STUDENT COUNSELING CELL
God grant me the serenity,
To accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Motto : Exploring Inner Space
Counseling is an integral part of the total educational enterprise. The mission of the counseling cell at St. Ann’s is:
- To facilitate wise choices and decisions
- To promote adjustment and mental health
The psychological purpose of counseling is to facilitate development. The more a person becomes aware of the structures she has built up through previous development – abilities and talents, social assets and liabilities, emotional strengths and weaknesses. Wishes, values and aspirations – the more she is able to influence her own subsequent development by the choices she makes. The main purposes of counseling are to promote this kind of awareness, to facilitate this kind of choice.
To paraphrase a famous quotation “Some are born counselors; some achieve counseling; and some have counseling thrust upon them.” At St. Ann’s we have all three kinds of counselors. Some counselors are teachers whose natural sympathy for the joys and struggles of students seem to fit them uniquely for this work. Some have undergone a carefully planned series of courses designed to equip them for it. And then there is the professional counselor.
Counseling is inherent in the duties of both by the faculty and Mentors. But the presence of so many young people from such diverse backgrounds has made the need for professional counseling very important.
The counseling cell has collaboration with “Roshni” a voluntary organization, to provide additional support services.
The counseling cell therefore envisages three roles, which are central to their work:
- Remedial – entails working with individuals or groups, to assist them in remedying problems of one kind or another. The focus is on some “problem” which needs to be “fixed.”
- Preventive – in which the counselor seeks “to anticipate, circumvent, and, if possible, forestall difficulties that may arise in the future”. The focus is on making changes in personal and interpersonal environments to minimize occurrence of problems. This involves organizing workshops, seminars, and suicide prevention programmes.
- Educative – in which the counselor helps individuals to plan, obtain, and derive maximum benefits from the kinds of experiences, which will enable them to discover and develop their potentialities. The focus is on enhancement and includes skill-training activities.
- To identify the problem areas or difficulties of individuals, their potentialities and limitations
- To help students develop their potentialities through a greater self understanding to enable them to take full advantage of the environmental resources
- To help mitigate suffering, reach appropriate solutions, take responsible decisions, and enable students to become self-actualized individuals.
- Identify students who require help
- Conduct counseling sessions
- Refer students to experts for guidance
- Organize lectures/seminars/workshops by experts and professionals
- Administer, score, and interpret psychological tests.
Counselors are effective helpers who are able to reach in as well as reach out. Students are helped to work through their problems by developing self-awareness and overcome problems by using new coping strategies. Attempts are made to understand the behavior without imposing value judgments. The counselor makes every effort to be intellectually and affectively available to the client throughout the process. This helps students:
- Work constructively toward life/career planning
- Anticipate, plan, and react constructively to developmental issues and transitions
- Integrate thinking, feeling, and behaviour into a congruent expression of the self
- Respond productively to stress and reduce its negative impact on their lives
- Develop effective interpersonal skills so that relationships with peers, family and others can have constructive potential.
- Assess strengths and identify weaknesses so that they may develop self-awareness.
- Develop more choices in their lives, with accompanying skills to make constructive decisions.
As a result of counseling, students should increase their control over present adversity and present and future opportunity and achieve some kind of change that she will regard as satisfying. The counselor is committed to work in the best interest of the students while safeguarding their privacy.
Some of the specific areas in which the counseling skill has assisted students are:
- Learning problems
- Anxiety and tension reduction
- Social adjustment
- Improving interpersonal skills
- Career and values exploration
- Overcoming loneliness and depression
- Help with family problems
- Crisis intervention
The future activities of the counseling cell include organizing special day/week/month which will include talks and interactive sessions with experts on certain relevant topics such as self-esteem, study habits, premarital counseling etc. The counseling cell hopes to assist all students of St.Ann’s to become self-sufficient, self-directed, and self-actualized individuals who can make contributions to the larger society.
Collaboration – Roshni Counseling Centre, Secunderabad
Report : 2015-2016
- Classes for the eight batch of the counseling skills course began on 10th September with an Awareness talk by Roshni to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. 180 students from BA, Sc, & B.Com attended the talk. Students gained awareness about suicide and its dimensions and awareness of befriending services offered to students by Roshni volunteers.
- Roshni volunteers have been coming on Wednesday afternoons to offer counseling services to students of the college.
- Break the Silence is an organization which works to educate society on various dynamics of Child Sexual Abuse. A seminar was organized by them, in partnership with Goethe Zentrum Hyderabad, to mark World day for Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). 8 Final Year students, and Ms. Nikhila, Lecturer, Psychology attended the workshop titled “Framework for Therapeutic Intervention in CSA" on 17th November, at Goethe Zentrum, Hyderabad. The presenters were Dr. Sucharita Narasipuram, a counseling psychologist trained in crisis intervention from Life Line Australia, and Ms. Roopa Pillai, Additional Principal and Counselor at ‘Slate-The School’ Both are core team members of Break the Silence team.
