Isolation and Loneliness during Lockdown

posted Apr 14, 2020, 3:01 AM by Neville Misquitta   [ updated Apr 14, 2020, 3:05 AM ]


For those who are locked down alone the isolation and loneliness can be daunting. However, there are methods to cope and tide through this period.

We've Moved Online

posted Apr 2, 2020, 12:19 AM by Neville Misquitta   [ updated Apr 7, 2020, 3:23 AM ]

Telecounselling Services

Call or Text +91-7410781580
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to stay home to stay safe. This need not prevent us from accessing mental health consultations when required. Pathfinder Clinic has moved online to continue services uninterrupted. Many first-time users have been surprised by how easy and effective teleconsultation can be.
I can see you clearly! It's like being in your office. I never thought the video would be so detailed.
All you need to access quality mental health care is a laptop or smartphone with a broadband connection, there is nothing you need to install. Rest assured that privacy and confidentiality will be maintained as for face-to-face visits.
clinic contact phone and email for telecounselling

Alcohol & Drug Avoidance Strategies for Teens

posted Oct 6, 2018, 3:56 AM by Neville Misquitta   [ updated Oct 6, 2018, 4:00 AM ]

Shambhavi Deval: MPhil Clinical Psychology

If you have made up your mind not to use drugs and alcohol, it can be hard to say no when your friends are the ones offering it to you. Many times a simple “no, thanks” is not enough. Your refusal makes your friends feel uncomfortable and judged. They may retaliate by making fun of you, bullying you or leaving you out of the group. If you go along with them, they feel less self-conscious and relieved of any responsibility.

Why do Teens Say Yes to Alcohol?

  • They want to be liked.
  • They want to fit in and avoid feeling like an outsider.
  • They want to avoid ridicule.They want to be rebellious.
  • They are interested in trying something new.
  • They are trying to escape the pressures of school or work.
Being part of a group - to be accepted and to belong - is extremely important for children and adolescents. The need for approval by the peer group often triggers an emotional reaction, which in turn makes them more likely to succumb to peer pressure. This is an important factor in teen drinking or drug abuse. Teens are more likely to fall victim to peer pressure if they already feel sad, anxious or guilty; disappointed in themselves, or feel excluded and ‘uncool’.

Why are Adolescents Susceptible to Peer Pressure?

Peer pressure is generally linked to adolescence. However, adults can also be influenced, especially when alcohol is involved. According to a study published by the U.S National Library of Medicine, teens are most influenced by peers. Though teens weigh the risks and rewards of an activity just as adults do, they are more likely to ignore the risks when peers are around. Studies also suggest that the “adolescent brain is more responsive and excitable to rewards as compared to those of adults and young children”. This attracts them to risky behaviors, including alcohol consumption, drugs and also makes them vulnerable to peer influence. It also makes youth more susceptible to the effects of alcohol and drugs. Adults, like teens, worry about what others think of them. They want to fit in and avoid awkwardness. Consequently, they are pressured to drink, either directly or indirectly.

Alcohol Avoidance Strategies

Here are few strategies which might be useful in withstanding peer pressure in everyday life.
  1. Learn to be assertive. Choose your own communication style, and say “no” politely without antagonizing your friends or making them feel judged.
  2. Keep a bottled drink like iced tea or lemonade with you. People are less likely to pressure you to drink alcohol if they see you have a drink already.
  3. Offer to be designated driver. Get your friends home safely.
  4. Cite early morning sports practice, visiting grandparents or tuitions.
  5. Suggest something else “I have got a new video game, why don’t we play that instead?
  6. Joke about it. Humour is a great way to change the topic and the mood. It can take the attention away from you.
  7. Say no and give a practical reason why you know it’s a bad idea. Maybe you know someone who is an alcoholic and how drinking has messed up his/her life.
  8. You can say you are on medication and you are not allowed to drink.
  9. Leave. If you are bullied or feel uncomfortable walk away. You may be surprised to see that some of your friends will stand up for you and leave with you. Remember you always have the power to walk away.
“You will never influence the world by trying to be like it”.

