Mrs. Nombuyiselo Kahla-Ntshangase

 

Name
Mrs. Nombuyiselo Kahla-Ntshangase
Degree
BA Social Work(HONS)
Company
PHS
Presentation Title
Integrating Spirituality into Multicultural Counselling: A call for Indigenization of EAP and counselling services in Africa.
Content Focus Area
Industry Level
EAP Strategies
Biographical information related to the topic
I am a qualified Social worker who has vast experience of working in diverse EAP and counselling services within occupational settings such as the military, Mercedes-Benz South Africa and other leading organisations in South Africa. In addition, I work as an academic supervisor for Unisa, supervising Social work fourth year students and am an Associate of Khulisa Social Solutions a Non-Profit Organisation that is in Partnership with Thuli Madonsela Foundation in addressing issues of social justice. My interest in the topic developed when I was working as a military social worker, where I had to deal with issues of cultural diversity in the resilience program that was offered predominantly in preparation for deployment of soldiers. While offering counselling to soldiers in the military base situated in Limpopo, I was faced with a challenges of having to deal with cross cultural issues; as the soldiers came from different cultural backgrounds. In 2008, I was employed by the University of Fort Hare as a Junior Lecturer within the Social Work department. I lectured Social work students from 1st to 4th year level. One of the modules I was part of developing and lecturing on was Anti-discriminatory social work practice, which addressed various aspects of cultural diversity. These included cross cultural practice, indigenization of social work practice, culturally appropriate intervention strategies etc. Having come across the challenges that I have mentioned above as a counsellor, I then developed an interest in advancement of an indigenous Afro-centric model for Social Work and EAP interventions which will pay more attention to the cultural and spiritual aspects of counselling. I am currently employed by PHS as an EAP Operations Manager. In my current position, indigenization of EAP and integration of spirituality into multicultural counselling forms an integral part of our holistic approach to wellness.
Abstract
The aim of this presentation is to raise awareness and develop critical consciousness on issues of spirituality and cross cultural therapeutic interventions. Integrating spiritual issues into multicultural counselling and indigenization of counselling including EAP services are topics that are rapidly growing essentially within the scope of therapeutic interventions. Being indigenous in practice is to be relevant in an appropriate context. The context in which EAP is practiced affects the kind of EAP intervention for example; South Africa is a very diverse country and therefore counsellors and EAP Professionals usually come across a number of diverse cultural groups presenting with different cultural and spiritual beliefs. Gray (2000) “speaks of appropriate model for South Africa, wherein ideas, theories, values and philosophies that emphasize that practice must be influenced by local factors that include local culture and values.” In order for any such model to be appropriate for African EAP practice, it would need to be culturally sensitive and contextually specific. It is therefore of paramount importance to constantly improve professional expertise in relation to local needs, establishing greater legitimacy to improve the services that are rendered to the clients. Jonker et al (2000) emphasise the importance to see social work adjusting to the cultural context of the client. He further explains that should the above not be recognised or applied, service delivery may not reach its required level of effect. Ignoring client’s cultural and spiritual beliefs can reduce counselling efficacy and increase premature termination. Therefore, it is crucial that counsellors are competent, efficient and prepared for the clients who come for counselling having spiritual, cultural and religious concerns that impact their total wellbeing. EAP practitioners, professionals and counsellors need to be familiar with a range of intervention strategies and acquire a variety of skills and techniques to assist individuals, group, and community at large. As a result, this presentation will address the following key aspects:

1. What can a counsellor do to encourage a spiritual practice;
2. What issues /aspects need to be addressed before the counsellor incorporates spiritual dimension in counselling;
3. Explore the barriers between counselling and issues of culture and spirituality;
4. Elements of being cross culturally competent as a counsellor.

Session Description
The context in which EAP is practiced affects the kind of EAP intervention for example; Africa is a very diverse continent and therefore counsellors and EAP Professionals usually come across a number of diverse cultural groups presenting with different cultural and spiritual beliefs.Ignoring client’s cultural and spiritual beliefs can reduce counselling efficacy and increase premature termination of the therapeutic intervention. Therefore, it is crucial that counsellors are competent, efficient and prepared for the clients who come for counselling having spiritual, cultural and religious concerns that impact their total wellbeing
Learning Objective 1
To equip EAP Professionals and counsellors with the necessary skills required to become cross culturally competent.
Learning Objective 2
To empower EAP Professionals and counsellors with the necessary skills and techniques to enable them to incorporate spiritual dimension in counselling.
Learning Objective 3
To provide counsellors and EAP Professionals with knowledge which will enable them to become cross cultural competent therapist.
Audience Level
Intermediate