- 24 Final Year students, accompanied by Ms. Nikhila, lecturer Psychology, went for a field visit to Asha Hospital on Friday 4th December 2015. They were given an introduction to mental health by Dr. Pragya. Later students in batches of four were allowed to interact with the patients in the hospital.
- A workshop to create awareness among the youth and to address psychological issues affecting their mental health was conducted on 5th December2015 in the seminar room by Dr Keshav, psychiatrist and founder member, Chetana Hospital, Secunderabad and clinical psychologist Meenakshi, an alumnus of the college. Ms. Meenakshi gave an introductory presentation on adolescence. This was followed by an interactive session in which Dr. Keshav addressed the issues and questions asked by the students.
- Nikhila, Lecturer, Psychology attended the inaugural session of the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Forum (CBT), at Chetana hospital, Secunderabad, on 6th December, 2015, and has become a member.
- Nikhila Paran attended an Advanced Biblical Counseling Level-1 Training, course accredited by Association of Christian Counselors – South Asia, facilitated by ‘Person to Person’ (Institute of Christian Counseling) from 24th to 29th August, 2015 at St. Ann’s Generelate,Tarnaka, Hyderabad.
- Nikhila, Lecturer, Psychology was part of the team from St. Ann’s College who went on a field visit to IPE; Shamirpet in October 2015. Later on 9th October 2015 she attended a faculty mentoring programme “ Mentoring- Mining Human Potential for Faculty”.
- A number of students, faculty and outsiders have been offered personal counseling by the members of the Counseling cell.
Report : 2014-2015
- May 2014 - Lata Subramanya gave a talk “Teachers as Counselors” to teachers at Udbhav School Rasoolpura.
- On 1st September 2014 - Guest lecture “Learning Difficulties in Children” by Afshan Jabeen of Ripples
- 27th September-1st October 2014- Lata Subramanya attended a UGC sponsored
- National Workshop “Counseling Initiatives and Recent Trends in Varied Settings” held
- at St. Francis College, Hyderabad. She presented a paper titled “An Exploration of the Interpersonal Context of Adolescent Depression”
- 10th October 2014 - the film “15 Park Avenue” was screened on the occasion of World Mental Health Day.
- On Women’s Day 8th March 2015, Lata Subramanya was Guest of Honour at a knowledge sharing event titled “Women: Resilience & Holistic Healing” organized by Asha Hospital, Banjara Hills, Several Students from the Counseling Skills Programme also attended the programme. Afterwards they toured the newly constructed hospital premises.
- 13 students enrolled for the 7th Batch of Counseling Skills Programme.
- A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 4th July, 2014 by Ms. Tinki Bhardwaj, Director, on behalf of ROSHNI, Secunderabad and Dr. Sr. Anthony Mary, Principal on behalf of the St. Ann’s College for Women, Mehdipatnam, Hyderabad. This renewal was to continue with the support services provided by Roshni, wherein two volunteers visit the college twice a month on designated days, to augment the counseling services provided by the Counseling Cell of St. Ann’s College for Women.
- The counseling cell continued with its counseling sessions for students, faculty and non-teaching staff. 28 counseling sessions were carried out. 3 individuals were referred to outside experts for further treatment.
Report : 2013-2014
- 14th August 2013: Guest Lecture on “What is Counseling” by Diana Monteiro, Counseling Psychologist and Director at TheHyderabad Academy of Psychology, Secunderabad.
- 24th October 2013: Lata Subramanya, HOD spoke to first year BBA students on strategies for taking control of your destiny and achieving results.
Report : 2012-2013
- 1st – 3rd June 2012 - Five III year Psychology students attended the Level II of the School Psychology Workshop conducted by Dr. Imtiyaz at Ambiance Fort Club Attapur. The workshop focused on advanced assessment and Therapy techniques. These workshops are certified by International Association of Holistic Psychology.
- 25th July 2012 – Workshop on ‘Learning Difficulties and their manifestations’ by Afshan Jabeen. Afshan works in the area of Learning Disabilities and runs Ripples – Center for Enhanced Learning at Hyderabad.
- 6th & 7thAugust, 2012 - 22 students and Lata Subramanya attended a National seminar on ‘Music Therapy for Chronic Health Problems’. This was organized by the Centre for Health Psychology,University of Hyderabad, in observance of their Foundation Day. The seminar highlighted how music could prove effective in the treatment of chronic health problems such as depression, cancer, pain, psychiatric disorders, emotion and aging.
- 28th November, 2012 – A workshop on Cognitive behaviour Therapy by Debasmita Sinha for all Final Year students and students of the certificate course in Counseling. Students were given a talk on CBT and later asked to role play based on the techniques used in this approach.