DATE: 23 February – 6 March 2020
WHERE: Petra Institute, Numbi Road, White River, Mpumalanga 


The purpose of the course is to provide skills, knowledge and values for Christian faith workers to support emotionally wounded children on a primary level. The course introduces the participants to:
– understanding trauma and its effects and assessing emotionally wounded children
– principles of healing relationships and active listening
– skills and tools to assist in the support of emotionally wounded children
– a theological framework for faith-based psycho-social support of emotionally wounded children


At the end of the training, the participants can:

Attitudes component:
– Report of growth and healing in their own personal/spiritual lives;
– demonstrate healthy values and attitudes in relationships with self, God, other adults and children;
– formulate personal commitments to key values, principles and skills to support emotionally wounded children.

Knowledge component:
– describe Biblical principles for emotional, social and spiritual healing, particularly in terms of the concept peace;
– describe key elements and purposes of child counselling;
– explain the effects of traumatic experiences on children, with reference to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Attachment Disorders     and physical, behavioural and emotional indications of abuse, amongst others;
– differentiate emotionally wounded children from other children;
– explain the basic principles of a therapeutic or supportive relationship;
– differentiate between helpful and unhelpful counselling responses;
– explain the basic principles of the so-called “STOP sign model” to support severely traumatised children,
– explain stages of sexual development and how to educate children in each stage;
– explain effects and indicators of sexual abuse and steps to support a sexually abused child.
– explain the principles of critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) to help a group of children in a crisis;
– explain the fundamental elements of a “healing community” (therapeutic intergenerational small group)


– apply practical ways to assess emotionally wounded children on a primary level;
– build a healthy therapeutic or supportive relationship with a child or children, applying the relevant principles;
– apply the basic skills of active listening and emphatic responses;
– help develop a child’s understanding of emotions and the meaning thereof;
– apply the principle of active listening to the non-verbal communication of children through play or drawing;
– apply basic tools to support emotionally wounded children, including use of toys, sand-play, drawings, clay-work, games, lifeline and             storytelling;
– apply key principles to establish and lead a “healing community” session.


The course is built on trust, respect, transparency and participation and is aimed at equipping participants with values, skills and knowledge. Methods include: Lecture-discussion, individual and group study, demonstrations, role-play, learning by doing and guided reflection on activities. Participants have the opportunity to work with children in a controlled setting and are assessed on these sessions, on simulated sessions and on assignments.


The course is accepted as credit bearing through recognition of prior learning (RPL) with the South African Theological Seminary.


– Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) Level 1 or higher.
– No previous education in psychology/psycho-social support is required.
– Foundational training in aspects relating to children and families is recommended, but not required.
– Currently involved with children in some form of care, support, development or formal/informal education.
– Fluent in English.
– Affiliated with a recognised faith community.
– Signed declaration concerning offences against children (where applicable provide a Sexual Offenders Register Clearance).

R7 500 which includes tuition, accommodation and meals.

What participants say about the course:

“The fact that the whole model is compiled against the background of academic information, makes it stand alongside academic education. It’s well founded, it is based on sound principles, it does not stand back to any academic course – to tell the truth, after these two weeks, I feel that well equipped because I can use what I have learned.”

Jurita Saayman has an honours degree in psychology as well as a master’s degree in Pastoral Care.
She has done counselling at schools, in the church as well as private counselling.

Would you like to know more?
Please contact Emily Dinhira at:
Phone: 082 446 2274 | 060 5230 886