Christian Counseling is rooted in the Bible and a two-thousand year tradition of loving pastoral care to facilitate the kind of cure that Jesus promised. Its aim is to help or clients find peace, wholeness, direction and stability in Christ.

Coaching: It involves creating change that helps enhances performance and learning. Coaches emphasize new competencies, learning and goal attainment. In fact, a coach is a personal navigator for the journey of life, focusing on what the clients want.

Compassion Fatigue: An emotional response often experienced by people working in the helping professions, caused by an overload of work with traumatised clients. It is often worsened by lack of support or coping skills, or particularly difficult and traumatised clients.

Complex Trauma: An emotional state experienced by people who are exposed to repeated and prolonged trauma. This kind of trauma usually occurs in situations where the victim is unable to flee and is under the control of the perpetrator. Often the victim has a close relationship with the perpetrator. Survivors of domestic violence and child sexual abuse are groups at particular risk of developing complex trauma.

Continuous Trauma: An emotional state experienced by people who live in particularly dangerous circumstances and are exposed to repeated traumatic events. For example, people who live in very dangerous communities or in areas undergoing civil war are at risk of developing continuous trauma.

Coping: A person’s ability to function and manage under stressful conditions, adversity or threat.

Counsellor: This is the person providing help and guidance for individuals, families and groups as they cope with trauma and crises of life. This for of help is more specialized that the care provided by a supporter. The goal is to help the client experience healing, learning and personal-spiritual growth.

Crisis: A sudden interruption to the normal course of events in a person’s life that requires him/her to re-evaluation of thoughts and behaviour. Common crises include having a baby, getting divorced, being relocated, experiencing a traumatic event.

Culture: A system that includes knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, law, language, customs and any other capabilities and habits shared by members of a community, organisation or society.

Crisis Intervention: Short-term interventions that helps an individual to cope and adapt effectively during or immediately after a crisis. Crisis intervention includes the provision of emotional support, practical assistance, information, guidance and problem-solving-oriented counselling.

Defusing: A specific type of psychological first aid associated with critical incident stress debriefing; it is used to support people immediately following a traumatic event.

Early Intervention: A generic term for a range of short term approaches to assist people directly after exposure to traumatic events. Critical Incident Stress Debriefing is one common form of early intervention.

Empowerment: This enables people to take control over their own lives. It ensures that they have the ability to do what they need to do and are able to take decisions concerning the direction of their lives. Empowerment can include such things as education, training, financial support, access to opportunity and experience.

Ethical Behaviour: This behaviour is characterised by honesty, fairness and equity in interpersonal, professional and academic relationships and in research and scholarly activities. Ethical behaviour respects the dignity, diversity and rights of individuals and groups of people.

First-Generation Victims: Those who have been victimised during their lifetime. However, their children and sometimes even their grandchildren have to bear the consequences of what happened and may themselves feel and behave like victims, displaying deep hurt and bitterness.

Health: This is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not only the absence of disease and illness.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): A virus which kills or impairs cells of the immune system and progressively destroys the body’s ability to fight infections and certain cancers. The term AIDS applies to the most advanced stages of an HIV infection.

Indirect Victim: Persons close to the direct victim, who experience distress as a result of the traumatic stress experienced by a victim or victims. Indirect victims include witnesses, family members and friends of the direct victim, emergency staff, journalists and even sometimes the whole community affected by the event.

Mentoring: A formal relationship between an individual with extensive or useful experience (mentor) and another (mentee) where each develops professionally through the transfer of experience and the opportunity to experience different perspectives.

Multi-disciplinary: Involving representatives from different disciplines to address an issue or problem and to finding a solution to a problem. For example, the public health approach advocates for a wide range of professionals from medicine, epidemiology and psychology to sociology, criminology, justice, education and economics, working together to research problems, and to then identify and implement appropriate solutions.

Multiple Trauma: An emotional state experienced by people who have been through a series of similar traumatic events over a period of time. For example, a person who has experienced several armed robberies would be at risk of developing repeated trauma.

Repeat Victimisation: When the same person or place suffers from more than one incident over a specified period of time.

Secondary Victimisation: The feelings, personal distress and symptoms often experienced by helpers working with people suffering from traumatic stress. Examples include not being believed, ridiculed, interrogated or bullied or having inappropriate measures used in an effort to help.

