Counsel an individual in a structured environment – US ID 252512


This is a generic Unit Standard for learners in a variety of counselling contexts where clients are enabled to go through the process of finding solutions to their concerns or difficulties. It is intended for learners who counsel people in a variety of situations, but who are not registered professionals such as qualified psychologist and social workers. It will be useful for

counsellors in a variety of counselling contexts including, but not limited to, schools, Non-Governmental Organisations, Faith Based Organisations, the South African Police Service, Counselling Call Centres, Hospitals, Clinics and Support Agencies, Sports Centres, Education and Training facilities, Government and Health and Social Services facilities. It should develop

learners who know their scope of practice, behave ethically in a counselling context, conform to minimum standards and know when to refer a client.


The qualifying learner is capable of:

  • Explaining the functions and scope of practice of a counsellor.
  • Setting up an enabling counselling environment.
  • Explaining the principles and processes of counselling.
  • Explaining the role of values in human behaviour and counselling.
  • Applying a counselling process in a specific context.
  • Reflecting on the counselling process.



Living in the 21st century is indeed living in a very complex era. Life has become very fast paced with increased challenges and is very much governed by technical advancements. Urban area is full of complex gadgets, rush of work, distances to be covered, tension and open to more risks, hazards, be it accidents or could be crime.


In such complex and strenuous living an individual is more likely to break down with stress. People have lesser time for others and even the intentions to be helpful to others are fast dwindling. In such circumstances one needs formal help which can be accessed through qualified counselling.

With increasing complexities and uncertainties, anxiety is bound to be the contributing factor to high stress levels and anti-social behaviour. There is a limit up to which one can tolerate anxiety and stress beyond which breakdown is possible. The fast tempo of living, the rat-race for material possessions and accelerated achievement, cut-throat competition, more and more impersonal and selfishness in relationships, are all contributing factors to stress and anxiety.


Human beings have always had the need to relate to others. They have always wanted to share their experiences and problems seeking advice on how to overcome their challenges. In some informal and non- technical way, counselling has existed ever since human awareness has existed.

It may have an informal shape like a friend listening to your sorrows or a kind an elderly person permitting you to unburden yourself, we all have our moments in life when we are in some trouble and need help, it could be financial stress, some family conflict, some emotional upheaval, some feeling of guilt and inadequacy, sense of being alienated, addiction to some intoxicant like alcohol or drugs, having done some wrong and many such- like.


Often when we are passing through such a period of stress or anxiety, we need help but that help is not available to us, or even if there is some appearance of help it is more in the nature of advice “do it this way” or “do not do it this way” or “You should have done this” or “you should not have acted in that way” …etc.



With the present increase in anxiety levels, complexities in daily living and, more impersonal attitude of people, the need for some formal counselling or formal help is a much-needed commodity for trained Counsellors to assist our communities at large.




It is recommended that learners are competent in Communication at NQF Level 3 – (Grade 11).8