Psychology

A child who has experienced trauma, either personally or as part of a family, school or community where trauma is experienced, will develop particular emotional or psychological needs.  In counselling they may show impaired judgement, perception, insight and reasoning; they may show restlessness and fluctuations in mood.  Many of the children who are referred to St. Joseph’s Home have experienced trauma through illness or accidents which leave them with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions.  Their reaction may be attributed to their medical condition, severity of their injuries lack of insight and adjustment difficulties.  The functional impact is different for each child.

At St Joseph’s Home, the patients’ treatment plans are tailored to their particular needs.  Each child’s treatment plan is developed on the basis of his or her pre-morbid mental ability, level of education, social circumstances, resources as well as their pre-morbid personality.  This allows realistic evaluation of their potential progress and the therapeutic modalities which will work best for them.  Therapeutic sessions depend on the problem presenting, the child’s age, level of insight and ability to engage effectively in the therapeutic process.

The intention of the therapeutic/counselling activities is to increase skills and strategies allowing patients to manage their symptoms and reactions with minimal disruption to their daily functioning and to their quality of life.  Eventually the debilitating symptoms should be reduced or eliminated and further traumatisation, relapse or regression prevented.  A safe caring, cathartic, empathetic and non-judgemental space in which they can comfortably explore their distress is opened for the children.

Therapeutic modalities at St. Joseph’s Home include:

Play therapy: both structured and unstructured- depending on the children’s needs. Play therapy is used as a therapeutic modality for most of the young children between 3 and 10 years old.  It is also used for slightly older patients who have difficulty in expressing themselves verbally and describing situations and emotions.

Individual counselling includes: Person- Centred Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution- focused counselling, Supportive Counselling and an integrative approach.