By Lucy Wamalwa

Lucy with Shianuru & Betty

I feel privileged to be a helper in psychological issues of the children here at the Good life orphanage and St. Bernadette Mary School. This year has had rewarding experience which I look back with gratitude as I have been offering troubled children opportunities to heal, be more positive in self image and relating more effectively with others. It is vital to understand development stages, which helps to explain behaviours that children and adolescents present. I am glad for the support of our caregivers and teachers, who use guidance to help children feel secure, learn desirable habits and develop self control.

Lucy with John & Omari

Environment has always been the main contributor that influence behaviour whether positive or negative and also reinforcement that a child receives including modelling. Children I meet struggle with different problems; low self esteem engineered by emotional pain or abuse, loss of significant others hence grief. Others have poor self image, anxiety, anger, aggression due to traumatic experiences, truancy, sexual acting, depression and Attention deficit disorder, just to mention but a few. I have to carefully listen to the children’s fears, complaints, sorrows, fantasies or excitements about new accomplishments and proclamations of love for themselves. I respond empathetically to their emotions as they converse through play or talk therapy.

Dr Dhutia advises Lucy

Counselling has been in two ways, one to one, group and psycho-education. Every child has their own way of dealing with stress for example: withdrawal, anger, aggressiveness towards others, impolite words and even laughing unusually. As a counsellor I give the child unconditional positive regard- autonomy to explore feelings and thoughts. Through teaching, the children develop coping skills, positive attitudes or letting them discover new ways of behaving and self understanding of themselves. This has been successful through psycho-education both at GLO and SBM where separate group therapies according to ages were done covering different topics. We have had sessions on self esteem, friendships, drugs and substance abuse, positive behaviour, personal hygiene, interpersonal relationships, emotions and use of acceptable character in society.

Lucy, Dorcas, Teacher Paula & Teacher Joe lead the session

I am pleased that counselling process is quite productive to GLO and SBM whereby children have been able to express their thoughts and feelings that had been repressed. This has helped to reduce intensity, frequency of behavioural and emotional symptoms. There is good clarification to change of distorted, inaccurate, unhealthy thinking patterns. Children feel strengthened in coping skills, educated regarding self protection from harmful behaviours, and strategies to reduce maladaptive behaviours. It has been a wonderful growth when a child’s self esteem is raised, becomes confident, hopeful, stops stealing, fearless and is respectful.

Obama with Lucy

Anyone who has worked with children especially young children knows how difficult it can be for a child to talk about feelings and complex problems that often bring them to counselling as they can’t express it verbally. I am pleased and grateful to every child who has trusted me with confidential information during the period we work together in counsellor/client relationship. I feel my life is enriched by the opportunity to play part in their psychological growth. My sincere appreciations to everyone who has been helpful in ensuring I execute my roles as required.

A group counselling group

Privacy Preference Center