BIS #7034 DB Yerwada Participates in Seminar on Counselling

By Ms Pearl Fernandes for BISMumbai

The Salesian Catechetical Centre, Koregaon Park, Pune, held a seminar on counselling skills for school teachers on 19 August 2023.

 In a classroom that is constantly changing, teachers' ability to mentor and encourage students is crucial for their overall development.  The roles of teachers extend beyond the classroom.  The seminar was designed to give teachers the knowledge and insight they need to effectively counsel students in higher secondary schools. 

Under the direction of the eminent resource person, Fr Edison Fernandes, 14 teachers from Don Bosco Junior College, Yerwada,  participated in the seminar. Fr Dinesh Vasava, the Director of the Catechetical Centre, led the morning prayer.  After welcoming Fr Fernandes and the teachers, he emphasised the significance of the seminar.

Fr Fernandes discussed counselling and its various aspects in the first part of the seminar.  As real-life situations were discussed, teachers were encouraged to interact, ask questions, and suggest various solutions, making the seminar very lively.  He defined the key distinctions between advice, psychological counselling, and pastoral guidance. The scope, importance, ethical considerations, and various counselling theories were clarified

After lunch, the second half of the seminar focused on case conceptualisation and my counselling philosophy.  The various problem areas were linked, and approaches to these critical areas were discussed. The teachers actively participated and shared their perspectives. Case studies helped in understanding the role of a teacher as a counsellor, and the techniques of counselling broadened the vision of the teachers and opened new insights to explore the students and help them, especially when they were most in need of it.

Fr Fernandes' great sense of humour impressed the teachers. His approach was practical, and all of the resources he provided were intended to serve as guides and references for teachers. 'The session was an eye opener and helped me mould myself into a better teacher,' said Ms Poonam Indrekar.

A big thanks to Fr Vasava and the team at the Salesian Catechetical Centre, and Fr Fernandes for their collaborative efforts in bringing about a transformation through the thought-provoking counselling session.