CHILD COUNSELING CENTRE
Introduction And Project Overview
Children are developing fast and going through many rapid changes. They may be coping with changes in their families, schools, or neighborhoods as well. Many times they are not able to communicate well about the things that bother them to the people that love them. They become anxious, angry, or misbehave. The mental health needs of children and adolescents are often discussed, but, at present, the resource to support these needs is woefully inadequate.
The Holistic Care Foundation is striving to provide quality counseling services to children and adolescents aged younger than 17 years especially orphans and underprivileged children. Counseling will help the children to identify their hidden talent and also provides psychological, emotional and mental support to cope up with their daily personal problems.
Project Background and Problem Statement
About 80% of children and adolescents of the world live in developing countries and children below 18 years form a substantial part of the population in these countries, there is an urgent need to develop mental health resources in developing countries.
Further, there is an increased understanding that children who are not mentally healthy can have an adverse impact on the stability and economic viability of nations. Of particular importance throughout the world is the fact that positive mental health plays a role in supporting compliance and adherence to a broad spectrum of health regimens.
The magnitude of mental health problems in children has not yet been recognized sufficiently. It is a paradox that in the second half of the 20th century, indicators of social wealth and physical health amongst children worldwide have improved, while mental health services in young people have been deteriorating. The bulk of the evidence suggests that one child or adolescent out of eight does suffer from mental health problems at any given point in time. It is also a paradox that very few of these children access mental health services in order to relieve the problems at a time when child psychiatry has developed new treatment approaches with demonstrated efficacy.
Children too feel unhappy, anxious, fearful, and angry. They may lack concentration, be forgetful, impulsive, have difficulty in controlling anger, and fight. They may have difficulty in getting their mind off certain thoughts; may suffer unexplained headaches, stomachaches, anorexia, or insomnia; may have trouble in maintaining friendships or dealing with people; and may feel like hurting themselves or others. These are not uncommon scenarios. They all indicate that all is not well with this child and should be taken seriously. On many occasions these reflect child’s reaction to his/her circumstances of life or his phase of development. In fact, most parents, teachers and other adults are not sensitive to pick up these subtle forms of behavioral indications and often ignore or neglect them. It is only when the problem becomes severe and disabling that some attention is paid to the child. In early stages it is much easier and simpler to intervene and push the developmental trajectories into a healthier and adaptive course.
Children may suffer from a wide range of psychiatric illnesses such as conduct disorders, eating disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), adjustment disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, mood disorders, substance abuse and dependence. Suicide is relatively rare in childhood, but its incidence rises rapidly in adolescence.
Children living under conditions of perpetual stress and trauma; exposed to natural and man made disasters; and experiencing breakdown of societal and family structures are tremendously affected in their ability to live a healthy, happy and productive life. Emotional and behavioral disorders, substance abuse, psychosomatic conditions are an aftermath of their deprived or traumatized lives. If left untreated, these psychiatric disorders seriously impair the child’s ability to function optimally in emotional, behavioral and cognitive domains and to meet the demands of everyday life, have friendship or to contribute meaningfully to society. India has given attention to mental health needs of children of by promulgating from time to time general health and education policies such as the National Policy for Children (1974), National Policy on Education (1986), National Policy for Mental Handicap (1988). The Integrated Child Development Scheme (1989) (NIPCCD) laid the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child to reduce the incidence of school drop outs, mortality, morbidity and malnutrition.
Despite these efforts, from a national perspective it can be stated that the child mental health services have not been spread out uniformly are still woefully inadequate.
Psychosocial counseling and training are core mandates of The Holistic Care Foundation- Child Counseling Centre. Counseling is the process of helping people to realize the potentials in them to solve their problems. It is important for The Holistic Care Foundation to seek the welfare of children and make them understand that they are heard, taken serious and most importantly are believed.
The main goal in this area is to create a confidential and safe platform for children to air their feelings and experiences with a counselor who are equipped with the knowledge and skills in helping children to cope with their situation, through individual counseling, group counseling, play therapy, hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, yoga meditation etc.... Through the participation in supportive counseling and groups, survivors will realize they are not alone in their struggle against family violence and are able to learn new strategies for taking control over their lives.
Our broad objectives are:
- To increase opportunities that will create a forum for sharing ideas, experience and learning among community members (Children, parents, teachers and other stakeholders).
- To provide services and referral systems for psychological counseling support and services for victims and their parents.
- To support orphaned and vulnerable children who are in need of assistance. Ultimately we support these children to allow holistic development; physically, emotionally and socially.
- To provide training in counseling to community volunteers, peer counselors and teachers.
Specifically, we will:
We offer counseling for children, orphan children, parents, and families in a private, comfortable setting so that children can deal with their issues, thrive, and grow to their potential. Depending on the age of the child, we may use talk therapy, play therapy, family therapy, or a mixture of interventions. We do not expect children to do therapy like an adult.
1. listen to children and young people, help them say what they want to say and help get adults to listen.
2. give information & advice about what children and young people are entitled to, and how they should be treated.
3. support children & young people if they want to have a decision reviewed or complain about things they believe are wrong.
The main objective of the proposed project is to provide quality counseling services to children and adolescents aged younger than 17 years especially orphans and underprivileged children. Counseling may be sought for problems such as
ADHD, Anxiety, School disorders, Problems within the home, Victims of school related gender based violence, Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, Rebellion or “acting out”, Eating problems, Social disorders and depression. Some alternative treatments that may be used in child counseling include-
Individual Counseling, Group Counseling, Group Counseling, Play Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Yoga Meditation etc…
The grant requested will also be used to provide training in counseling to stakeholders of the target community in order to enable them to counsel the students themselves.
Children are different from adults and they need a special kind of therapy designed to meet their developmental needs.
Children communicate differently and therapy for them needs to be different than therapy for adults. Play is a part of every normal childhood and is the natural form of communication for youngsters. The parts of the brain involved in creative activities like drawing, storytelling and play are directly linked to their emotions. Play can often be effectively used to enable behavioral change even after parents, teachers, or other counselors have not had success using logic and telling children what they need to do to change.
Why is this important?
Even talkative and intelligent children are not always developmentally able to express and work through their feelings verbally like adults. Play therapy allows children to use their natural creativity and ability to heal in ways best suited to their developmental level. Through the use of dolls, puppets, trucks, artwork, games and other toys, children share their experiences and give the therapist a view of the world through their eyes.
What is play therapy?
Play therapy refers to a variety of treatment methods which make use of the natural benefits of play.
Why use play in therapy with children?
Play is a natural form of communication for children and is the most natural way for them to resolve emotional issues. Even children who are quite talkative are not usually developmentally able to fully express their feelings verbally or to fully benefit from the "talk therapy" designed for adults. Play therapy allows children a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows them to express their true thoughts and feelings in ways best suited to their developmental level.
Parenting and counseling services: to teach basic parenting skills, including, but not limited to establishing realistic parental expectations. These services may include home management, nutrition, health and consumer education provided through public and private social service programs.
Assessment/Resource/Referral services: to gather information relevant to child family case situation, complete case plan based on those needs and provide resource to family or referrals services to appropriate agency that will meet those needs.
Domestic Violence and abuse counseling: to protect children and adults who are at risk and to reduce the recurrence of child abuselneglect.
Therapy for victims of sexual abuse: to provide individual and group counseling to victims of sexual abuse.
Respite Care services: to provide prevention, intervention and crisis counseling through respite childcare and family advocacy services.
Child and family mentoring services: to reduce the recurrence of child abuse and neglect and to reduce time in foster care to reunification without increasing re-entry.