History and Mission
In 1971, The Reverend John Foster, then Dean of St. John’s Cathedral, felt growing concern about the number of marriages he saw in trouble. He met Mrs. Patricia Nicholl, a recent arrival from England, where she had worked with the National Marriage Guidance Council for ten years. After much discussion and planning, the two, together with others, formed the Marriage Guidance Council (M.G..C.), in 1973. Thus was born what eventually became ReSource The Counselling Centre (ReSource).
Those familiar only with today’s service, would hardly recognise the organisation in its infancy. It had no office of its own, but it did have the use of a room for counselling at the Matilda & War Memorial Hospital. Later, M.G.C. was able to gain a room for use as an office in the Council of Social Services in the Duke of Windsor House in Wanchai. The first counselling room was in the old Lane Crawford Building. After three moves, the Service set up rooms in 1983 at 1303, Ruttonjee House, 11 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong. By then, the counselling being offered had developed beyond marital relations, and so the name was changed to the “Marriage & Personal Counselling Service”.
In 1995 MPCS moved to small premises within the same building at Suite 1602 and to a larger premises at Suite 501 in 1999. A major event occurred in October 1997 when MPCS changed its name to “ReSource The Counselling Centre”. The new name is a reflection of how MPCS has changed in a changing society. In keeping with the changing needs, in June 2002, ReSource The Counselling Centre Ltd was incorporated.
In June 2008, ReSource moved into larger premises in 23/F, Li Dong Building to cope with increasing numbers of clients – both from the Chinese and expatriate sectors of Hong Kong society.
In 1972 the staff consisted of a part-time volunteer secretary and a few counsellors. Today, ReSource has a full-time Office Manager, Administrative Secretary, a Part-time Receptionist and approximately another twelve counsellors. Since August 1985, a full-time Cantonese-speaking counsellor has been employed to work with the Chinese Community and is also able to offer a walk-in crisis counselling service. Today this position has developed into a bilingual counsellor who is also responsible for intakes.
The first MGC counsellors, selected to work with Mrs. Patricia Nicholl, had to be trained in Hong Kong as there was a shortage of qualified and experienced men and women. Many of those veteran counsellors had previous experience in another “caring” field. From the autumn of 1987, MPCS required that those applicants who wished to counsel for the organisation had either a related academic background or previous counselling experience before being considered. Applicants were screened in a three-step process. Presently, the Professional Services Committee (formerly the Executive Committee) will consider the acceptance of counsellors with experience and qualifications after their attendance at a detailed interview on a case by case basis.
ReSource is a registered charity, and a member agency of the Community Chest. ReSource has been partly funded by the Community Chest for many years, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust up to March 2008, and the Fu Tak Iam Foundation Ltd since October 2015. Other revenue sources are counselling fees paid by clients, private donations, and contributions from charitable organisations.
ReSource offers counselling on a wide range of issues: marriage, separation, divorce, depression, anxiety, stress, family problems, mental health support, alcohol and drug abuse, personal growth and relationships. We also had counsellors working with schools and the Cancer Support Group, CanSurvive. We have participated on a regular basis to several of RTHK's Radio Programmes, such as 'Teen Time' and the lunch time show. ReSource is frequently asked to comment on pertinent issues by the press.
HELPING OTHERS HELP THEMSELVES
In the past years, we also offered the service, of "Family Mediation" for marriages and partnerships which are in the process of breaking up. Family Mediation is a confidential process designed to help separating couples reach their own mutually acceptable agreements regarding the ongoing arrangements for their children and/or the resolution of financial matters. It is a form of assisted negotiation in which a trained, impartial mediator facilitates both parties to communicate and negotiate in a dispute.
ReSource is non-sectarian and is not affiliated to any cultural organisation. Its counsellors are not required to assent to any dogma or beliefs; they are drawn from many different backgrounds. ReSource is based on a belief in the autonomy and rights of the individual whilst recognizing the need to be a contributing and fulfilled member of society. Counsellors are expected to acknowledge the value and dignity of every human being regardless of race, sex, age, sexual orientation, beliefs, or socioeconomic background. Moreover, there is an additional intrinsic principle: the acceptance of and empathy with the client.