Bhutan Narcotics Control Authority (BNCA) in collaboration with a group of volunteers from Malaysia conducted a coaching workshop for counselors and youth leaders from January 8 to 10 in Thimphu.

BNCA’s chief programme officer, Nima Dadul said that the main objective of such a workshop was to help youth leaders and counselors build leadership skills and rapport. “It is especially relevant for counselors as they have to interact with recovering addicts on a daily basis. Counselors have a tough time persuading youth to come and avail services from them.”

He said that it was also a life-skill education for the participants and would benefit them in their lives.

Peer counselor at Paro’s Samzang retreat centre, Tenpa Gyeltshen said that only during treatment, counseling is provided whereas coaching could be blended in aftercare to motivate recovering addicts to continue living.

He said that any individual expects promotion after performing excellent work but it was important to realise that the employer provided work because the person had the ability to perform.

It was found that Melissa Wong who had been to the country earlier brought facilitators to inspire and provide coaching training to help people in the country.

One of the facilitators, Yim Choong Chow is the executive director at Puncak Jupiter Management Services based in Malaysia that provides training and consultancy services.

The training revolved around six Ss of coaching such as substance, state, strategy, skills, style, and structure that was attended by about 30 people.

A participant from BNCA, Zangmo said that the most important part from the training was the questioning skills. “Questions made information clear and at the same time, active listening was also important. If we, as counselors, do not listen actively, we cannot understand client’s problems. It will be difficult to connect and solve their problems.”

BNCA’s counselor, Hemnath Monger said that the three-day coaching training was relevant as most participants are working either as counselors or volunteers.

“Coaching and counseling are almost similar however, the situation and environment differs when it comes to conducting counseling and coaching.

Coaching can happen in an open space whereas counseling has its terms and conditions.”

The workshop that ended yesterday was provided voluntarily.

Rinchen Zangmo