The Psychotrauma Clinic is the COMMUNITY SERVICE ARM of the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School. It was established on July 17, 2002 by Prof. Johnny B. Decatoria, PhD, RP, BCETS and Prof. Lilian J. Sison, PhD, then Dean of the Graduate School. Upon its establishment, the Psychotrauma Clinic became the first and only clinic that specializes with Psychological Trauma rendering counseling and psychotherapy services, training programs, and research.
The main aim of the clinic is to provide direct services to individuals who have experienced traumatic events and to help them return to their normal lives. It has been conceptualized to provide training for graduate students in Clinical Psychology and allied fields on trauma and violence-related issues.
Since it is the community service arm, all services rendered by the Clinic are given free of charge to its beneficiaries. It caters the Thomasian Community: the University students, faculty, administrators, staff, and their families. Likewise, it caters the non-Thomasian community, extending its services to the nearby communities, cities, and even provinces in the country. It has delivered trainings and education programs to professionals and paraprofessionals, and served as Consultant to institutions including government agencies such as the Department of Justice (New Bilibid Prisons, Parole and Probation Administration), the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and several Non-Government Organizations such as the Bantay Bata.
The Psychotrauma Clinic has also provided research consultations related to traumatology and interventions to both graduate and undergraduate level. The clinic also pioneered and continues to be the only mental health team in the Philippines with expertise on Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) which is a powerful method of treatment used for victims of trauma and violence.
In the next 5 years, UST-Graduate School Psychotrauma Clinic envisions itself as the country’s leading institution in the design, development, and delivery of Psychotrauma programs and services.
The UST-GS Psychotrauma Clinic assists in providing effective psycho-social-spiritual counseling services to victims/survivors of trauma and their families to mitigate the devastating consequences of traumatic stress. It helps rebuild and rehabilitate the personality of the trauma survivors so that they, again, will be able to take responsibility for their own lives. It facilitates in the process of healing and manages the painful symptoms of psychotrauma suffered by the victims.
It leads in spearheading certification programs through intensive training and other qualifying requirements in order to attain professionalism in psychotrauma work. It helps in providing relevant training programs on psychotrauma management, counseling, intervention, and related issues within Metro Manila areas and neighboring places and eventually, nationwide.
This is accomplished through innovative and relevant counseling techniques and methods as derived from proven theories and body of knowledge, research, findings, and wealth of experiences from experts in the field. The Clinic aids in motivating students and faculty in the Graduate School and instill in them the spirit of meaningful involvement through participation in direct psychotrauma services, research, directions, applications, and practicum activities for the advancement of trauma interventions with trauma survivors.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The USTGS Psychotrauma Clinic has the following goals:
1. Deliver crisis management and critical incidents stress debriefing in schools, business institutions, and communities when and where the event calls for such assistance;
2. Develop expertise in trauma work for graduate students of psychology, social work, and guidance & counseling in the management of psychotrauma through professional consultancy, relevant curricular development and academic offerings, research and clinical or practicum supervision;
3. Provide technical and professional consultancy services to various schools and universities, government agencies and private institutions with regards to psychotrauma education, trauma counseling services, trauma recovery, research and advocacy for the advancement of trauma interventions and improvement of the survivors’ quality of life;
4. Network with other departments within the Thomasian community, other universities and institutions by responding to their needs through training, direct service, support, research directions on psychotraumatology and its correlates such as violence, child abuse issues, etc.; and,
5. Organize and sustain a Support Group for Trauma Workers.
In general, the University of Santo Tomas-Graduate School Psychotrauma Clinic is a dynamic Community Service Program. As a competent, efficient, direct, and holistic service, the modality of treatment includes the integration of clients’ behavioral, affective, somatic, cognitive, and spiritual (BASCS) dimensions.
In particular, the UST-GS Psychotrauma Clinic aims to:
1. Raise the consciousness among Thomasians and the general public that many psychosocial problems and symptoms have underlying psycho-trauma issues that are rooted in the survivors’ earlier experiences in the family or community;
2. Educate the community regarding the debilitating effects of post traumatic stress and the necessity of professional help to facilitate recovery; thus, improving the survivor’s quality of life;
3. Deliver a timely and comprehensive psycho-social trauma counseling and critical incidents stress debriefing to survivors of trauma and their families in times of disasters and other traumatic events;
4. Attain the highest level of professionalism by introducing and assisting the UST Graduate School develop relevant curricular courses in Psychology, Guidance and Counseling, and Social Sciences clusters which are responsive to the current needs of the society;
5. provide students of psychology, guidance and counseling, and social work and opportunity to experience hands-on clinical practice and develop their skills in case management, treatment planning, clinical supervision, case conferencing, and trauma interventions through guided practicum and supervised training;
6. Work collaboratively with the UST-GS Center for Professional Development and Consultancy Services to develop, plan, and deliver training programs, seminars, conferences, and enhancement programs in the field of psychotraumatology and its correlate subject areas.