Tea or Coffee? Use of Ceremonies in Counselling

Posted by: Priya Senroy on July 12, 2013 1:05 pm

The best thing about my supervision is the warm beverage that my supervisor offers and no matter how my mood is, the beverage is always comforting and an instant conversation starter. So I have been following the same ritual with my clients and its magical how tea, coffee or even hot chocolate breaks the barrier.  Doesn’t matter what the choice is, irrespective of the race, the culture, the gender, the issues….that’s the best icebreaker I have seen. I was sharing this with another counsellor who is from East Africa and she introduced me something unique that I have never heard before but made so much sense-and that is what I enjoy about practicing in Toronto, with its rich diverse background of professionals who bring with them a plethora of information. So I got introduced to the Kaffa Ceremony Intervention, which is an unique, culturally appropriate, group counseling intervention and was used for working with female East African refugees. My colleague shared that she happened to be part of the group being a refugee herself .So researching   about this intervention; I came upon an article from UNESCO. The authors describe the Kaffa or coffee ceremony similar to the traditions of the Native American talking circle. The article can be read at http://www.unevoc.unesco.org/e-forum/EbscohostTVET.pdf.  I am now more curious to find out about the different tea/coffee ceremonies that exist and also find out any underlying therapeutic content and I think when we talk about multicultural counselling, it makes sense to be aware of why we use certain techniques, where did they originate from and use it more in culturally appropriate manner when it is in a social context or in counselling.




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