Support Group for Bipolar Disorder & Depression

posted Feb 18, 2018, 10:24 PM by Neville Misquitta   [ updated Mar 2, 2018, 10:44 PM ]

depression and bipolar support group

Depression and Bipolar Disorder Support Group

The Dementors of depression bring sadness and despair, empty you of joy and happiness, and make you relive your worst memories. While chocolate helps; you need a stronger spell to truly ward off these demons. There are no magic wands and spells in the real world; therapy gives you the tools and lasting skills to face and overcome depression. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) equips you with the know-how to change your behaviour and negativistic thinking patterns.

Sometimes, it can get lonely by yourself. At those times it helps to know there are others like you who struggle with their thoughts and anxieties. Learning and sharing experiences together in an environment of empathy and support can be a rich and rewarding experience. The Pathfinder Clinic Support Group will help you to learn about depression and other conditions, like anxiety and hypomania; make changes in your routine; respond to self-defeating thoughts; and build skills to maintain important relationships.

Sign up for our sessions if you have been told by a psychiatrist or counsellor that you may have depression, bipolar mood disorder, or anxiety. Sessions will be held fortnightly, beginning 3rd of March (Saturday). Please call 020-66069676 to register.

[Group therapy is not a substitute for individual therapy or medication.]

Dates

Days     Saturday     03, 17, 31 Mar 2018     (4:30PM to 5:30PM) 

Venue

Pathfinder Clinic
S-5 (2nd flr) Destination Centre 
Magarpatta City 
Pune - 411028

Fee

Rs 200 per person per session
(includes after-session activity)

Contact

Ms Piyali Misquitta 020-66069676

What happens at a support group meeting?

At support group meetings, people share experiences, personal feelings, information, and strategies for living successfully with mood disorders. The key elements of Pathfinder Clinic's support group
Focus on Self-Help
The self-help process is based on certain assumptions:
  • Each person has the ability to make appropriate use of available resources to meet her or his own needs. Some people may utilize this ability more fully than others, but it is present in everyone.
  • All of us together know more than any one of us. Everyone has value and has something to add to a group process.
  • Each person is the ultimate authority on what s/he needs and on what will work for her or him.
Psychologist-Led
Discussion at support group meetings is facilitated by a psychologist, and this is important to the group’s smooth functioning. The facilitator guides discussion, provides focus to the group, and helps ensure that the group’s guidelines are followed.
Safe and Accepting
Participants make the support group a safe place by fostering a supportive, trustworthy, respectful, non-judgmental, and nurturing atmosphere. All those attending share experiences that can help others live successfully with depression or bipolar disorder. People use information they’ve gained from others at the meeting and the mental health professionals they work with to make their own judgments about correct strategies for themselves.
Confidential
Open and honest communication is important to a positive group experience. Support groups operate on the following premise: "What we say here stays here.” No one may publicly reveal information about the people attending the group or what is said during a meeting. Exceptions to this policy are made only when the safety of an individual is in danger. Participants are not required to be under therapy at Pathfinder Clinic. Pathfinder Clinic will never make public or sell/rent group membership or participant lists.
Meet Regularly
Meetings will be on every alternate Saturday, starting 03-Mar-18.

What Support Groups Are NOT

  1. NOT Therapy or Treatment Group discussion is not a substitute for professional therapy or treatment.
  2. NOT a Place to Diagnose or a Substitute for Professional Care Most people attending a support group meeting use the group as a supplement to their professional care, whether that care includes medication, therapy, or other treatment methods. Group participants do not seek to diagnose, and support groups do not endorse or recommend the use of any specific treatment or medication.
  3. NOT a 12-Step Group The 12-step formula, although valuable, is not the basis for DBSA support groups. DBSA believes that each person’s path to wellness is uniquely his or her own. There is no one way.
  4. NOT a Venting Venue While acknowledging the difficulty of life with a mood disorder, support group meetings are focused on mutual aid and strategies for living the fullest lives possible. Participants continuously seek to provide hope, reassurance, and encouragement.
  5. NOT an Expert Giving a Lecture Groups may periodically invite a professional or other expert to speak, but a support group’s main focus should be on peers helping one another. No one participant is regarded as knowing more than another or as the person with all the answers.

Who can participate in a support group?