Stress: Occurs when a person’s coping capacity is overwhelmed by the everyday demands of his or her life.

Substance Abuse: The term substance abuse includes the misuse and abuse of legal substances such as nicotine, alcohol, over-the counter drugs, prescribed drugs, alcohol concoctions, indigenous plants, solvents, inhalants, as well as the use of illicit drugs.

Support: Involves assisting a client making choices, offering guidance, clarification and finding appropriate community resources.

Supporter: This person provides victims with basic care and nurturing in times of need. The tender kindness offered help to give general direction and in the chaos of trauma.

Therapy: Intensive professional, psychological, psychiatric, or other counselling related treatment for individuals, couples, and family members. Therapy includes the evaluation of mental health needs and the delivery of psychotherapy.

Therapist: This is a person with professional and specialized training who can lead a client in a long-term, in-depth help process that attempts to bring fundamental changes in the client’s personality, spiritual values and way of thinking. The therapist can help the client to remove blockages from the past, that inhibits personal and spiritual growth.

Trauma: A highly distressed, but not necessarily unhealthy emotional state experienced by individuals or families, and arising from exposure to a traumatic event. Note that trauma refers to an emotional state, not to an actual event. Different types of traumatic events include once off or simple trauma where a person is exposed to only one traumatic event such as a hijacking, burglary, rape, earthquake; and multiple trauma where one is exposed to more than one type of trauma. The symptoms and interventions required in this type of trauma are more complex than in once-off or single trauma.

Trauma counselling: Brief intervention by a recognised counsellor or facilitator with special training in traumatic stress, aimed at assisting a person to recover from the effects of recent trauma exposure.

Traumatic Event: When a person experiences, witnesses or is confronted with, an event involving actual or threatened death, serious injury or threat to bodily integrity of the self or others; and when the person responds with intense fear, helplessness or horror. Examples of traumatic events include human or man-made disasters, violent crimes, motor vehicle accidents, and human rights abuses.

Traumatic Growth: The sense of personal growth that some people experience following their recovery after exposure to a traumatic event.

Traumatology: It is a health and social science which is concerned with all the aspects of emotional trauma and crisis on the individual and society. Traumatology brings together the inputs and draws on a host of related sciences, such as: psychology, sociology, theology, nutrition and others. The study of traumatology enables the practitioner  to provide supportive and curative interventions to sufferers of trauma.

Trauma Debriefing: Trauma debriefing can be described as early interventions or non-clinical forms of secondary prevention for traumatised people. There is a variety of different approaches used, including information and advice, self-help groups, psychological debriefing, crisis intervention, structured trauma counselling, trauma relief facilitation and brief psychotherapy, to name just some.

Trauma support: The provision of emotional first aid, practical assistance, psychological education and the mobilisation of coping resources and social support. The aim of trauma support is to stabilize a person immediately after a traumatic event and to make appropriate referrals.

Vicarious Trauma: A stress reaction experienced by therapists, counsellors, victim support volunteers and researchers who are exposed to disclosures of traumatic images and materials by clients and research participants, in which the therapists or researchers experience long-term or lasting changes in the manner in which they view self, others, and the world.

Victim: Persons who, individually or collectively, have suffered harm, including physical and mental injury, emotional suffering, economic loss and substantial impairment of their rights, through acts or omissions that are violations of National Criminal Law or of internationally recognised norms relating to human rights.

Victimization: The process whereby a person suffers harm through the violation of national laws or of internationally recognised norms relating to human rights.

Victim Empowerment: Implies a certain philosophy, method or technique of handling victims in which it is accepted that all people have certain skills and competencies which, with the right assistance and/or support, can assist individuals to help themselves or to cope better with an incident of victimisation.

Victim Empowerment Initiatives: All projects or services that aim to assist victims of crime and violence, such as a crisis intervention service, court support or a public awareness campaign, amongst others.

Victim Support: Assisting victims and survivors of crime or tragedy with emotional support, practical aid and information and advocacy.

Victim Vulnerability: The susceptibility or receptiveness of certain persons to victimisation, not through any failing on their part, but because of demographic or other characteristics such as race, age, gender, sex, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, disability, religion, belief, culture or language, or prior abuse and trauma.