The Johannesburg Parent and Child Counselling Centre (JPCCC) has been changing lives for 75 years!
Johannesburg, South Africa – The Johannesburg Parent and Child Counselling Centre (JPCCC) is a counselling, training and development agency which provides short- or long-term therapy for adolescents, families, adults and couples and play therapy for children. JPCCC emerged as a result of the growing need for a specialised service for children with emotional difficulties. It was established by the Mental Hygiene Society of the Witwatersrand and became an independent entity in 1944. JPCCC has been a constant pillar in the community and has managed to adapt their offerings over the years to align to societal challenges with constants such as trauma, bereavement and crisis counselling.
In the early years, JPCCC used to deal with war veterans and their families being traumatised by loss and poverty-stricken followed by children ‘stricken with polio’ and ‘therefore condemned to the use of crutches’.
“Sadly, in the early years, services as per government stipulation, were only provided for the white population, but there was a growing awareness of the gravity of problems for all South Africans, particularly those experiencing trauma at the hands of the Apartheid Government”, says Claudine Ribeiro, Director at JPCCC.
“In 1970, the Clinic finally opened its doors to all who needed psychosocial services for their children, not discriminating on the basis of race, social class or financial status.”
Over the decades, the JPCCC has witnessed the breakdown in the nuclear family. They see children from broken homes, divorced, single parents, reconstituted families, gay parents, donor parents, foster parents, as well as homes that have an abusive nature. More children are growing up in families that are struggling to cope with factors that are breaking them down.
“All of this affects their development, wellbeing, and their ability to socialise, as well as to learn and concentrate at school. The advent of the Digital Age also means that children are spending too much time focused on the screen, not playing enough physically or imaginatively, reading and learning and it is affecting their development all-round”, added Ribeiro.
What truly sets the JPCCC apart from other counselling centre’s is the critical role they play in schools. Counselling is undertaken in numerous schools every week to identify young people’s problems early on and intervene where necessary.
2019 has been marked by an increasing number of learner-on-learner violence, including rape, murder, assault, bullying and also the filming of some of these events. As if the event is not enough to traumatise and degrade the victims enough, it is almost as if the perpetrator wishes to keep a trophy of the violence that has been perpetrated. Trauma is also experienced by the family of victims, classmates, teachers, witnesses, and now by the wider society as they view these videos before the police have a chance to shut them down.
“At JPCCC, we believe in having psychological services available to all people and work hard to make these accessible at a community level, especially in schools”, says Ribeiro.
“Some of the intergenerational issues such as trauma and re-traumatisation, abuse, deprivation and lack of social skills can be addressed effectively at schools. The school can, therefore, be a holistic environment for our learners, where they can really receive nurturing and support for issues that they are experiencing in their lives. Children spend so much time at school, and very often it becomes a second home for them. School environments require strengthening and support themselves, as they tackle these difficult social issues on a day-to-day basis. Also, the schools also have access to parents, and can offer them support and assistance in dealing with difficult home circumstances.”
Another area of expertise that people are generally surprised to establish is JPCCC’s Assessment Offering. Partnering with several organisations and schools aim to make their assessments as accessible as possible. These assessments include – Psycho-Educational Assessment, School Readiness Assessment and Career and Subject Choice.
Ribeiro concluded: “We believe that children are society’s most precious resource. They are the future of our country. The task of investing time, energy and expertise in correcting their problems, and enriching their lives is one worthy of our dedicated efforts. We believe that parents, teachers, and other adults who contribute to a child’s development must be supported in this task. We believe that every child in need of our services, (psychological, social, educational), should be able to call upon them, regardless of race, creed or financial status.”
For the JPCCC to maintain its services in Johannesburg, they are dependent on the continued support of its funders, donors and volunteers. If you would like to support the work the JPCCC does within the community, you can donate cash or get in touch to establish what they may need in terms of toys, office equipment etc. It is simple, just visit http://www.jpccc.org.za/donate-now, and you can play a part in preserving the family unit and the well being of our society.
Follow JPCCC on Facebook @Johannesburg Parent & Child Counselling Centre, Twitter @JPCCCOrg and Instagram @johannesburg_parent_and_child to stay up to date with our services and for interesting content relating to mental health and education.