Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society as Counselling(TANSACS) Consultant for the state of TN from Oct 2005 until I resigned in Jan 2007. My salary was coming from UNICEF.
  7. I work as counselling expert for Aids Prevention And Control, TANSACS, and as part of the expert panel for NACO, I evaluate counselling training institutions in TN, AP, Kerala and Karnataka. Some of the institutions I evaluated are (Roshini Nilaya, Bangalore University(Karnataka, SIAAP, National institute of  Health integration and Bio ethics(Kerala),Lepra Society and Roda Mistry College (AP)
  8. I run several workshops on counselling skills and these workshops have a good patronage - organizations like World Vision, CHES, PSI, SAATHII, Lepra Society send their staff for training. Participants have come for our training from West Bengal, Maharashtra, AP, Karnataka, Rajasthan and all over Tamil Nadu.
  9. I am invited as a counselling expert by The New Indian Express, The Hindu, Deccan Chronicle, Times of India, Aval Vikedan, Kumudham, India Today to share my views on a regular basis on various issues relating to Children and the LGBT community. Television channels like NDTV- Hindu, Win TV have also had me on their shows as an expert.
  10. I have written many guidelines for counsellors at the national level and developed material for counsellors as counselling aids - CDs, checklists, flipcharts etc
  11. I have now completed almost 17 years as a counsellor and have worked in the following areas, substance abuse, HIV, worked with couples on marriage, improving relationships, LGBT community and children
  12. I have worked as a counselling supervisor since I received a certificate in supervision in 2003 from Central School of Counselling Training in London.
  13. I am invited as an expert in counselling for faith based organisations National Council of Churches to speak at the Round table of Theologians. I co-chaired sessions in the Faith and Sexuality conference conducted in Chennai in November 2009.
  14. I currently run a counselling and counselling training center - East West Center for Counselling in Chennai. Those who have trained in our organisation and received certificates are getting jobs based on the counselling certificates we have issued. We provide crisis counselling, marriage counselling and we place counsellors in schools. 

Profile of the organisations

Center for Counselling is in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. We provide short-term, culturally sensitive counselling, training, consultation, and other collaborative and programmatic services related to psychological counselling.

The training team is headed by Magdalene Jeyarathnam who has extensive experience in training counsellors in South east Asia. She has developed counselling training curriculum for several organizations. She has vast experience in counselling in areas of substance abuse, HIV and general counselling issues. She has trained counsellors for WHO, UNICEF, Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society, Andhra Pradesh State AIDS Control Society, Karnataka State AIDS Control Society, Action Aid and several NGOs. She has done extensive work in HIV counselling training for VCTC and the PPTCT sites in Tamil Nadu as well as she is the resource person for the VCTC counsellors TOT for the Asia Pacific region for the WHO.

She has also extended counselling consultancy services for National AIDS Control Organization, Family Health International and APAC(USAID).  She has worked closely with the Ministry of Health, Royal Government of Bhutan and written the national guidelines for VCTC, developed their counselling training modules and completed the training for the counsellors in the VCTC for the Royal Government of Bhutan. 

Counselling Training - Both Basic Training as well as Advanced Training to match the demand for counsellors, we train through workshops those who have the aptitude and the need to use counselling skills in their work. The advanced training includes updating and also includes specific training based on the issues raised by counsellors on the field.

Our areas of expertise is counselling couples, sexual minorities, children and adults with depression and other issues.
This training will be bilingual (Tamil and English) but all materials will be in English

Counselling Services - Work Related Counselling to the innumerable counselling needs that individuals have in their day-to-day work, including in Corporate settings. We will identify the stress areas, and enable one to find ways to deal with their problems effectively.

Counselling is offered for:
·       Enriching marriage
·       Planning on separation/ divorce
·       Enhancing potential at work, family relationships etc
·       Assessments for children
·       Planning remedial lessons for children with learning disabilities
·       Confusion regarding sexual orientations/ gender identities

Center for Counselling also runs group therapy at our office:
·       Groups for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered communities (Tamil as well as English groups)
·       Support groups for Parents, siblings, friends and other family members of the LGBT community (bilingual)

Future plans
·       Support groups for those who are recovering from depression or other mental illnesses
  • Support groups for family members of those who have terminal illnesses - Cancer, HIV/AIDS, mental illnesses etc.

