Child Counselling


A prerequisite for this course is that trainees have completed the Personal Growth and Basic Counselling Skills course (these could have been done through another accredited organisation like Phillippi), and have at least 6 months experience counselling adults.


Description of Course

The LifeLine/ChildLine Child Counselling Course is a two module course that aims to build knowledge and practical skills both in psychological and social issues around counselling, with particular emphasis on improved communication with clients. It provides a practical approach to the training, offering more training materials for more experienced counsellors. Module 1 focuses on general issues pertaining to children – child development, communication, the changing world our children live in etc. Module 2 focuses on issues particularly pertaining to children living with HIV. Its application will advance participants’ basic counselling skills and specific counselling techniques, particularly in the context of HIV infected children and adolescents. In this way, it should also make the treatment of children who are infected or affected by HIV a more satisfying and successful experience.

The Objectives of Module 1 are to:

    • Learn general issues of working with children in a counselling setting.
    • Learn and practice specific counselling techniques drawn from Narrative Therapy and Solutions Focused Brief Therapy.
    • Build communication skills to interact with children and families.
    • Learn about situations that require a particular response when working with children.
    • Learn and practise skills for helping children deal with loss and death.
    • Learn how to guide children towards positive living.
    • Learn skills of promoting the well-being of clients through support groups and other structures.
    • Learn and practise skills on how to deal with work stress and pressure, given the emotional load that counsellors of children often carry.


The Objectives of Module 2 are to:

    • Learn some essential concepts in the context of HIV/AIDS and children.
    • Learn and practise skills regarding counselling children before HIV disclosure takes place.
    • Learn about the connection between disclosure and adherence when it comes to children.
    • Gain understanding of the impact of stigma and discrimination in the lives of children.


Module 1 Topics

Laying the Groundwork for Child Counselling
    • Introduction
    • Who makes a good Counsellor of Children
    • When to Counsel Children
    • Confidentiality and Consent
    • Building Children’s Inner Strength
    • Normal Stages of Development
    • Boys and Girls – Different or the Same?
    • Communicating with Children
Approaches to Counselling with Children
    • Basic Counselling and Communication Skills
    • Introduction to Narrative Therapy
    • Summary of Narrative Therapy
    • Introduction to Solutions Focussed Counselling
    • Selected techniques of Solutions Focussed Counselling
    • Issues that require a particular response
    • Crisis Counselling
    • Practice Sessions


Module 2 Topics

Working with HIV Infected and Affected Children
    • Introduction to the Training
    • A Personal History of AIDS
    • Framework for working with HIV Infected and Affected Children
    • Counselling Focus on HIV in the Family
    • How Does a Child Become at Risk with HIV?
    • Disclosure Process: Telling a Child About Their HIV Status
    • Disclosure as a Family Experience
    • The Role of Support Groups
Treatment Issues for Children with HIV
    • Focus on Good Nutrition and Healthy Living
    • Introduction To HAART for Children
    • Paediatric Adherence
    • Caregiver Education
    • Adolescent Adherence
    • Tools and Activities
Dealing with Loss and Bereavement
    • How Children Experience Death and Grief
    • Helping Children Deal with Loss and Grief
    • When Treatment is not Working
    • Love Yourself so You can Love Others
    • Final Wrap-up

Child Counselling


72 hours


    • Written Pre and Post-test (for each of the 2 modules)
    • Counselling Skills Assessment (x2)
    • Course Evaluation Form Probation Period