What is the inspiration behind setting up of School of Counselling?
Started off my journey as a counsellor for families of cancer patients. The depression quotient is higher in such families and at such instance they really need an external motivating factor to fight. Gradually I started career guidance and counselling for aspiring actors and models.
However, during the journey I learnt the fact that, after a certain age it is really hard to change somebody’s behaviour and prejudiced attitude. If I really want to make a change and take forward my aim of improvement of the mental health of an individual, I should be working at the developmental age. And hence decided to work for students and at school level.
While I started taking formal training for counselling of students, the aim became clear – One stop solution for counselling needs of a child and eventually for the school. Thus, the establishment of School of Counselling stood for centre for all counselling needs of a school.
How would you say that SoC stands unique in this field?
SoC was formed to be a one stop centre for counselling needs of any school. The reason being the aim that we wanted to provide assistance on every parameter that shapes a child’s behaviour and intelligence. Usually you would find organisation focusing only on career counselling. And then psychiatrist who deal solely with stress, anger and depression. SoC is a setup which deals not only with career counselling but with all of the problems.
Our vision of human satisfaction, makes us unique from other organisations. Though, career counselling is our forte but a child’s career depends a lot on his/her stress management, behavioural management, time management and relationship management along with a designated assistance on career graph.
The other factor that makes us completely different from any other counselling setup is our understanding and approach to the children like making counselling digital through SoC mobile application. We as counsellors cannot be present physically everywhere with our students all the time. Hence, we have developed a 24/7 counselling chat application for those who feel easier to connect on their fingertips then to walk down to a centre.
How do you think India is transforming its approach towards counseling?
Counselling even today in most regions of India is considered as a taboo and a requisite for the mentally I’ll people. I have come across so many parents who gets offended by teachers when they got to know the fact that their child was sent to a school counsellor. Many fought with me thinking I might label their child as ‘pagal’.
The students on the other hand feel school counsellors to be spy of their teachers and principals and the teachers think that counsellors need to rectify every fault in a child from improving his handwriting to making him read and write properly. Some also comes with a complaint that the child is naughty please stop him for doing mischief.
The whole functionality of a counsellor is not clear in India yet especially in tier II cities. The rural belt is completely aloof from the term. It is only the metros where we find people understanding the need importance and benefits of counselling.
But the happy part is with several incidences of student suicides and troublesome teachers happening most of the education boards have taken a step to make a position of a school counsellor compulsory in a schools for eg: CBSE Board and schools in Hyderabad .
Our main reason for the launch of SoC Counselling summit has been to create this awareness among parents-teachers-educators and students by bring them together on a single platform and guiding them through the need and benefits of counselling and motivating them to accept the process of counselling as a need for improving mental health.
What kind of assistance do students get from SoC?
SoC was formed to be a one stop centre for counselling needs of any school. The reason being the aim that we wanted to provide assistance on every parameter that shapes a child’s behaviour and intelligence.
SoC has its forte on Career Counselling, however, a child’s career depends on a lot of factors and hence, we assist students and the school on following segments:
- Career Guidance
- Anger and Stress Management
- Defeat Loneliness
- Relationship Challenges
- Learning Difficulties
- Corporate Competitions
- Teacher Grievance Redressal Program
- Effective Parenting Guidelines
SoC as mentioned earlier, also has a mobile application in the name of SoC app as the digital platform for the services offered by the organisation. It can also be used as a 24*7 counselling chat app, wherein a student/ parent/ educationist can chat / discuss their problems with their counsellors. As it is still developing, we are rendering all are digital platform services free of cost.
Is expansion on the cards?
Yes definitely. Like any start up, my aim definitely is to expand to every region of India. We are already in talks with my team for expansion in North India as I believe it is the North India which needs the service of counselling and its awareness more at this stage. But as SoC is a social enterprise we are cautious in choosing the right team. As soon as that happens SoC shall have its wings flying In the northern India.
For more details Soc-edu.com