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close this bookEducation for Health (WHO, 1988, 274 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderAcknowledgements
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View the documentA message from the Director-General of the World Health Organization'
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe concept of primary health care
close this folderChapter 1: Health behavior and health education
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View the documentHealth, illness, and behavior
View the documentUnderstanding behavior
View the documentChanges in behavior
View the documentHelping people to lead healthier lives
View the documentThe role of health education
View the documentWho is a health educator?
close this folderChapter 2: People working with people
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View the documentEstablishing good relationships
View the documentCommunicating clearly
View the documentEncouraging participation
View the documentAvoiding prejudice and bias
close this folderChapter 3: Planning for health education in primary health care
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View the documentCollecting information
View the documentUnderstanding problems
View the documentDeciding on priorities, objectives, and action
View the documentIdentifying and obtaining resources
View the documentEncouraging action and follow-through
View the documentSelecting appropriate methods
View the documentEvaluating results
View the documentReviewing the process of planning
close this folderChapter 4: Health education with individuals
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View the documentThe purpose of counselling
View the documentRules for counselling
View the documentDifferent types of counselling
View the documentFacilitating decisions and follow-through
View the documentA sample counselling session
View the documentMore practice in counselling
close this folderChapter 5: Health education with groups
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View the documentWhat is a group?
View the documentFormal groups and informal gatherings
View the documentBehavior in formal groups
View the documentThe value of group education
View the documentEducation with informal gatherings
View the documentEducation with formal groups
View the documentDiscussion groups
View the documentSelf-help groups
View the documentThe school classroom
View the documentHealth education at the work-site
View the documentDemonstrations
View the documentCase studies
View the documentRole-playing
View the documentA group training session
View the documentThe health team
View the documentMeetings
close this folderChapter 6: Health education with communities
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View the documentWhat is a community?
View the documentWhen is community health education needed?
View the documentGetting opinion leaders involved
View the documentThe role of local organizations
View the documentThe community health committee
View the documentAdvisory and planning boards
View the documentIntersectoral coordination groups
View the documentOrganizing a health campaign
View the documentSpecial community events
View the documentMobilizing community resources for a project
View the documentDeveloping a partnership with people
View the documentThe role of the community health worker
close this folderChapter 7: Communicating the health message: methods and media
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View the documentCommunicating the health message
View the documentMethods and media
View the documentSummary
View the documentReading List

The purpose of counselling

Through counselling, individuals are encouraged to think about their problems and thus come to a greater understanding of the causes. As a result of this understanding people will, it is hoped, commit themselves to taking action that will solve the problems. The kind of action taken will be a person's own decision, although it may be guided, if necessary by the counsellor.

Counselling means choice, not force, not advice. A health worker may think that his or her advice seems reasonable, but it may not be appropriate to the particular circumstances of the person receiving the advice. With counselling, it is the person concerned who takes the decisions so that the solutions adopted are more likely to be appropriate. An appropriate solution will be one that the person can follow with successful results.

Here is an example of the problems that arise when a person is advised and forced:

During a home visit one health worker saw a mother with three-week-old twins. The babies were so small that the health worker worried that they might not live. She scolded the mother for not coming to the clinic.

The health worker advised the mother to come to the hospital with the twins immediately and stay there with them until they became bigger and stronger. The mother nodded her head in agreement. While she was packing her things, she began to cry.

A brother of the woman's husband came to see what she was crying about. The health worker explained, but the man became angry. He said there were many good reasons why the woman was crying. She was worried because, if she stayed in hospital, there would be no one to care for her other two children. She had recently moved to another town with her husband. She felt that there would be no one whom her children knew and trusted enough to stay with. Also the mother was crying for fear that the health worker might refuse to help her in the future, if she did not agree to go to hospital now.