SOUTH AFRICA: Psychology, Social Work and Counselling Work Experience in Knysna

Company : Travellers Worldwide
Location : Knysna
Duration: 4 weeks to 6 months
Approx Costs: 1500 to 3000+ £ Pound (UK)

This organisation focuses on providing Counselling services to people needing support with emotional problems, such as marital and family stress, depression, mid-life crisis, divorce, HIV-related counselling, conflict management and parenting. This is a Work Experience programme rather than an Internship.

Work with social workers who provide Counselling services to people in need of support. The Society (FAMSA - Families South Africa) is very much family orientated, serving to help resolve family problems and disintegration. You'll learn a lot about all the areas of counselling and social work that they deal with.

Your role and the types of work/activities you are given may vary and may depend on certain factors such as what’s required at the time that you're there. You'll work as part of the team and may spend various periods of time during the day counselling adults and couples, families, groups, adolescent groups and teenagers.

You'll assist in some or all of the following services:

You'll assist the Counsellors in group counselling (not one-to-one counselling). Due to the nature of the work, counsellors themselves have to undergo compulsory counselling and regular evaluations.

Trauma Support:
This can take place either at the FAMSA offices or at the local police station. FAMSA provides a 24 hour/7 days a week trauma counselling programme to victims of crime and violence for the South African Police Force at the local police stations. Other forms of trauma support you might be asked to assist with are sickness, accident, rape, death/loss, family violence and abuse, and HIV/AIDS counselling.

FAMSA offers various forms of training that you can get involved with, from basic counselling skills, debriefing, group work training, stress management, life skills, personal growth and domestic violence. These are aimed at local volunteers to give them the tools to be able to assist with counselling.

Parenting support:
Counselling is often given to parents to help them deal with difficult behaviour in children

FAMSA runs various different programmes giving support and assistance to groups and individuals. These include the Life Skills Programme and the “Women in Need’ programme.

There is also a Prison Programme that has been set up where counsellors go into the Knysna prison and offer group counselling and assistance. They try to impart life skills and information to the prisoners, thus assisting in rehabilitating and empowering them.

A Parole Counselling Programme is also being set up to assist ex-prisoners who are re-entering society.

If you have any skills in fundraising, you'll be welcomed with even wider arms! As with any work of this type, funds to support it are always difficult to come by, so any help that can be enlisted is always very deeply appreciated.

If you're qualified and have experience, the Centre would be especially delighted to have you as there is a massive shortage of qualified Psychologists, Counsellors and Social Workers in South Africa, so your assistance would be very valuable indeed!


The volunteer house in Knysna is within walking distance of the town, yet set against a natural green belt. Often the local Vervet monkey troop comes onto the verandahs to visit to entertain the volunteers with their antics. The sunset views from the top balcony of the volunteer house of the Knysna lagoon are beautiful.

The house is large and spacious with free WiFi. Facilities include a kitchen kitted out for cooking, dining area, a few bathrooms, TV, DVD player, free Wi-Fi, garden and several wooden verandahs.

There is an outside courtyard and garden in the secure grounds where you can have a typical South African barbeque known there as a ‘braai’. Make sure you try the local spicy sausage known as ‘boerewors’(my favourite!)

If you’d like more information about this or any of our projects, please email or call us! If you’d like to apply for this project, please go to our website and complete the application form. As soon as we receive it, we’ll liaise with you and then start making your travel adventure happen.

Start Dates

Available all year round, except between December and mid-February. You choose your start date.

Costs / Benefits

From £1695 for 4 weeks, then £250 for each additional week. Price includes:

►Arranging your Programme,
►Full pre-departure support and assistance,
►Payment Protection insurance,
►Meeting you at the nearest airport,
►Transfer to your accommodation
►Local in-country team support and backup,
►24-hr emergency support,
►Certificate of Completion.

Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas, Return transfer to airport


Minimum age 21. You should be studying, or be qualified in, Social Work, Psychiatry, Psychology or Counselling, or a related subject.

Booking / Enquiry

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