Family counselling is a form of therapy that can help families work through struggles, challenges, and tough times in a way that doesn’t simply have the problem go away, but makes the family stronger. It can be used in a variety of settings, and explored by counsellors, therapists and other psychosocial support workers practicing in outpatient settings, or reaching out to families living in distant, remote locations.
As part of Unity in Health’s ongoing mental health training programme in Nepal, in early November, Clinical Psychologist Patricia Charters, ran the first of a series of workshops on the benefits of Family Counselling and how this can be incorporated to the skills of local healthcare staff. Participants included both psychologists, counsellors and nursing staff from Unity in Health’s local partner KOSHISH – a variety of health professionals with extensive experience of working with families affected by mental illness and in need of structured therapeutic support.
Dramatic activities are powerful tools when used in a family counselling setting. One such tool is called psychodrama, and an example of this is family sculpting. Patricia and all participants explored the benefits of this dramatic group activity, which can be of great therapeutic use to families and communities where emotions and social relations are expressed through the use of dance, music or drama. A successful introduction to this and many other forms of psychotherapy, with further workshops to continue in 2018 and 2019.