1. Counselling Services
We offer counselling to anybody who might seek it, including individuals, couples and families who are grieving a loss, going through divorce or battling with addiction.
Hope House works extensively with adolescents and children, and we employ age-appropriate methods with these groups, including play therapy for younger children.
We ask for a donation towards the running costs of the centres – the idea is that people give what they can afford, anonymously.
2. Programmes in Schools
At present, we run programmes in 25 schools in the Cape Town area – though this number varies. Our key focuses are our Intervention and Better Life Choices programmes.
Intervention: We stress the importance of intervention amongst young people – largely because substance use before the age of eighteen is often associated with an eightfold greater likelihood of developing an addiction in adulthood. We fully recognise that adolescents will experiment with substances, and as such, appropriate interventions are essential to interrupt the path from initial experimental and social use to full-blown addiction. Learners in our intervention programmes are referred by teachers or school principals, after testing positive for drug use. Rather than expel them, which puts them at higher risk for substance abuse, they take part in our 16-week programme. Through individual and group counselling sessions, they are guided through workshops on topics such as personal awareness, self-respect, triggers and cravings, as well as problem solving and emotion.
Prevention / Better Life Choices: We run this programme with youth and children in order to teach life skills and develop self-esteem. Many children do not experience the reckless and fun youth we see portrayed in storybooks – their lives are marked by a desperate search for a means of survival instead. Our Better Life Choices programme is designed to provide these young individuals with hope, as well as the psychological and social tools required to take control of their futures. We hope to equip our young participants with incentive and skills to plan their futures, as well as the tools to withstand peer pressure to take drugs. Our intention is to empower young people to make positive and informed choices, and to coach them pre-emptively rather than wait to step in once they have already gotten it wrong. We run modules on anger management, self-esteem, stress management, conflict resolution, communication and goal setting over an eight-week period.
3. Strengthening Families
Strengthening Families is an American programme that we have adapted to the local context, including reducing the number of weeks over which it is run. We offer an eight-week workshop to families, which is aimed at teaching the tools required for quality family life.
The course uses role-playing exercises, games and communication exercises to encourage stability and awareness of roles within the family unit. It is designed to reduce environmental risk factors and improve protective factors with the ultimate objective of increasing personal resilience to drug use in high-risk youth.
Research has shown that the programme also lowers the chances of mental disorders, aggression, juvenile delinquency, school failure, teenage pregnancy, and HIV/Aids in youth. The course also drops rates of child abuse and neglect, by increasing parent’s love and empathy for their children.
4. Training in Psychosocial Intervention
Recognising the need for more professionally trained and experienced counsellors, we began to design and conduct training workshops. We work with colleges and universities to providing students with opportunities to complete practical components of their coursework. Our experienced managers act as a supervisors and guides to delivering psychosocial interventions in the South African context.
5. Substance Abuse Treatment Support
Our counselling centre in Kuils River offers a 16-week outpatient rehabilitation programme. We also run a support group for families who are affected by someone else’s addiction.
Transformation / Sustainable Initiatives
Recognising the need for more professionally trained and experienced counsellors, we began to design and conduct training workshops. We work with colleges and universities and provide students with opportunities to complete practical components of their coursework. Our experienced managers act as a supervisors and guides to delivering psychosocial interventions in the South African context.