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A Teachers’ and Leaders’ Workshop in Ghana

In May 2018, the Ghana RC Communities gathered for a two-day teachers’ and leaders’ workshop led by Wanjiku Kironyo, the Regional Reference Person for Northern Africa and East Africa. The overall theme was Co-Counseling theory, practice, and policies. The following are comments from some of the participants. (The writers aren’t identified, as we couldn’t reach everyone for their permission to publish their comments.)

A—: It was important that Wanjiku touched on the benign reality of human beings—our good qualities and that we have flexible minds.

She asked us to try to give our client a bad session and see the outcome of it. This made us appreciate people who pay attention when we talk to them and helped us notice when our counselor is not paying attention. She asked us to list what we thought made for a good session. Responses included eye contact, the client always being in charge, listening with love and care, putting our own distress away while being the counselor, and confidentiality.

As for Community growth, sharing RC with a few people who embrace it is a good start. It’s better than having a mass of people who are unable to use it well. A priority is using RC to reach family and friends.

We had a session in which we went back in time to when we were ten or younger. I saw myself as a small, timid, shy, innocent boy who did not have a voice. Our society didn’t allow us to talk back to older persons, even if we were right.

We had a mini-session about young adults. Our future leaders were within the workshop.

Re-evaluation Counseling is about reclaiming ourselves. Wanjiku asked us to use our voices, and we shouted good things about ourselves.

I thought about how Wanjiku will come to Ghana for a workshop and the only language we’ll use to communicate is English. It would be nice to hold our workshops in an African common language, but those who colonized us made that impossible.

 B—: I learned to interrupt oppression, to never let it go on. I learned some characteristics of a bad session—for example, asking unrelated questions, answering a phone call during it, interrupting a client’s discharge, not taking equal turns, discussing the session after it is over, engaging in other business with my Co-Counselor.

Dr. Wanjiku talked about visiting a friend whose ten-year-old son had involved himself in a bad act at school. The parents asked Dr. Wanjiku to talk to their son, since they knew she was a counselor. When she began, the boy was not open. She kept listening and also asked questions unrelated to his misconduct in school. He began to open up about issues he had not even told his parents about. After three days of sessions, he re-thought his behavior and decided to live a new life. He also told his parents that he didn’t want Dr. Wanjiku to leave, because “she is a good listener.”

 C—: I was introduced to the RC group in December 2017, and it has been a wonderful experience.

 D—: The highlight of the workshop was being asked to think back to when we were ten or younger. Doing this brought back all the pain, fear, and shame I’d felt back then and finally let me discharge some of it and be free. I left the workshop a happy man, full of knowledge that I will pass on.

 E—: Finally the long-awaited workshop arrived—and we happily embraced it.

Wanjiku talked about human connection, how we naturally connect and cooperate, and how the human mind is always working, until we take our last breath.

The quality of a session matters a lot; therefore, we need to give a good session.

Re-evaluation Counseling brings us together. Without it we can find ourselves “hanging in the air.” It also helps us empower ourselves.

 F—: Becoming an RCer was one of my brilliant decisions.

 G—: I wished the workshop could have lasted a week. Transformations were taking place. People discharged.

 H—: The workshop enhanced my understanding of how to apply RC in solving the problems in my society.

Wanjiku explained that war games and war films psych men into believing [make men believe] that war is just a game. Men are hurt by war and end up hurting women and children.

With the emergence of social media, family relationships have broken down. Everyone is busy with WhatsApp, Facebook, and so on; hence, there is no time for families to sit down and discuss matters important to their progress. Pornography is now available everywhere and hard to monitor and control.

The workshop reinforced how, wherever I find myself, I should be the change I want to see—be a good listener, be there for people “through thick and thin” [through every difficulty], and more.

My thanks go to the lovely RCers, both at and absent from the workshop, who are active members of this indispensable organization.

 I—: We have to educate others so that they can be aware and stand up for themselves. Humans ought to be treated with dignity.

 J—: Dr. Wanjiku put her vast RC knowledge on display. I was amazed.

She made us understand why human connection is so important. She said that we are naturally connected, just as we were when we were a seed in our mother’s womb.

When a child is born, she or he is loved by everybody, and everything she or he does is loved. But in a few months this same child is told not to do the same things. The child gets confused. I will use RC in bringing up [raising] my children. I will be there for them and not offload on them [act out at them] my frustrations.

 K—: Mama Wanjiku, we love you so much and hope to see you again next year, if God permits. And a big thanks to our leaders here in Ghana.

This workshop helped me understand humans, how we need each other, and that we are connected. As leaders we must use RC everywhere and not let culture separate us.


Submitted by, Wanjiku Kironyo

Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00