Title page for ETD etd-10262007-095804

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Mnguni, Maria Annah
URN etd-10262007-095804
Document Title Exploring the relationship between counselling skills and memory work with primary school chidren
Degree MEd (Educational Psychology)
Department Educational Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Dr R Ferreira
Dr L Ebersöhn Supervisor
  • pre-bereavement
  • memory work
  • technique
  • memory box
  • grief
  • counselling skills
  • bereavement
  • primary school
  • primary school children
Date 2007-04-26
Availability unrestricted

The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the relationship between counselling skills and memory work with primary school children. I explored this relationship with the aim of determining the role and possible contribution of counselling skills to memory work.

I followed an action research design. The study was located in a primary school situated in an informal settlement in the Nelson Mandela Metropole. Ten female educators were conveniently and purposefully selected to participate in this inquiry. I developed and facilitated an intervention programme aimed at the participants acquiring the technique of memory box making. After the intervention each participating educator was requested to implement the memory box making technique with one child. During a second field visit I facilitated a focus group discussion to determine whether or not the participating educators had used counselling skills in interacting with the children during the memory box making process.

I followed both deductive and inductive frameworks to thematically analyse data thematically. I found that educators employed the following counselling skills while facilitating the memory box making technique with children: basic counselling skills (empathy skills; warmth, respect and trust; listening skills; and skills of genuineness and sincerity); and counselling skills related to pre-bereavement, bereavement and grief (support, collaboration and skills transference; skills of valuing mementoes; and skills to discover family structures and relationships). I also found that memory work was experienced as problematic by the participants in terms of the following skills: confidentiality; emotional strain on the educators; and cultural beliefs regarding death.

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