Counseling Program

The Centre for Holistic Healing provides various aspects of counseling according to the context and the need of the hour.

  • Individual Counseling
  • Trauma Counseling
  • Group Counseling
  • Adjunctive Therapies
  • One year Diploma Course in Psychological Counseling
  • Short term Crash Course in counseling0

Counseling in today’s modern world has become very famous and important tool in all walks of life. It is also used in different fields including business and politics. However, the origin of counseling finds its root in the history of the Catholic Church. Though people may interpret counseling as ‘guiding, advising, supporting, caring’ etc, it is always connected to the context in which we are in.

For the Centre for Holistic Healing, our context is post war situation. This includes, dealing with people who have undergone great deal of loss of lives, properties, land, jobs, education etc. On the whole, it is dealing with loss, trauma, post traumatic stress disorders and building up relationships.

Accordingly, we do our interventions, in personal counseling, group counseling, counseling for children, bereavement counseling, counseling for additives, anger management, conflict resolution, counseling the amputees etc.

Counseling cannot be done by everyone. This may create more problems. Therefore we are involved in training counselors. The crash course counseling for the field workers and animators involve the skills and techniques, besides the important component ‘showing empathy”.

The professional counseling is given for graduate students, teachers, nurses, social workers and those who are interested in the field. This course is for one year. Four units of psychology and four units of counseling are included along with the practical work, field work, hospital visits etc. The syllabus is adapted from the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka.

Though we have a counseling centre, counseling is being done while the workers are on field work, free mobile clinics and house visits. The reason is transport of the clients who have been affected by was especially the amputees and paralyzed patients to the counseling centre is very difficult.

Counseling is done free of charge as the clients we work with cannot afford payment. Furthermore it is done in a simple way, (of course confidentiality in maintained), where ever possible.

Our animators and counselors have to commended for their sacrificial service to this unfortunate ones.

First Aid Training for the Diploma in Counseling students

In the curriculum of the Diploma in counseling conducted by the Centre for Holistic Healing, First aid is included as it is essential for the counselors and social workers to identify, understand and to respond to their clients as they often encounter clients who have faced disasters, crisis, injuries, accidents, mental and physical trauma and suicidal attempts.

A full day workshop was arranged with the St. John’s Ambulance on the 29th of June as a full day programme.  Mr Selvaranjan the District Commissioner of St. John’sAmbulance, Jaffna  and Mr. E. Eelanesan, the assistant  District Commissioner of  St. John’s Ambulance conducted the training programme.  Twenty students following the Diploma course from all walks of life including students from the university, teachers, social workers and health care assistants got benefited by this programme.

The training included lectures and practical work done with the usage of manikin/resuscitation dummy.  All the students very enthusiastically learned the skills and got benefited profoundly.  The trainers had good experience in this training and made the training session a very  interesting one.

The following  topics were dealt with.

  1. Dressing and Bandaging
  2. Transferring a injured client
  3. Positioning of a client
  4. First Aid for Emergency conditions (First aid for snake bite, Fits, Drowning,  Asphyxia, etc)
  5. Preparing a First Aid kit

A short examination was done by them to make sure the students understood the skills. Certificates were issued by the Jaffna branch of the St. John’s Ambulance.  We sincerely thank the trainers and the St. John’s ambulance, Jaffna branch for their services.



Art Work Among the Children

Art therapy can serve as a means of symbolic speech, which is particularly beneficial for clients who have a good mastery of verbal communication or words, but are unable to accurately express their emotions (Liebmann 1990).

For example, for clients who have limited verbal expression or those who are highly articulate but have difficulty with emotional expression, the visual arts can be employed as a means of speaking from the self. When possible a combination of verbal and non-verbal communication is encouraged as a way of acquiring new and more comprehensive understandings of what is being expressed to uncover the significance of personal meanings (Kaplan 2000; Karkou and Sanderson 2006).

In the context of the post war situation, during the first gathering of the children, they were asked to draw whatever comes to their mind. It was not a surprise that we found the children drew pictures of their experience during war time. When we artasked them to tell about their experience, majority of the children kept quiet. Their emotion changed.  The drawings here speak for themselves. These were drawn two years ago.
Malchiodi has rightly said that ‘Art therapy asks you to explore your inner experience—your feelings, perceptions and imagination. While art therapy may involve learning skills or art techniques, the emphasis is generally first on developing and expressing images that come from inside the person, rather than those he or she sees in the outside world.

The Centre for Holistic Healing uses the therapy mainly for the kids who cannot express their feelings. From time to time the expression of the emotions of our clients is being evaluated. We see a lot of improvement in their traumatic experience of the war.

Diploma in Counselling – Batch 3


The Centre for Holistic Healing has produced two batches of counselors in the past two years. Each course takes one year. The course includes, four units of psychology, four units of counseling, field work, assignments, examinations, writing of dissertation and viva examination.

To select the candidates advertisement on news papers appeared on the 22nd  and the 26th of January 2012. The interview for them was conducted with the help of other resource persons. The selected candidates had introductory forum on the 15th of February 2014. The resources persons and the old students shared their experiences and the importance of such a course. The classes started on the 22nd of February 2014, at the new renovated building of the in the premises of the Mc. Leod Hospital.

Miss. Susrubi , who has a Bachelor in Science in nursing from University of Jaffna is helping us as the co-coordinator for this programme.  Mrs. Sukirtha, Mr. Raj Renesius (B.Sc nursing) are the other volunteers who help in running the office and the other projects of the CHH.

We seek help to guide us and conduct extra classes in the fields like psychiatry and other relevant subjects. We expect those who can contribute to this noble task to contact us.

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