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A psychotherapist in Kathmandu (8)

At 6:30am we arrived at the University for my first lecture to the counselling students of the University of Kathmandu. Their study day is from 6:30 to 9:30 as they all rush to work afterwards which left me with a strong feeling of how much we take for granted over here.  Having been away to the mountains, it was nice to see their faces again and they felt strangely familiar, as if I had known them for a long time. 

 I lectured on working with special needs children and teenagers and they all seemed eager to learn what I was going to share. I had a sense they had some knowledge of the theme but welcomed the input I had which I had tried to contextualise to the Nepali reality. At the end they wrote their feedback which made me thing that something more experiential and specific case discussions would have been even more welcomed and more helpful. I will keep this in mind for the next time I go.  It was a surprise to me to realise that I was already thinking when to go back. When I first arrived, I was sure it would-be one-off visit!

On the second day when I lectured on states of mind in adolescence a theme that I had again tried to contextualize to their reality, I felt they engaged with the learning more fully. The students are very young in general and I did wonder whether they might be still going through the process of fully becoming adults themselves. They gave a strong impression that they related personally with much of what I was saying.We had some reflective time on their own adolescence and what it was like to be in that place. It was reassuring to realise that the adolescent state of mind is very similar across cultures. 

It was a bit disappointing for them that it was not possible to come back the next day for another lecture as we had to attend to other commitments but we finished with the promise of going back and perhaps to offer some online lecturers they could access. This is a plan that we are discussing with the IT volunteers at Unity in Health.  I do hope this will be possible.

As we were leaving the lecture room we could see a small cupboard with books. The lack of necessary therapeutic resources lead me to leave the books I took to Nepal and prompted in me a wish to campaign to get more books on counselling and doing therapy with children and adolescents to ship to Nepal. I definitely feel we planted a seed to have specific training on child and adolescent counselling. We have had many discussions on how and what to include.  One day these students who are now willing pioneers in the field will be the first clinical supervisors in the country. A very exciting idea!

At the end Professor Subba gave us a goodbye blue scarf and a sculpture of one of the Buddhist temples. The gesture felt really nice. Afterwards the students want to take a group picture with us which you can see below. I do hope this connection will not remain only as a photographic memory but a reminder there is much more to do in the months ahead. 

Testimonials

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Head-teacher of Woolmore School, Tower Hamlets

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Parent, 2023

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Parent, 2023

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Head-teacher of St Saviour’s School, Tower Hamlets

You have helped me build a barrier of protection against pain and I can’t thank you enough for that…I have never felt so emotionally strong.

Student, aged 15

Child in Time is a tremendous resource for head-teachers. It’s a consultancy that offers a short-cut to setting up a counselling service in your school with highly trained, qualified practitioners. Child in Time brings peace of mind to staff, knowing that the most vulnerable students are in safe hands.

Tereza Nogueira, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and Senior supervisor UKCP

This intervention has had an enormous, positive impact for us all and we sincerely hope that other families benefit from the same programme…his positive behaviour is having a really good impact on all elements of his school life.

Parent of child, age 8

I am glad I am coming to see you every Thursday because I used to hold all these things in my head and that was hard.

Girl, age 10

We are very happy with the counselling service we are receiving and in particular ‘our therapist’s’ flexible and accommodating nature. Parents are very pleased, both the target children’s parents and the consultation one’s too.

SENCO, Rhodes Avenue School, Haringey

She is an outstanding therapist who has made a real difference to the lives of pupils in our school. ‘Our therapist’ possesses excellent skills in connecting with others, creating a safe space for staff, parents and pupils to discuss a range of issues. Her expertise, compassion, and dedication are truly commendable and we have really benefited from her thorough understanding of child development and psychology.

Deputy Head, Highgate Pre-Prep

I want to say thank you. I found these sessions very very helpful. I could talk about anything with you. I remember our first one, when I was so worried that everything was my fault. I can now see things more clearly.

student, age 11