An exploratory study of the psychological impact of HIV/AIDS patients on the counsellor

by Hlalele, M. K.

Abstract (Summary)
This study presents the narratives of four female counsellors who were at the time of the research study working as counsellors at the Neurological clinic in Kalafong hospital. This dissertation explores the psychological effects and experiences of working with HIV/Aids patients on the counsellor. The definitions of different kinds of counsellors are discussed. The literature on the psychological impact of working with HIV/Aids patients is generally discussed. This research study uses the qualitative method as a research approach. The process of inquiry that directs this research falls within a narrative framework, and the study also uses participants’ stories to elicit common themes. Central themes that emerged relate mainly to participants’ unique psychological effects and experiences of working with HIV/Aids patients. Some of the counselling issues that captured the attention of the researcher were counter-transference, coping with work stress, high level of perceived expectations, psychological responses to HIV-positive results, emotional workers and boundary between private and professional life. The participants experience other manifestations of distress, for example depression, anger, guilt and loneliness. The reflections on the themes are discussed, together with the impact of the research process on both the participant and researcher are explored. Finally, some of the discourses around the psychological effects and experiences of working with HIV/Aids patients that may inform participants’ stories and the researcher are explored. University of Pretoria etd – Hlalele, M K (2004)
Bibliographical Information:


School:University of Pretoria/Universiteit van Pretoria

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:counseling aids disease


Date of Publication:

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