What’s New

For Summer 2014 


In observance of the Lenten season, our clinic will be closed from April 17, Thursday to April 19, Saturday. Regular clinic hours will resume on April 21, Monday. Please leave messages on our mobile: +639178080193, telephone 02-421-2469, or email: psychconsult@gmail.com. Thank you!

Developing Social Skills in Children and Adolescents

Social Skills for children (aged 8-12) & teens (aged 13-16)
2 hours per day for 10 days: April 21-25 and April 28-May 2, 2014
Venue: Unit 227, Regalia Park Towers, 150 P. Tuazon Blvd. near corner EDSA, Cubao, QC
For inquiries, call: mobile +639178080193, telephones 02-421-2469, 02-357-6427; Email: psychconsult@gmail.com

Starting 2010, we have been running regular social skills workshops for children and teens. They learn this most important life skill through games, role play, and videos. Better social skills help children cultivate positive interactions, communicate appropriately, recognize and express their feelings.

What is your social skills workshop? Who is it for?

Some children and adolescents have difficulty getting along with peers because some of their social skills have not been developed. These include identifying feelings in themselves and in others, learning social cues, handling frustration, taking turns, and learning proper behaviors in a group.

In 2010, we developed a program with 10 structured group sessions aimed to help children and adolescents:

- Increase self-awareness by understanding their thoughts and feelings
- Demonstrate how to act appropriately given specific situations
- Read social cues by putting oneself in another person’s position
- Make smart guesses about other people’s thoughts and feelings
- Communicate by initiating and responding to verbal communication

I think my child needs to develop his/her social skills. How can he/she join your workshop?

We conduct the workshop during the school year as well, after we have gathered the minimum number of children or adolescents to attend this workshop. If you think your child will benefit from this, you may seek consultation with one of our psychologists. He/she will describe the workshop to you, how it can help your child, and the target date that it will start.

Summer practicum_PsychConsult 2014

Workshop on the Use of Drawings

PsychConsult 2014 Feb Workshop

This seminar is open to the public. Registration is now closed.

Date and Time: February 15, 2014, Saturday, 8am to 5pm

Venue: 15th floor, Manila Room, Regalia Park Towers, P. Tuazon Blvd., Cubao, QC

Fee: Php 1,500 (for students, PAP and Non-PAP members); limited slots only

Please pay on or before February 12, Wednesday, to confirm your slot

Fees are transferable but non-refundable; workshop fee covers snacks only, no lunch

A Workshop on the Use of Drawings for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Purposes in Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Workshop facilitator: Rachel Lev-Wiesel, PhD

The use of arts in psychotherapy bridges verbal barriers and promotes experiential insights because art involves the non-linguistic right hemisphere of the brain. Art media like drawings enable clients to better express their emotions, inner difficulties, bypass dissociative mechanisms, strengthen dialogue with the external and internal world, and facilitate verbalization.  Research has documented the use of drawing tools as added measures to diagnose various clients including those with eating disorders, dissociative disorders, PTSD, etc. The workshop focuses on using different drawing techniques implemented in diagnosis and therapy for survivors of child sexual abuse.

About the facilitator: Dr. Rachel Lev-Wiesel is a full professor, the head of the Graduate School of Creative Art Therapies and the Head of the Emili Sagol Research Center for Creative Arts Therapies at the University of Haifa, Israel. She has published more than 120 scientific papers and chapters, in addition to 8 books on topics such as childhood sexual abuse, trauma, analysis of drawings, and group therapy. She is a licensed clinical social worker, family and child therapist.

Talking to Children about Death

When we lose someone we love through death, it’s never easy; we have to deal with the immediate change, get our affairs in order, and take care of our loved ones. On top of that, figuring out how to explain the loss to children is a challenge. As we process the events and our own emotions, we need to find appropriate ways to break the news and help them understand this as well.  But how? Here are a few tips to help adults talk to school-age and young children:

1. A family member or someone close to the child needs to break the news. It is important to have someone close to the child break the news, such as a parent or relative. Children can have many questions about death and why it happened. Adults need to strive to answer these questions as honestly as they can. If children’s parents die, the family member whom they trust and is closest to them needs to do the task.

