Registered psychological counsellor training at a South African faculty of education: Are we impacting educational communities?
The study reported on in this article explored the perceived psychosocial and educational impact on educational communities by alumni of the North-West University who completed their Bachelor of Education Honours degree in Educational Psychology. This programme has been running since 2003 and aimed at training registered counsellors who need to pass the Board of Psychology examination of the Health Professions Council of South Africa to be qualified as registered counsellors. To achieve the aim of this study, telephonic interviews were conducted to gather data from the counsellor alumni of the 2007, 2013, 2014 and 2016 cohorts. In total, 18 participants voluntarily participated in this qualitative research study. The participants’ perceptions were analysed using inductive content analysis; the findings suggest that counselling is an add-on skill for these alumni, utilised only on a part-time or secondary basis, as the overwhelming majority work as teachers in educational settings. The psychosocial and educational impact from a registered counsellor’s perspective seems to be limited as most of them are teachers and only some provide counselling services in the educational environment where they work. The implications are that some adjustments in the training of registered counsellors – from a holistic wellbeing framework – need to be made, as that the category should be intensively marketed.
Keywords: alumni; educational impact; mid-level communities; psychosocial; registered counsellor
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