Useful notes on the skill of confidentiality, self awareness, and motivation of life skill education


Skills of confidentiality

Confidentiality has been defined by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) as “ensuring that information is accessible only to those authorized to have access” and is one of the cornerstones of information security.

A friend, healthcare provider, teacher, doctor, advocate and a counsellor should always practice the skill of confidentiality especially when dealing with the case of HIV and AIDS and sexual health education. An individual may disclose many of his/her secrets and private matters to the counsellor. These matters should be treated as confidential to any extent possible.


Skill of avoiding transference and counter transference

It is possible that a client may see the counsellor as his/her parents, brother, sister, etc., during the problem solving process. This tendency we call “transference”. Similarly, the counsellor also may lose balance and look at the client as his/her son, daughter, companion, father, mother etc. This we call “counter- transference”. It is essential for the helping professional to avoid counter transference and help the client in avoiding transference.

Controlled emotional involvement

This skill is very important in the context of HIV/AIDS and sex and sexuality. It is natural for a concerned helping professional to go out of one’s way to help his/her client.


It is necessary for the helping professional to understand one’s limitations and act accordingly. Everyone cannot become emotionally involved while dealing with the problem solving process. Therefore, the helping professional must learn to control his/her emotions such as frustration, irritation, sympathy etc.

Skill of motivation

Skill of motivation is very important for a client. Client should be helped by the helping professional to understand one’s own problem and to initiate necessary intervention with which one is more comfortable and convinced. Here, the helping professional is a facilitator. The client will be responsible for the success or failure of his/her decision. Therefore, the client is motivated to gain courage for self-determination.

Self determination involves the ability of an individual to determine one’s own affairs. It is a human motivation concerned with the development and functioning of personality within social context. It also acknowledges the right and need of the individual to have freedom to make his/her choice and decide the treatment process.


Skill of purposeful participation

The skill of purposeful participation in problem solving process will differ from person to person depending on their Personality traits. Participation skill involves individual action through which the person who comes up with an idea presents it for approval and then implements it.

The magic of participation is to generate an abundance of creative ideas through sharing, discussion, and brainstorming in order to create a continuous stream of improvements. When dealing with people living with HIV/AIDS and those having sexual, health problems or unable to deal with their sexuality, it is important that they are motivated to participate in the various activities, discussions etc, in order to remove their negative perceptions about themselves.

Skill of purposeful expression of feelings


One of the greatest challenges in human living is to keep emotions in order and under control. This skill of purposeful expression of feelings recognises the individual’s need to express his/her feelings feely, whether negative or positive.

Thus, when people living with HIV/AIDS and those having sex-related problems, express their feelings, it is important for the helping professional to understand the same in the right spirit. For example, if a client breaks down during the process of counseling, the professional must allow the client to ease out his/her emotions rather than preventing him/her from expressing the same.

Skill of self-awareness

Self-awareness is the ability to perceive one’s existence, including one’s own traits, feelings, behaviour, problems and their causes. In an epistemological S6HS6/ self-awareness is the personal understanding of the very core of one’s own identity. It is the basis of many other human traits including accountability and consciousness.


The skill of self-awareness can be perceived as a trait that people possess to varying degrees. Each and every individual is a product of a particular environment having own emotions, attitudes, beliefs etc. Thus, when dealing with people living with HIV/AIDS or with those having sex-related problems, it is important to be aware about our own convictions and limitations and the extent to which the client can be dealt with.

The skill of self-awareness provides practical help while dealing with complicated issues and problems. In short, the counsellor should be conscious of his/ her limitations while helping the client to understand the same.

Skill of individualization

Problems are different for each individual and therefore, also the capacity of each individual in dealing with them is also different. The skill of individualization relates itself to each individual. It seeks to help/support each person involved in a problem of a unique nature.

The skill of individualization argues that we are in the midst of a fundamental change in the nature of society and politics. Individualization is an unavoidable and necessary intermediate phase on the way to new form of social life. Discriminating the individual from the generic group or species is not a healthy practice.

All the people living with HIV/AIDS or facing sexual health problems need not face similar problems. Similarly, the answers to their problems also will not be the same.

Skill of acceptance

It is important that the teacher/healthcare provider or helping professional accepts his/her client along with one’s strength and weaknesses. This will also help the client to accept the helping professional.

Acceptance does not require that change is possible or even conceivable nor does it require that the situation be desired or approved by those accepting it. Indeed, acceptance is often suggested when a situation is both disliked and unchangeable, or when change may be possible only at great cost or risk (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

Individual must be accepted without any form of discrimination with regards to HIV/AIDS, lifestyles etc. and sexual health education. In terms of sexuality, an individual must be accepted with his/her choice of sexuality or his/her view towards sexual health with non-judgment attitude.

The skill of acceptance is based on the basic assumption of humanitarianism. It is implied that we must perceive knowledge, receive and establish a relationship with the individual suffering from HIV/AIDS or have alternate sexual preference as he/she actually is, and not as how we wish or think he/she should be. This skill will enable the worker to gain the confidence of the client which could eventually lead to problem solving process.

Life skills education has to be made more participatory among the individuals because in a non-participatory environment, learning life skills will have less impact. Moreover, it should be known that life skills education will not be consistent all over. Changes will have to be made in order to suit the audience.

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