2. Be concrete. Choosing who will break the news is one thing, but knowing what to say is another. Remember to be concrete. Children may take things literally, so avoid using metaphors. If you tell a child that their loved one has gone to sleep or gone away, they will expect this person to wake up or return. Avoid confusion, and tell them as it is. Explain that the loved one’s heart has stopped beating and this is what we call death. Tell them that someone they love has died, will be buried or cremated, and that they will no longer be with them physically.

3. Use books to help you. There are many good books that can help families and children talk about loss and grief. For younger children, telling stories through pictures may help.

4. Allow children to grieve. Refrain from telling children, “Don’t cry. It will be all right. Your mom/ dad/ sibling/ relative is now in heaven.” Remember that someone significant in the child’s life has died and is never coming back. This hurts children a great deal. Parting from a loved one is confusing and overwhelming for them. They might even feel guilty about their loved one’s death, thinking that they caused them to die. Sometimes they cry, sometimes they misbehave and act out their sadness. Grieving can take months, or even years, for some children. They may want to preserve the memory of their loved one in different ways, such as going to their favorite store, eating at a certain place, celebrating birthdays of deceased loved ones, among others. The impact of a loved one’s death on children depends on their age at the time of loss. Older children are able to comprehend better the abstractness of death, as compared to younger children.

5. Be available to talk. When you might least expect it, children ask questions about their loved one’s death. Don’t brush their questions aside. Listen and answer their questions honestly. As they grow older, children may perceive death and loss quite differently. Be present when they need you.

5 Stages of Grief and Heartache

Grief and loss do not belong solely to the area of death; grief is experienced when we find our hearts broken by a loved one, be it your relative, partner, or friend.  For this purpose, we reach out to adults out there who are finding their balance between intimacy and isolation, and who may be experiencing their own share of relationship heartache. As every ache goes, there are stages that we go through to help us cope. Here we apply the stages of grief by Kubler-Ross (1969, “On Death and Dying”).

1. Denial and isolation. Our first instinct is to refuse to accept the circumstance as we try to buffer the immediate shock. We need time, after all, to let our hearts adjust to the situation. Whether you did the breaking/ separating or someone else has, you may find yourself denying the facts as one of you has laid it out easy. How could something so precious be gone in an instant? It can’t be…

2. Anger. Refusal to accept the facts often leads to anger – at yourself or at the person who wronged you. And whether or not we know how to distinguish that, we sometimes aim this anger towards the wrong people. We’re mostly angered at the pain they’ve left us with and for leaving us. Guilt plays a big role in this stage as anger plays a constant push and pull in our grieving phase. How can we suddenly hate someone we loved so much? Impossible! At this stage, try to deal with your emotions in a gentle manner, and giving yourself outlets to heal through – exercise, write, start a new hobby. Managing your feelings is crucial at this point.

3. Bargaining. During times of helplessness and vulnerability, we find a stronger need for control. We need to get a grip on the situation as we sift through every “If only”. So we try to make a pact with God or the universe, and ask for things that will help us retract this painful reality. We try to restore the friendship, relationship, and play a tug of war, but in the process, are hurt even more.

4. Depression. Two emotions play a role in this stage: sadness and regret. We begin to react to the practical implications of this loss and find ourselves wanting to be alone. Sometimes quiet separation is all we need to reflect on the events and assess the situation.

5. Acceptance. This stage is marked by withdrawal and calmness. It is not necessarily happiness but an acceptance of one’s role in the situation. It’s gathering the lessons and moving forward with life.

Which stage are you in? And which stage do you feel is the hardest? Remember, that grieving is a process and we all take the time that we need to really heal. There is no set time-frame for instant healing, so it’s important to be patient with yourself.

Seminar on Children’s Feelings

Group rate for this seminar! 3 people or more, registering as a group: Php 750/person

Sad Mad or Glad seminar_PsychConsult_2013 NovThis seminar is open to the public. 

Date and Time: November 16, 2013, Saturday, 4pm to 7pm (registration starts 3pm)
Venue: Chungte Auditorium, Ateneo School of Medicine & Public  Health (in between The Medical City and Meralco Foundation Institute)

Fees: Early bird (by November 5, Monday): Php 750
Regular Rates: Students: Php 750; PAP Members: Php 850; Non-PAP Members: Php 950
Groups of 3 or more (one-time payment & 1 O.R.): Php750/head

Fees are transferable but non-refundable

Seminar only; no meals

Sad, Mad or Glad: How Children’s Feelings Affect their Behaviors 

Speaker: Cornelio G. Banaag, Jr., M.D.
Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist

This talk covers moods observed in children and adolescents, including negative moods like sadness, anxiety, and anger, and positive ones like happiness.  Special focus will be given on how these moods affect their capacity for learning, behaviors, motivations, and relationships / socialization. The talk will segue into how parents and school personnel can differentiate normal sadness, anger and anxiety from dysfunction that impairs a person’s ability to function in daily life.  Tips on how to deal with a child’s mood are also included.

