by Alida Herbst and Gerda Reitsma
South Africa has one of the highest rates of extreme violence cases in the world, which has created a critical need for counsellors to be trained specifically in this area. In Trauma counselling: Principles and practice in South Africa today, a team of academics and practitioners have compiled a hands-on, yet theoretically grounded and evidence-based South African textbook on counselling victims of trauma.
The first part of this publication focuses on the range of potentially traumatic events that commonly occur in South Africa. It clearly describes themes related to traumatic events and traumatic stress and introduces the basic principles of trauma counselling. This section also focuses on how traumatic stress may manifest in different client groups. The second part aims to familiarise students with a range of strategies suitable for trauma counselling, such as brief interventions, cognitive behaviour therapy, the narrative approach, strength-based interventions and integrated or alternative approaches. The final chapter is a personal one, in which the authors reflect on the lessons they have learnt from their own practice and the techniques they have developed to protect themselves from vicarious trauma.