Good Counsellors Transform Addicts’ Lives
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21 December 2010
"Role of a counsellor in drug abuse prevention, is like one of a catalyst. It can also be said, however, that it changes to that of a navigator, at times. He does not take an active part in the process of change, but accelerates the process by working with patients, his/her family members and other associated social groups," said psychiatrist Dr Anand Nadkarni. He was speaking at the inauguration of a month long basic course on 'Drug Abuse Prevention' on Monday.
The Regional Resource and Training Center (RRTC)– west zone, run by city–based Muktangan Rehabilitation Center, has organised this course for counsellors from five states under its jurisdiction. The event is supported by the National Institute of Social Defence, alongwith the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India. Mukta Puntambekar, deputy director, Muktangan Mitra, and Sanjay Bhagat, project coordinator, RRTC–West Zone, were present on the occasion.
During the first session after inauguration, Dr Anand Nadkarni focused upon the 'Magic of Empathy'. "While handling a patient troubled with addictions, a counsellor must not only use 'empathy' as a pattern, but also implement strategies of sympathy and antipathy as per the situation's requirements. It is a thankless job. The counsellor has to give a hundred percent of his/her attention to all the patients. Also, attention must be given even after the treatment is completed," he said. Through role play, he demonstrated various ways of handling patients.
Around 28 counsellor from Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, will be participating in this course. Aspects related to addiction treatment like stages of counselling, handling of denials, handling of social pressure and negative feelings alongwith motivational counselling would be covered during the course.