The speaker will be eminent Filipino Psychiatrist Dr. Cornelio G. Banaag, Jr.  He is the current President of the Philippine Mental Health Association, and a past President of the Philippine Psychiatric Association.  Dr. Banaag also holds the distinction of being Professor Emeritus of the College of Medicine of the University of the Philippines.

Map to the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH)

map to ASMPH

Childhood Depression

The lines between acting out, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), conduct disorder, and childhood depression may not always be too clear. Wherein impulsivity and hyperactivity are concerned, we have been too quick to attribute this to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, when aggression and temper are explosive, behavior becomes the focus. Acting out, identified by impulsive and uncontrollable outbursts, may be seen as symptoms of underlying problems in children.

On the other hand, childhood depression is an internalized disorder that may include anxiety. This can co-occur with externalized disorders such as conduct, operational defiant disorders, or ADHD. Children between the ages of 7 and 17 are candidates for childhood depression. Symptoms similar to those of adults are the likes of a general sluggishness, difficulty concentrating, inability to experience pleasure, even a loss of interest in playing. Loss of appetite and weight loss are not as grave as seen in adults.

Socialization is an essential component in childhood depression, as conflicted or detached relationships among family members and peers affect one’s self perception. Negative interactions and impaired relationships can make children experience feelings of hopelessness and may produce high levels of negative affect; thus negative self-expression may reveal itself in externalized disorders. It is therefore important for parents and educators alike to pay closer attention to improving emotional connections with these children.

Children’s behaviors, whether externally- or internally-directed, may often be considered a cry for help. If your child is exhibiting behaviors that indicate anxiety, sadness, defiance, or anger, show understanding of the underlying feelings that they are unable to express, instead of brushing them off.

Depression 101

Where a depressed individual is concerned, it is always best to educate ourselves on the reality that they experience. For anyone who has had a bad day, we know that a little comfort here and there and a good amount of rest will help turn things around. Sadly, this isn’t the case for a depressed individual.

Generally lethargic, long hours of sleep, loss of energy, difficulty concentrating, thinking, or making decisions, and feelings of hopelessness often define a depressed person. Also known as a profound sadness and/or inability to experience pleasure, depression may come with suicidal ideations. Episodes can last anywhere between two weeks to as long as two years, depending on the type of depression experienced.

In the new DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5), we are now looking at six (6) types of depression. They are:

·         Major depressive disorder (single episode)

·         Major depressive disorder (recurrent)

·         Dysthymia (chronic depression)

·         Mixed anxiety / depressive disorder

·         Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

·         Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder

Major depressive disorders (MDD) may occur within a span of at least two (2) weeks. It is important to be wary of these labels as an episode of MDD does not necessarily define a person as depressed through their lifetime. In as much as depression can stretch through long periods (dysthymia), it is good to note that individuals are not defined by their diagnoses. Lastly, it is good to know what individuals with depression are going through, but even better when we can take the time to hear them out. Sometimes all anybody needs is to know that they have a strong support system they can turn to.

Suicide Prevention: Signs to watch out for

About 90% of those who commit suicide suffer from clinical depression – a profound sense of sadness and/or inability to experience pleasure in life that may drag on for more than 6 months. Depression is a serious condition. It doesn’t take rocket science to identify when someone close to us has slipped into this dark pit; they show little interest in things that were previous interests, are generally lethargic, have appetite loss, and sometimes, exert less effort in physical hygiene. Yes, they aren’t the most exciting people to be around, but they certainly need strong people to come and help them.

Suicide in the Philippines has been on the rise in the last 20 years with most in their youth. Today there are about 7 out of 200,000 men and two of every 200,000 women who commit suicide in our country. The numbers are striking, but we can certainly do our best to help prevent this from rising. We can do this by paying attention to the signs that may very well be pointing us to those who are crying out for help.

