Psychosocial support

Although HIV is a clinical disease, it is an illness that often stems from within a psychosocial context, and it has many consequences for the lives of people, their families, their relationships and their children.

For people to live full lives with HIV, it is important for them to receive ongoing and professional psychosocial support, to help them come to terms with all the complications that this illness may present. These include dislosure, prevention of HIV within their relationship, the possibility of a discordant result, and negotiating new relationships. There are also the issues relating to work, having children, and fitting back into social systems such as church and friendships without stigma and judgement.

Zoë-Life is very interested and experienced in setting up psychosocial support systems for people living with HIV or other issues such as sexual violence or chronic illness. We provide training and systems support to ensure that people receive a good service with all the necessary elements in place.

The folllowing are types of psychosocial support offered:

Individual counselling


This is the process that takes place between an individual and a counsellor to assist the individual to gain an understanding and insight into their emotions and behaviour. It also helps individuals to develop skills in order to deal with difficulties encounter in life. The counselling process is based on trust and principles of confidentiality.

Zoë-Life’s role

In many of the services and interventions, e.g. work place wellness and burnout prevention, personal, unresolved issues are highlighted and become apparent in individuals lives. It is necessary to ensure that each person has an opportunity and space to work through a process in order to ensure personal growth and healing take place.

Zoë-Life will arrange face to face individual counselling as an on-going service to individuals who require assistance with issues such as rape, abuse, bereavement and grief.

Trauma counselling


Trauma counselling is a short-term intervention, which is appropriate when a person has suffered a traumatic incident. Trauma is generally an event or series of events that occurs in an individual’s life. This event may be as divorce, job loss, death, mugging, armed robbery, rape, car accident, illness, failing an exam, losing your car or house – in fact any event that you regard as negative and that changes your view of yourself and your world.

Most people will suffer at least one traumatic event in their lifetime.

Zoë-Life’s role

Zoë-Life provides professional individual or group trauma counselling and debriefing. This counselling assists individuals to come to terms with the feelings and emotions they will experience as a result of a trauma. These emotions will vary individual to individual but the most common are anger and fear.



Debriefing refers to the process whereby participants re-examine workplace encounters on a regular basis. This process can be used as a learning encounter for individuals to develop appropriate competencies in order to better do their jobs. Debriefing can also serve as an opportunity to reflect on an experience and make it meaningful by identifying what we learned about ourselves and others.

Zoë-Life role

Zoë-Life facilitates debriefing on behalf of organisations. This is done in a group setting. In order to build in sustainability and build capacity, Zoë-Life will train groups on how to facilitate in-house debriefing, so that it becomes a routine event within teams.

Prevention of Burnout


Burnout is an emotional, psychological and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged and excessive stress, usually linked to the work you do. It happens when a person feels overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. Burnout leads to a diminished interest in work and decreased productivity.

Zoë-Life’s role

Zoë-Life has developed an intervention for employees and managers to specifically prevent burnout in the work place. Ten sessions are held in groups, weekly, where individuals learn skills to cope and manage stress in their lives.