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Building confidence through psychosocial counselling

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Comm. Mental Health

Rupa Thapa (name changed), a ninth grade student from Surkhet district, was brought to Dasarathpur Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) because she had been suffering from sleep disturbance, loss of appetite and lack of concentration on work and study for the past six months, and had even stopped speaking. The trained health worker diagnosed severe mental illness and started treatment, but this produced no improvement.



During a recent CMC-Nepal clinical supervision visit, the health worker called Rupa and her relative to the PHC, to get the opinion and advice of the supervision team. After a thorough assessment the team diagnosed depression. With the consent of Rupa and her relative, the CMC-Nepal psychosocial counsellor began counselling sessions, using problem solving techniques. During the first session, after only 30 minutes Rupa began to talk about her problems and feelings.


She explained that she was in love with one of her classmates, but was afraid to meet him alone or to tell her parents. So she met the boy with her close friend, trusting her not to disclose her love affair to her parents. Unfortunately her friend told Rupa’s parents everything. After that, when she met with her boyfriend her parents scolded and physically punished her the same night. The stress of this situation and the punishment caused psychosocial reactions, which later turned into serious depression.



After listening to Rupa’s account, the CMC counsellor focused on problem solving techniques during the counselling session and showed the health worker how to continue with the process. Rupa was encouraged to meet her boyfriend alone, and gradually their relationship became stronger and her studies also improved. After three to four sessions, she developed the self-confidence to cope with the situation and started to balance her relationship with her boyfriend and parents. Now she and her boyfriend are married and living happily.

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