OBJECTIVE: To identify the changes in community counsellors' own level of anxiety and depression as a result of learning counselling skills and to explore their subjective experiences after learning and providing counselling. DESIGN: Quantitative: Repeated Measures. / Qualitative: Focus Group Discussions. SETTING: A lower middle class semi urban community of Karachi, Pakistan. PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-one self selected women from the community. RESULTS: Reduction was seen in the post training scores of anxiety and/or depression in the trainees. As a result of learning and then providing counselling the community counsellors' self esteem, self confidence and sense of competence were enhanced and they developed a more positive attitude towards life. CONCLUSION: A minimal level of training in counselling skills and their application led to significant positive changes in the community counsellors themselves, though self-selection and information bias cannot be ruled out.
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