Signs to watch out for

1.     A declaration to kill oneself.

2.     A general loss of interest and a sudden calmness from the usual rollercoaster of emotions

3.     Feelings of being a burden and trapped

4.     Increasing use of substances such as drugs and alcohol

5.     Withdrawn and isolated, often lacking sleep or having too much of it

6.     Putting their affairs in order, tying up loose ends, giving away their stuff, and making amends with people in their lives to say goodbye

freedigitalphotosnet.stuartmiles          Photo credits: Stuart Miles/ Freedigitalphotos.net

Guide to Graceful Ageing

Whether you’re in your early 20’s, mid 40’s, or late 60’s, time and age are inevitable. Many of us try to escape it but our minds and bodies remind us that we’re not as young as we used to be. We worry about age, what age can do to us, and we think about how much more we’d like to achieve. We set deadlines as if to call the shots, and yet there are a few things we cannot escape. Here’s a quick guide to what each of us can expect in the next 20, 40, or 60 years; that all depends on how young you believe yourself to be, of course.

In your 20s: Get organized and stay healthy. Your main challenge in your 20s is to get to know yourself and make room for intimacy. You come face to face with the “real” world for the first time and your convictions are life’s first target. Take this opportunity to get organized in all aspects of your life. Make sure that everything is aligned. Most of all use your 20s to love your body and stay healthy. If you want to find true love, always start from within.

In your 40s: Accept your roles and listen to your body. Our 40s find us caught in between several responsibilities. Better known as the sandwich generation, we’re stuffed in between our children and our parents, who constantly demand our attention. Mid adulthood is a good stage to thrive in – you know who you are, people value your expertise, and you can pick out the one thing you’ve always wanted to pass on to the next generation. Consequently, however, mid adulthood brings with it several changes in the body. Gradually things are starting to slow down and both men and women experience a drop in hormone production better known as menopause. Learn to listen to your body and use this as your ally to manage your own burnout.

In your 60s: Embrace the wise years. Late adulthood makes us think about the life we’ve lived, what else we can do, and how much time we realistically have left. While we make sense of what has been and look to the future with determination, we can’t help but think about our own expiration. The challenge that awaits us in late adulthood is making sense of everything and making peace with all the decisions we have made in our past. Embrace these years and use them to write your own legacy.

Creative Ways to Help Older Adults Shape Their Legacy

Late adulthood brings with it a special kind of wisdom that emerges when one comes to terms with the meaning of their lives. A sense of integrity is achieved when one is able to look at own patterns and string these in coherently. This, however, does not come naturally to everybody. Others may, in fact need more help making sense of their own journey. Here are a few creative ways you might consider helping your own parents (or yourself) make sense of life and appreciate the journey:

1.  Take a trip through memory lane. Pull out those albums, plan a hometown trip, re-tell a story, and listen intently. Who were your parents before you were born? What were their greatest achievements? Sometimes all they need is a good ego boost and going down memory lane is one sure fire way to do this. If you want to get really creative, help them start a scrap book. This should help make the story even more interesting.

2.  Appreciate art. There’s nothing quite like the complexity of someone else’s symbols to make sense of ours. Visit the local museum; explore your community’s art galleries, museums, and outdoor spaces. Whatever it is, be sure you explore what is beautiful in your environment.

3. Seek and share expertise. It’s not just about listening to their stories but asking them to share their wisdom and knowledge with you. Ask for their advice. Seeking their opinion can make them feel that their perspective matters.

4. Get into a new hobby. It’s all about keeping the mind active and sharp. Consider that in late adulthood, retirement can really put you off-course due to idle time. Hobbies are a great way to focus on an activity that will demand attention and draw out strengths.

60 Years and Wiser: Understanding How Late Adulthood Can Be Better 

You may have loved ones who have signed up to the senior citizen’s club to which free movies and discounts are a perk. Or, you yourself may be the one on the cusp, if  not standing right in the middle of your senior years.  Whichever side of the fence you may be, you can be sure that this stage of life brings its own set of issues and challenges to live a more meaningful life. Here are a few things that those 60 years old and wiser have to go through, that may help us better understand; and ways to continue making these years the best yet in our lives:

1. Looking at a life based on achievements. Better known as Ego Integrity, Psychologist Erick Erikson says that late adulthood brings us to a stage wherein we need to achieve a sense of integrity by accepting the lives we’ve lived. It’s all about putting things into perspective and summing it all up. Contentment would be ideal. This would be the best time to look back, focus significant parts of your or your loved one’s life; go through the “good old days” and create a complex and beautiful patchwork of narratives to give meaning and worth to a life well lived..

