Cognitive behavioural therapy in South Africa: Counsellors' experiences following a training programme
Many South African communities experience high levels of violence and other phenomena that potentially provoke symptoms of traumatic stress among residents. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) has been demonstrated to be an effective psychological intervention to ameliorate symptoms of trauma, but is seldom practised in South African community mental health settings. In order to determine the barriers to implementing CBT, 12 credentialed community counsellors participated in a two-day training workshop focused on CBT, Counsellors were asked to implement CBT with their clients who presented with symptoms of PTSD. The counsellors were then asked to complete a questionnaire six-months after the training workshop in order to identify the barriers they experienced in implementing the treatment model. The chief barriers that counsellors identified included high workload and limited time, unsuitable clients, client drop out, and an inappropriate match between the counsellor's theoretical paradigm and the CBT model. These results are considered in the context of community mental health care in post-apartheid South Africa.