As a result of their backgrounds the children in our care exhibit a wide range of difficult symptoms including fear, rage, distrust of adults and destructive or violent behavior. Our therapeutic program is designed to help these children develop emotional capabilities: to learn how to cope with their feelings of anger, aggression, loneliness, sadness, pressure and frustration. Furthermore, we want to help them overcome their lack of trust, lower their levels of anxiety and rejection and strengthen their self-esteem. The psychological services program is the cornerstone of this system. This integrative system of care provides intense psychological treatment on a long term basis. This type of long-term intensive treatment is at the core of our entire therapeutic philosophy and is credited with our very high rate of success.
Our program of Psychological Services incorporates three different aspects of the psychological care supplied:
1. Play Therapy
Due to the neglect they suffered a significant number of children in our care often have difficulty communicating verbally especially when it comes to conveying their distress. Play therapy provides a medium which bypasses verbal defenses. It is also beneficial with children who have limited verbal skills.
In play therapy toys and games are like the child’s words and play is his language. Through it, therapists gain insights into the child’s inner world, the conflicts and unrest that he is experiencing but may be unable or unwilling to put into words. This information can be used to promote resolution. In the context of play therapy psychologists build a nurturing relationship with the children. In doing this they teach them to trust, to develop self-esteem and to begin the process of healing.
In recent years the number of children who are referred to our facilities with a significant psychiatric history has increased. The number of children in our care who have suffered some form of sexual trauma has grown significantly as well. In order to identify and treat psychiatric disorders and sexual abuse as effectively as possible each child needs to be diagnosed accurately and precisely. The diagnostic tools available to us now are far more sophisticated than was the case previously. We make use of these more sophisticated tools and run training seminars for our psychologists on how to use them more effectively.
3. Training of Staff
As noted, every aspect of our children’s care is informed by their psychological treatment. As such, staff who are in regular contact with the children and their families receive guidance and training from our psychologists on a regular basis. Each member of staff receives an individual one hour training session every week. The direct staff (teachers and care givers) attends a one hour supervision session with the psychologist once a week. In addition the steering committee for each group, which consists of the psychologist, the social worker and the group coordinator, receives supervision from a senior psychologist on a weekly basis.