Training Counsellors in Areas of Armed Conflict

van der Veer, G. (2003). Training counsellors in areas of armed conflict. Intervention, 1(1), 33-43.

This article is about the learning needs of starting counsellors in areas of armed conflict. The curricula for the training of counsellors usually are based on ideas regarding which knowledge, skills and attitudes are required for effective counselling. The curricula do not always take the personal needs and backgrounds of the participants into account. Counselling training in areas of armed conflict can only be effective if the trainer assesses these personal backgrounds and needs and adapts his training approach accordingly. Participants in training projects in areas of armed conflict often need a concise, short-term, practice-oriented training, stripped from professional jargon and connecting with their, sometimes, very modest educational level. Moreover, they need some form of support in dealing with the consequences of traumatic experiences in their own lives. The training therefore is education and group psychotherapy at the same time. In order to describe the working of such a training, we need two theoretical descriptions: one highlighting the educational side, and one highlighting the therapeutic side.

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