Montfort College: Promoting The Concept Of Holistic Psychological Counselling Along With Practice-Oriented Training | TheHigherEducationReview

Montfort College: Promoting The Concept Of Holistic Psychological Counselling Along With Practice-Oriented Training

By Sritha Sandon, Associate Professor & IQAC Coordinator
Sritha Sandon,Associate Professor & IQAC Coordinator

Sritha Sandon

Associate Professor & IQAC Coordinator

As a country of passionate youngsters with a career-centric mindset, India is being continuously acknowledged for its sharp-witted and proficient human resources who are ready to prove themselves at the global podium. But amidst the chaotic circumstances and the constant competition to lead the race, people turning a blind eye towards mental health is not uncommon. Witnessing the need of the hour to establish a holistic education platform that takes an inclusive approach to enlighten the mind of the current generation about the importance of mental health, Montfort College was established in 1995 as a premium institution.

From 1998, it has offered Post Graduate courses in Counselling Psychology and from 2005, it has offered Psychology at the Masters level, both programs affiliated to Bangalore University. With a mission of bringing in counselling training to improve mental health services in India, Montfort College was founded by Rev. Bro. Mathew Panathanath SG who was trained in clinical counselling from De La Salle University in Manila and wanted to promote the concept of holistic psychological counselling along with practice-oriented training in India.

Addressing all aspects of Psychological Studies
Being the very first institution to offer a postgraduate program in counselling psychology in all of India, Montfort College emphasizes in providing value-based education that is contextually relevant and socially inclusive. Affiliated to Bengaluru North University, the college provides students with the support, supervision and prospects that efficiently address issues concerning all aspects of psychological studies. With the motto of `Liberation with Enlightenment', the overall experience at Montfort is an amalgamation of traditional learning methods in a supportive, family-like atmosphere that nurtures not only the academic requirements but personal growth as well.
"Apart from offering Master's program in psychology, we also offer PG diploma programs and Certificate programs in counselling psychology regularly. From this academic year 2021-2022, we are planning to incorporate under-graduate programs in Arts, Science and Commerce across our curriculums in synchronization with the goals of the National Education Policy (NEP) of India, 2020. From this year, 2021-22, we will also be starting Masters in Clinical Psychology (Approval awaited).

With classrooms equipped with ICT facilities, LCD projectors, microphones, speakers, Wi-Fi, our students are also provided with a yoga room, an adequately spaced auditorium, audio visual room, special labs for counselling and training along with therapy rooms (The one ­ way ­ mirror facilitates training and supervision). Apart from that, we also encourage our students with extracurricular sports activities and cultural activities that furbish them as proficient professionals of the future," states Sritha Sandon, Associate Professor & IQAC Coordinator, Montfort College.

“Being the very first institution to offer a postgraduate program in counselling psychology in all of India, Montfort College emphasizes in providing value-based education that is contextually relevant and socially inclusive.”

Enabling students to grow both personally and professionally, Mont-fort College ensures that the students are emotionally balanced and socially committed which favor their holistic development. The college is equipped with faculties who are not only academically trained but are constantly provided with upgraded development programs which helps them to guide the students much seamlessly. "Apart from hands-on training, individual and group counselling, we have emerged as the first college to bring in the concept of case conference at a postgraduate level and it was done only in the M.Phil. level till now.

Via case conference, the students and teachers get to interact with the real cases. Of course, we ensure confidentiality, privacy, and all the ethical considerations such as presenting the case using pseudonyms, or only initials. Going through the person's history, students will
try to diagnose the problem, plan the treatment, might even have a de-bate and a discussion on which would be the best way to go around, and so on. So, this way there will be a chance for the student to engage in traditional experiential learning and get a hands-on learning experience simultaneously. For students and faculties, we also arrange internships, field trips, regular academic conferences, short term courses, guest lectures, along with the provision of best books and latest journals," avers Sritha Sandon.

Promoting Good Training and Re-search-Oriented Practices
Collaborating with organizations like 1-to-1, Help.net, Resilience Works, Alternative Story and various other organizations that are recognized as top-notch EAP or counselling providers, Montfort College has till now ensured the placement of its students except for those who wanted to continue with their higher studies or start their own counselling centres. Starting with 12-13 students, the college has grown exponentially so far and is now expanding into offering UG pro-gram in Arts, Science, Commerce. Offering on-duty programs and starting a new program in clinical psychology, the organization is been through two cycles of NAAC and is currently going through the third accreditation phase, where the last grade was A under NAAC.

Apart from establishing a Family Counselling Centre with the support of the Karnataka Social Welfare Board, the college has also established the Montfort Counselling Centre in 2004 to provide counselling services beyond what Social Welfare Board requires. "In the future, we will try to increase our enrolment rate. We want our students to be enabled with good training and re-search-oriented practice, which will encourage them to present and pub-lish in conferences and journals, both at a national and international level. Assisting our students to strengthen their academic growth at the PG level, we are looking forward to officially becoming an autonomous organization," concludes Sritha Sandon.

Sritha Sandon, Associate Professor & IQAC Coordinator, Montfort College
She strives to ensure that the students have the perfect learning environment to thrive so that they can realize their true potential.
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