Pastoral development training in contextual and narrative family therapy.
Den Hollander, Weltje Annigje.
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The need for a family therapeutic counselling programme in the management of HIV/AIDS was established by the researcher in 2001 (den Hollander 2001). The focus of this study was to develop the training programme model in family therapeutic counselling for church leaders and lay counsellors. This was accomplished using a variety of samples and research instruments, by firstly exploring the issues and problems facing people and families living with HIV/AIDS and then how best churches could respond as faith-based community organizations. At a theoretical level, this study sought to compare the paradigms of contextual and narrative family therapy with the theory and practice of social work and practical narrative theology, in order to integrate these paradigms into an incorporated response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The main research methodology was the Intervention Research Model as adapted from De Vos (2001). This model consists of six phases, consisting of problem analysis and project planning, information gathering and synthesis, design, early development and pilot testing, evaluation and advanced development, and dissemination of the training model. During the analysis phase an extensive literature research, as well as several field studies, both quantitative and qualitative were conducted. During the development phase, three pilot studies were designed and performed, in attempt to accommodate the context specific problems of different families and communities. The results of these two phases indicated a need for pastoral training in family therapeutic counselling, specifically in the areas of mental health, trauma and bereavement and child participation. Importantly, the need to intervene meaningfully to alleviate structural problems such as poverty and food insecurity were clearly indicated, with the study recommendation being for active networking across all stakeholders so that therapeutic counselling may work in tandem with these community based efforts. Recommendations in respect of offering such training are to provide a comprehensive structure of training, supervision and counselling practice.