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Catholic Counselling Network (CCN)

The Catholic Counselling Network (CCN) is a unique programme of volunteer lay counsellors, showing strong dedication and commitment towards helping others through counselling.  CCN also provides a casework service.

CCN aims to provide accessible Psycho-social assistance to improve the mental and emotional health of its beneficiaries in the greater Cape Town\ region.

Catholic Counseling Network (CCN) is a network of volunteer lay counsellors, who offer free services to parishioners and community members through a lay counselling service. CCN currently has 13 Volunteer Lay Counsellors (VLC) working in 17 parishes around the Archdiocese of Cape Town.

CCN assists community members via two channels. On the one hand, for emotional concerns, the volunteer network provides free of charge lay counselling services, which take place through local church buildings. Areas of counsellor expertise include couple counselling, trauma debriefing, drug and substance abuse, and bereavement counselling amongst others. It is important to note that although the services are situated in Catholic parishes, CCN’s doors are open to anyone who is in need of their services, without restriction or prejudice.

On the other hand, the Volunteer Lay Counsellors makes use of an extensive network of service providers when unable to assist beneficiaries via CCN. Through both of these channels, beneficiaries are enabled to shed the weight of many types of problems, a critical step in becoming self-reliant. Some of the typical issues dealt with in counselling are: relationships between couples, parent/child relationships, and relationship issues between other family members.  Other common issues are domestic violence, low self-esteem, drug and alcohol abuse, bereavement, emotional, physical, financial and sexual abuse.  The benefits of counselling are far-reaching as it is not only the clients who benefit, but also their families.

CCN looks after the volunteers and caseworkers through monthly supervision sessions, held either as a group session amongst themselves or in individual supervision, with a trained psychologist or social worker. It is the norm that the volunteers in CCN stay for multiple years, which is testimony to the care and support they receive. By looking after the volunteers of CCN, CWD ensures the continuation of one of the factors that makes this programme most effective.

CCN aims to contribute to creating self-reliant communities by providing quality services that are accessible at community level. By becoming better psychologically resilient, people become more equipped to deal with the challenges they face. CWD sees this specialised psychological assistance as critical in the long walk to empowerment and self-reliance which is a fundamental goal of the agency.

HOW WE DO IT

• Our volunteer lay counsellors operate from 18 parishes in the Archdiocese of Cape Town. These include Bergvliet, Bonteheuwel, Bothasig, Grassy Park (Parkwood Estate & Lotus River), Lavistown, Matroosfontein, Retreat, Table View, Tafelsig and Woodstock (Observatory & Salt River), Kraaifontein, Northpine, Brackenfell, Nyanga. 

• In-house counselling to staff at Catholic Welfare & Development on request. The opportunity to have regular counselling helps as they deal with poverty and pain on a daily basis in their work with the poor and disadvantaged.

• All 16 volunteer lay counsellors undergo frequent training, attend monthly supervision sessions with an external psychologist and also attend monthly support groups.

• We provide the opportunity for people with social problems to seek advice and assistance in dealing with their circumstances.  Intake assessments are done and a full picture of their situations is gained so that proper advice and referrals can be made.