Different forms of counseling may be provided in shelters (e.g. psycho-educational supportive counseling; therapeutic counseling - such as cognitive behavioural therapy; and trauma-informed counseling), based on the identified needs of women, the form(s) of violence they have experienced and resources available. Counseling may also be used in crisis intervention or for longer-term responses to trauma, but requires specialized skills and knowledge. Shelter counselors should have training in delivering the specific form(s) of counseling they provide (UN Secretary-General, 2006b).
Counseling is important to help survivors:
Approaches used should be empowering and supportive, respecting the woman’s autonomy and encouraging her independent decision-making, rather than being instructive and telling her what to do (Benett, et al, 2004; UNFPA, 1999).
Counseling should enable women to:
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