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Saturday, March 28, 2015

                                                    Sunita Menezes


History of Psychological Counselling at Sampurna Montfort College

Sampurna Montfort College is managed by the Institute of the Brothers of St Gabriel. The Vision is mental and emotional well-being in society and is expressed in its logo 'Liberation with Enlightenment.' The Mission is to train psychologists and counsellors with personal integration and professional competence; to provide contextually relevant, socially inclusive and acceptable mental health care support to all in need.

The college began in 1995 with a one year Post Graduate Diploma course in Holistic Counselling. In 1998 the college started a Master's degree in Holistic Psychological Counselling, affiliated to Bangalore University. This was the first University course in Psychological Counselling in India. A few years later the Master's degree was changed to Psychological Counselling. The aim is to prepare counselling psychologists with academic, professional and personal credentials. The students are trained in couples and family counselling and work-place counselling. The students are also taught research methods and were required to submit a dissertation. In 2006, there was a revision in syllabus and the focus was more on specialized areas of counselling. They were taught research methods, but did not have to submit a dissertation. In 2014, there was yet another syllabus revision and along with the counselling subjects the students are also required to submit a dissertation. The college now offers specializations in school counselling, couples and family counselling and work-place counselling.

Masters in Psychology was started in 2005 and offers specialization in Clinical, Industrial and Child Psychology. It aims at preparing students to work in clinical, child-guidance, and industrial settings. Emphasis is placed on developing competencies in research and assessments through internships and project work.

In 2007 the Honours Programme was introduced. This programme encourages students to go beyond the textbook and the curriculum. It challenges them to think out of the box, form their own opinions and keeps them updated with current developments in the field.

In 2007 the Sampurna Institute of Advanced Studies began and offers Masters in Counselling Psychology and Diploma in Counselling. It is affiliated to Martin Luther Christian University, Shillong.

In 2010 a part time certificate course in Basic Counselling Skills was introduced for those in the helping and caring professions which offer guidance and support. It is a 100 hour practical oriented certificate programme. In 2011 a part time certificate course in Advanced Counselling Skills was introduced for those who have already completed the basic counselling skills training. It provides them further training in understanding the theoretical perspectives as well as applying the skills to life situations.

The faculty are encouraged to be innovative in their teaching and use different methodologies of knowing such as class room teaching, student presentations, group discussions, practical demonstrations, field trips, videos, workshops and case conferences. The students have to complete an internship and are guided through individual and group supervision.

The college also has a Family Counselling Centre which is partly supported by the State Social Welfare Board and provides free counselling services to the poor, especially women and children. This centre also engages in community counselling, family mediations and community-based research. The Sampurna Clinic was founded in January, 2009 with the aim of providing psychological assessments and therapeutic services to individuals, couples, families and various other clientele.



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