For the first time in our 12 year history, we received government approval to bring our own counselors into the shelters. We were thrilled to welome Nikeshala to our team as our first-ever full-time counselor. Beginning in February of this year, we’ve been piloting having an Emerge counselor in a government-run shelter in the Western Province. Nikeshala also works with young women who are participating in our programs at the Emerge Centre for Reintegration.
Nikeshala has taken a three pronged approach to working with Emerge participants, including individual counseling sessions, group therapy, and psycho-education.
Individual counseling sessions have used Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), client centered approach, relaxation exercises, art therapy, Gestalt technique, and Psychoanalysis Approach (free association).
Group therapy has engaged art therapy techniques (self-portrait, mandalas, etc), drama therapy, and play therapy (story telling, magic want play, bubble play, etc).
Through psycho-education workshops, girls explored leadership, emotions, communication skills, self-care, and social challenges that youth face.
In the short time that Nikeshala has been our team, we’ve seen participants begin healing, self-exploration, and restoring trust in others. Post-assessment counseling reports reveal that most participants of the counseling program report a significant decrease in negative thoughts and feelings, and are able utilize healthy coping mechanisms. We are excited to see this program and work group to reach more girls!