Western Mindanao State University Guidance and Counseling Center

WMSU-GCC JSOTF-P hold psych crisis intervention

The Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) Guidance and Counseling Center (GCC) in coordination with the Joint Special Operation Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) conducted a seminar-workshop on Psychological Crisis Intervention with Victims of Kidnapping or Sexual Assault among guidance counselors of different institutions in the city last January 16 at the WMSU Guidance Office Lobby.

United States Air Force (USAF) MSgt. Rose B. Gould of the JSOTF-P served as the resource person of the seminar-workshop.

MSgt. Gould stressed on “Understanding Psychological First Aid as Opposed to Psychotherapy”. She introduced psychological first aid in helping mitigate acute distress as a result of natural disasters, man-made disasters, and critical incidents.

Its areas of focus included understanding what constitute a critical incident, stress basics, understanding normal reactions to abnormal situations and techniques to use in crisis communication.

Following the introduction of psychological first aid was the major topic on “Psychological Crisis Intervention for Victims of Kidnapping,” Msgt. Gould helped the participants understand the complexity and multi-faceted approach in responding to victims of kidnapping.

Discussion on this revolved around the three phases of capture, captivity and release. Gould explored the effects of “Stockholm Syndrome” where hostages develop sympathy to abductors and “Lima syndrome” where abductors develop sympathy with their victims.

Gould also discussed the topic on “Psychological Crisis Intervention for Victims of Sexual Assault”. This training prepared the participants to understand the different approaches in responding to the victims of sexual assault and providing selected and specific crisis intervention services.

The last topic was “Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Traumatization”. Msgt. Gould examined the different elements contributing to Compassion Fatigue “Vicarious Traumatization” and “Secondary Traumatization”. She also introduced an array of activities to reduce the likelihood of burn out and to build resiliency among personnel working in the “helping” profession.

In an interview, GCC Director Prof. Ma. Lourdes Delantar said the seminar-workshop sought to gather the pool of counselors from the different colleges in the university and from the different academe, and to introduce to them different effective approaches to psychological crisis.

According to Delantar, this endeavored to create a team of on-call counselors that will provide counseling services to individuals in times of needs as part of the extension service of the center.

She said there will be regular meetings with the participants invited and continuous hoaning of knowledge and skills through fora and workshops.

The GCC collaborated with the JSOTF-P since this group comprised of more or less 500 personnel from all US military services, supports the comprehensive approach of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in their fight against terrorism in the southern Philippines and in the creation of conditions necessary for peace, stability and prosperity.

The JSOTF-P with MSgt. Gould as the speaker was also invited by the WMSU Psychology department to discuss on “Crisis Intervention versus Psychotherapy Workshops” among the psychology students last January 14. Dion Jay E. Tality, WMSU-PAO

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