2. Retirement and downtime. It’s not easy going from busy bodies to year-long vacations. Retirement plays a big role and we need to understand that coming from a routine and suddenly having too much free time is occasion to start exploring new possibilities that you or your loved ones may not have done when work or raising a family took precedence.  Consider getting into leisurely activities. Acquire a new skill, or work on previous one?  This could focus attention on something worthwhile and productive.

3. Things seem to be slowing down. We’re not just talking about the strut. Mentally and socially, everything may seem to be slowing down too. For those with loved ones in their 60’s, you may notice a change in their social activities – but those within their senior years  may know the real score – they do not want to be  isolated, they just like to spend more time with the few who really matter to them.

One thing is for sure– late adulthood is a phase we all experience.  For those still looking at this horizon, better to get a head start now and take the time to really understand what is ahead. For those who are already enjoying the golden years, won’t it be great to know more about the gifts and potentials that this stage brings?

Seminar on Embracing Aging 

Group rate for this seminar! 4 people or more, registering as a group (by July 12, Fri):
Php 900/person

Gift of Years_PsychConsult_2013July_b

This seminar is open to the public. 

Date and Time: July 27, 2013, Saturday, 9am to 12pm (registration starts 8:30am)
Venue: Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH) Auditorium, Pasig City, beside The Medical City
Fees: Early bird (on or before July 12, Friday) and graduate students: P 1,200.00
Individuals 50 years old and wiser: P 1,200.00
Regular rate: P 1,500.00

Seminar only; no meals

Does getting old bring on nostalgia?  Regrets?  Emptiness?  Trigger a purposeless life?  To understand yourself better as you enter older adulthood, listen to Dr. Dido Villasor in a two-hour seminar on The Gift of Years: Embracing Aging. Dr. Villasor will delve into the challenges and struggles that are brought to fore as one transitions to senior citizenship, as inspired by the book of Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB.  More importantly, she will talk about the purpose and blessings that aging gifts you as you adjust to this new phase in life. This is open to individuals 50 years old and better, their caregivers and loved ones, mental health professionals, physicians, and graduate students.

About the resource person:

Dr. Maria Teresa (Dido) Gustilo-Villasor is a Certified Clinical and Assessment Psychologist of the Psychological Association of the Philippines and Chief Consultant at the Metropolitan Psychological Corporation. She obtained her doctorate and masters degrees in Psychology from the Ateneo de Manila University and trained in Clinical Child Psychology and Hospital Psychology at the St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. She continues to update her skills in psychological and neuropsychological assessment, psychotherapy and stress management by attending continuing education programs both locally and abroad. She is a faculty member of the Center for Family Ministries at the Ateneo de Manila University; the Asian Social Institute, Manila; and the Graduate School of Counselor Education at De La Salle University-Manila.

PsychConsult is an accredited continuing professional education (CPE) provider by the Psychological Association of the Philippines. For certified psychologists, this seminar is equivalent to 3 CPE points. Please request for a certificate at psychconsult@gmail.com.

Seminar on Using Positive Discipline with Children

Positive Discipline_PsychConsult_2013May25This seminar is open to the public. 

Venue is at the Diliman Room, 15th floor, Regalia Tower Suites, Regalia Park Towers, 150 P. Tuazon Blvd., Cubao, Quezon City.

Group rate: Php 2,500 for 5 people from the same organization; Php 1,000/person (regular fee)

Seminar only; no meals

PsychConsult is an accredited continuing professional education (CPE) provider by the Psychological Association of the Philippines. For certified psychologists, this seminar is equivalent to 3 CPE points. Please request for a certificate at psychconsult@gmail.com.

Seminar description: Bribing, coaxing and threatening are some strategies of choice for many parents and caregivers attempting to correct children’s behaviors.  Much to their dismay, however, children sometimes respond to these tactics by misbehaving, ignoring or disobeying. If you’re a parent, caregiver, or professional who works with children and feel frustrated or at a loss in disciplining your children, this seminar will discuss positive ways of encouraging children to display appropriate behaviors and identify how you can become emotionally responsive to their needs.
Examples of positive discipline strategies will be discussed, using common scenarios and children’s behavioral problems. The strategies can be applicable to children below 5 and children in the elementary to intermediate levels. Educators and guidance counselors can also benefit from this seminar by adapting certain positive discipline strategies in the school setting. The seminar concludes with an open forum.

