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Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems

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Psychological counselling and indigenous African knowledge systems in South African context

H M Vogel

Abstract


Psychological counselling relates to basic humanity and universal values such as the regard for human dignity, healthy socialisation, and emotional health. Counselling individuals who experience emotional or relational problems is a function of the helping and health care professions. Effective counselling should provide appropriate help to people living in a contemporary and diverse society, such as South Africa. Traumatic experiences, bereavement, depression, violence and the traumatic aftermath of criminal activities are all part of the emotional turmoil experience by many South Africans and their families. Key questions are: Do Western-oriented counselling practices have a role in African-oriented settings? How effectively are counsellors who have been trained in Western-oriented counselling practices equipped to serve the diverse South African population? The aim of this article is to discuss selected Western approaches in the light of a discussion of Indigenous African Knowledge Systems; to suggest nodes of correspondence between the two systems of thought; and to make recommendations to promote the training of culturally sensitive counsellors.

Keywords: Psychological counselling, Western-oriented, counselling, indigenous African psychology.




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