Capacitating postgraduate education students with lay counselling competencies via the culturally appropriate bibliotherapeutic Read-me-to-Resilience intervention

  • Carmen Joubert
  • Johnnie Hay
Keywords: bibliotherapy, education students, intervention, lay counsellor, resilience, school support, teachers


This study explored how culturally relevant stories could be used to bolster the lay counselling competencies of teachers furthering their studies in an honours degree in learner support – while working in schools with limited resources and at-risk children. One possible way of supporting teachers to be effective in the lay counselling role is to support them with access to counselling tools. To achieve this aim of providing teachers, functioning as lay counsellors, with supportive tools, 16 South African honours students/teachers voluntarily implemented the intervention called, Read-me-to-Resilience (Rm2R) (see A qualitative research approach was used employing a pre- and post-intervention evaluation design and, based on the draw-and-write technique for gathering data, the experiences of lay counsellors using the Rm2R intervention were analysed. Participating teachers reported that using the Rm2R intervention promoted a positive adjustment to the challenges associated with lay counselling. The findings suggest that such a ready-made intervention may have value in supporting postgraduate education students being trained as lay counsellors. Culturally appropriate training with similar ready-made interventions might be an appropriate way of capacitating teachers being trained as lay counsellors.

Keywords: bibliotherapy; education students; intervention; lay counsellor; resilience; school support; teachers