Position for Clinic Manager

We’re looking for an individual who can join our team as our Clinic Manager. Refer to the poster for details.

clinic manager_PsychConsult

Rorschach Workshop

Rorschach workshop_Cavite Center for Mental Health and PsychConsult_2013AprThis four day workshop aims to develop competencies in administration, scoring and interpretation of the Rorschach Inkblot Test using the Exner’s Comprehensive System. Specifically, the workshop participants are expected to 1) learn basic principles of Rorschach Inkblot Test; 2) develop the essential competencies in scoring through hands-on exercises using sample protocols; and 3) understand the computer-generated report of Rorschach: The Comprehensive System.

For inquiries:
Call (046) 419-0013
Ms. Norie (sun) 0932-594-7594 / (smart) 0919-409-8310 / (globe) 0915-838-2855
Email at: ironsoya@yahoo.com, am_medina15@yahoo.com

Seminar on Human Memory

This seminar is for psychologists, graduate students, and counselors. PsychConsult is an accredited continuing professional education (CPE) provider by the Psychological Association of the Philippines.

Seminar description: Clinical psychologists often rely on clients’ memories of past events in their work as therapists.  Clients’ recollections provide rich information that serve as resources in the therapeutic processes; whereas memories that cannot be recalled are often seen as critical elements in the clients’ presenting problems.  However, the reliability of such memories during therapy has been called to question many times in the past, particularly in relation to clients’ recovered memories that were actually “planted” by therapists.  Indeed, what transpires during the therapeutic session may be viewed as a complex series of memory processes that involve the reconstruction of past events in the clients’ lives, and both client and therapist may be involved in this reconstructive memory processes.

In this seminar, participants will be introduced to several interrelated themes in current research in the psychology of human memory that relate to some aspects of the psychotherapeutic process.  The themes that will be discussed include:

(a) memory as reconstruction,

(b) the relationship between autobiographical memory and wellbeing,

(c) memory for emotional events,

(d) the psychological function of forgetting,

(e) memory and depression,

(f) repression and recovery of memories, and

(g) therapeutic practices that may lead to false memories.

The seminar will feature lectures that focus on theories, concepts, and research findings on the interrelated themes.  These themes will be discussed in the hope of inviting reflection and discussion among clinical psychologists in the Philippines about aspects of their clinical practice.

Videos on Bullying

In celebration of psychology mission month, watch our lectures on bullying. It describes an overview of bullying, its definition, its types, the individuals involved, and how to address bullying. Strategies in dealing with bullying in school by Dr. Boboy Alianan Part 1,  Part 2, Part 3. (scroll down to view the videos on the right side of this page)

Career Assessment

Want to know the career for you or thinking of a career change?

We conduct career assessment using the MBTI® and the Strong Interest Inventory® for those who:

- are deciding on a college course,

- want to shift to another course,

- desire a career change,

- want to discover a more suitable work environment for them.

Career assessment examines individuals’ abilities, skills, and interests to guide them toward career choices that fit their personality. Pursuing careers that fit their personality can make people feel better and satisfied. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)® is a personality test that measures individuals’ preferences of perceiving the world, planning, and decision making. MBTI® typology provides information about the strengths and weaknesses, ways of communicating and relating with others. On the other hand, the Strong Interest Inventory® determines one’s general occupational themes, interests, and personality styles. Together, the MBTI® and Strong® provide useful information to guide individuals in career planning.


Psychology Mission Month 2012

Philippine Psychologists Give Back

To kick off its Mission Month, the Clinical and Assessment Psychology Divisions of the Psychological Association of the Philippines sponsored a learning session entitled “Pushing for Excellence in the Practice of Assessment Psychology” to psychologists at the National Center for Mental Health on October 15, 2012. Dr. Boboy Alianan and Dr. Beth Suba facilitated the session.

Mental Health Week 2012

In celebration of National Mental Health Week (Oct 4 – 8, 2012) and World Mental Health Day (Oct 10, 2012)

Article by Dr. J. Enrique G. Saplala, Former PAP President

From bullies to fratmen, gun-toting fathers, and maid-abusing parents: What makes people violent?