We run several workshops at our office on various topics related to counselling. These workshops have limited seats 12 participants per workshop. These workshops are for individuals who might be thinking of counselling as full time or part time career or may add to the skills in their own professions like lawyers working in family courts, workers from organisations working with disabilities/ issues such as HV/AIDS.

Our workshops are participatory and learning is through exercises, discussions etc Here is a list of topics we could run workshops for you or your organisation .

  1. Refresher training on counselling skills – This could be for counsellors who have undergone the last training about a year ago. This will help the counsellor revisit all the essential skills of counselling and continue to motivate the counsellor to practice this on the field.
  2. Relationship skills workshop – This focuses on the importance of couple counselling, teaches the counsellor necessary skills to build the relationship between the couple. Some topics include conflict resolution, assertiveness, constructive criticism, giving and receiving feedback etc
  3. Counselling Approaches for children – Various ways in which counselling can be practiced with children. This deals with disclosure to children, how, when is the appropriate time, under what circumstances etc. An introduction to Art therapy, play therapy, drama therapy and storytelling as therapy for children.
  4. Group Counselling – The Do’s and Don’ts of Group Counselling, how to conduct a group counselling session. Stages of group and the role of the counsellor as facilitator in conducting group therapy. This is especially relevant in our context where the counsellor deals with a large number of clients.
  5. Addiction Counselling – The role of the counsellor in handling addictions, understanding the concept of addiction as an illness that needs to be treated. The emotional and physical dependency of substances that are abused. This training is particularly relevant in our context where we are dealing with PLHA who are on ART but are still unable to stop alcohol/ drugs.
  6. Mental Health Issues – Counsellors could be trained on the various mental health issues like depression, suicide, low self esteem, etc, Techniques like problem solving, breathing exercises, improving self esteem etc. Some assessment and intervention tools will go a long way in improving the counsellor’s ability to identify mental illness and to deal with these issues professionally.
  7. Disclosure and informing the partner about one’s HIV status is the most difficult for every PLHA. The counsellor should be taught certain techniques in helping their clients to disclose their status as well as tell their partner/ spouse one’s own status.
  8. Dealing with Stigma and Discrimination – Helping clients deal with the stigma and discrimination on a day-to-day level. Identifying if the stigma is real or if it is self-stigma. Counsellors have big role to play in supporting PLHA regarding this aspect.
  9. Adherence Counselling – Most material so far on adherence counselling deals with the clinical aspect of ART. Adherence counselling on the other hand is a process that requires 3 or 4 sessions with the counsellor before starting ART for the clients. This workshop will help the counsellor identify the various aspects that they need to discuss with the client before ART begins. It involves the counsellor employing certain skills in handling these sessions.
  10. Stress Management and team building – Counsellors must learn the art of identifying stress and learn effective ways of relieving the same. Counsellors must also learn the importance of building teams. When counsellors see illness and death on a regular basis, it is possible for counsellors to face a burn out. This workshop will help the counsellor avoid such a situation.
  11. Grief Counselling - Grief is a natural, healthy process that enables one to recover from terrible emotional wounds. Understanding the nature of grief can help one to better cope with loss. Grief that is left unresolved may trigger depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, or other serious problems.
  12. Counselling through Human development -This workshop will take one through the life-long process of human development. From this workshop one will be able to understand the counselling needs at different stages of human life and the challenges faced in each stage.
  13. Crisis intervention - Crisis intervention is a crucial stage in the healing process for victims. This workshop will focus on how to help victims confront the reality of what happened, begin to deal with the crisis, and to beyond the pain and emotional trauma toward new strength and opportunities for growth and change.
Call us for further information:
9884700135/ 044-42080810
counselling helplines - 9884700164/ 9884700106