Read here from Interaksyon



- Ms. Lala Alcala is PsychConsult’s Clinical Director starting September 2012.

- Dr. Boboy Alianan was elected as board member of the Psychological Association of the Philippines and is currently its internal relations officer.

The Role of the Bystander in Bullying

by Dr. Boboy Alianan

Whenever my colleagues and I get invited to schools or other venues to talk to parents, one of the most common questions we get would be something related to bullies. How can I stop a classmate from bullying my child?  How do I talk to parents so they can discipline their child to stop bulling my child?  We are thinking of pulling out our child from school because he/she is being bullied?  Where is the best place to put my child so that he/she is not victim to bullying?  Interestingly, we seldom get questions where parents admit that their child is a bully and what kind of help their child needs.

I must admit that bullying is one of the most difficult problems to deal with.  There are no easy answers.  If we are going to have any success in minimizing it, we have to get everyone involved.  Yes, I suggest a systemic approach, as bullying is not a problem of an individual; it is a problem of an entire environment where it is happening.  The problem is not the bully per se, the problem is the environment that allows bullying to happen.

Let me begin by saying that violence and hurtful behavior is not inherent in any child.  It is absolutely learned from one’s environment.  A child learns to hurt another child.  Sometimes, this happens in the home—when a child is discipline using corporal punishment, for instance.  Other times, they see it on television or from other children around them.  And so, interventions must not only focus on the victim of bullying, but the bully him/herself as well.

School bullying often happens in the presence of peers, and quite invisible to the adults.  As such, the bystander—often peers—must be taught to identify when bullying happens and what they can do.  In this systemic approach, the bystander plays the most crucial role.  They need to be empowered to give a voice to the victim and to step in so the bullying stops.  In all actions, the bystander must take a stand against bullying.  Here are some behaviors that the bystander can do:

  • Say something to stop the bully, such as, “Pick someone your own size!”
  • Tell the bullies that what they are doing is not nice, and identify what they are doing as “bullying.”
  • Take the victim away from the bullying situation.
  • Protect the victim from being bullied some more.
  • Ask someone to run and get adult assistance.
  • Run and get adult assistance.


Conference Presentations

SEAP 2012

Former PAP president Dr. Caring Tarroja was a plenary speaker at the South East Asia Psychology (SEAP) 2012 conference and shares her thoughts on Filipino families.

Issues in Play Therapy 

Dr. Tarroja presented a paper on “Issues and Challenges in the Practice of Play Therapy in the Philippines” at the 30th International Congress of Psychology at Cape Town, South Africa in July 2012.

Cancer Patients, My Teachers

by Sandra Ebrada, PhD. (cand)

My initial contact with cancer patients was when I joined a group of psychologists in putting up the Cancer Support Program in a government hospital way back 1996.  For two years, we met with adult cancer patients and their caregivers to help them in their psychosocial care.  There, we listened to their stories as they dealt with the shocking disclosure, the decisions they had to make regarding their treatment, the sacrifices they and their families will have to endure, dreams that will have to die, the plans for a better life, however tentative, when going home.  Despite all these, in the program, we helped them celebrate what healing resources they have untouched by cancer and tap into them – their own bodies’ healing resources, remembering loving and good memories to uplift them, and sharing the love they have with their loved ones. Continue reading

An Introduction to Play Therapy

One of the major services we offer at PsychConsult, Inc. is Play Therapy. We have received a number of queries about it and we thought it best to give you a run-down on what Play Therapy is all about. We hope this gives you a better understanding of such intervention and how this can be helpful to your child.

What is play therapy and why does my child need it? 

Play therapy is a form of psychotherapy for children conducted by trained psychologists/ therapists.  It is different from simply “playing” since the therapist utilizes different theory-based approaches to conduct the therapy.

How will play therapy benefit my child?

Your child can communicate and eventually “play out” his/her difficulties, overwhelming experiences or feelings through play in the safe and affirming environment established in the playroom.  Your child will have the opportunity to: Continue reading

Finding the Rainbow after the Storm

In the past week our country found itself marking the second anniversary of the devastation of Typhoon Ondoy with yet another storm wreaking havoc on most of the country. By the end of its fury, Typhoon Pedring left many of our countrymen reeling and in need of help.

In 2009, our consultant Ria wrote a post about how we can help one another find the rainbow after the storm. Here is a re-post of that article dated November 2009. Continue reading