The primary participants in Pathfinder Clinic support group meetings are persons diagnosed with a mood disorder.

The Value of Pathfinder Clinic Support Groups

Pathfinder Clinic support groups provide the kind of sharing and caring that is crucial for a lifetime of wellness.
  • give you the opportunity to reach out to others and benefit from the experience of those who have been there.
  • motivate you to follow your treatment plan.
  • help you understand that a mood disorder does not define who you are.
  • help you rediscover strengths and humor you may have thought you had lost.
  • provide a forum for mutual acceptance, understanding, and self-discovery.
Remember, support groups are not a substitute for professional care. For advice about specific treatment or medication, individuals should consult their mental health professionals.

Parent-Management Training

posted Nov 13, 2017, 5:13 AM by Neville Misquitta   [ updated Feb 10, 2018, 3:43 AM ]

Therapist Piyali Misquitta leading a group in Parent Management Training

Parent Management Training I/IV

Piyali Misquitta, MA Clinical Psychology

Parent Management Training is an interactive training program spread across 4 weeks of workshop consisting of one hour each week. The training is aimed at skill development and practical application of behaviour modification for parents to improve challenging behaviours of their child(ren), and any associated conditions that may be present.

Parents learnt how to go about stimulating desirable behaviours in their child. They facilitated an environment such that the desirable behaviours become second nature. Parents received hands-on experience on how to manage their child’s problems in a functional way. This reduces the chances of recurrence of unwanted behaviours like temper tantrums, crying before school and not doing homework.

Parent Management Training is a one of a kind workshop aimed at creating a facilitative environment for your child. It minimizes external problems and internal issues that the child may be facing. Peer support and social support and interaction with therapists helped parents through the problems that they faced with their child.

Behaviour Modification—ABC

posted Nov 13, 2017, 5:13 AM by Neville Misquitta   [ updated Feb 9, 2018, 9:28 PM ]

ABC chart

Parent Management Training II/IV

Piyali Misquitta, MA Clinical Psychology - Leader

Nishtha Budhiraja, MA Clinical Psychology - Therapist

Shreya Joshi, MA Clinical Psychology - Therapist

Antecedent-Behaviour-Consequence—ABC model of behaviour analysis was introduced in the second Parenting group session. In the ABC model an antecedent is something that comes before behaviour, and may trigger that behaviour. A behaviour is anything an individual does. A consequence is something that follows the behaviour.

A child strolling in the mall with his parents comes across an aisle of chocolate bars (antecedent). He throws a tantrum (behaviour), insisting his parents buy the chocolate for him. The parent buys the chocolate to quiet the child (consequence). The parent’s attention to the tantrum, and buying the chocolate for the child reinforces or rewards the behaviour of throwing a temper tantrum. This model is very helpful to identify problem behaviours; to modify them and to focus on the positive ones by reinforcing the desired behaviour.

Parents were first asked to identify undesirable behaviour and think of a desirable behaviour that they would like to substitute; it with.For example ‘unsatisfactory study time’ to ‘daily study time for half an hour’ , 'getting into fights' to ‘playing cooperatively’. Any behaviour tending towards the desired behaviour should be rewarded, to reinforce it. Immediate reinforcement can be given like praise, or a reward sheet can be used to keep a track of the desired behaviour (e.g give them stars, or points) on a daily basis. At the end of the week, the child can be rewarded with something that he/she is quite fond of, e.g a comic book, toy, or game, depending upon the total sum of points earned.

The desired behaviour can be directed using a conducive antecedent. For example changes in the daily time table can be made upon discussing with the child, and constructive prompts or instructions can be given to him/her to bring out the desirable behaviour. The instructions given should be short or given in parts, should have minimal words and be more action oriented , negative sentences should be avoided (e.g Don’t talk so loudly’, Don’t throw your things everywhere’). Instructions can be rephrased to ‘talk softly’, ‘good girls keep their things neatly’.

Once the child is able to pull off simpler tasks of the desired behaviour, the difficulty of the task can be raised or the reward can be upgraded. This way the child is not overwhelmed by a parent’s expectation to ‘do’ the desired behaviour immediately, and has a lasting pay off.

The ABC model equips parents with skills to manage undesirable behaviours and facilitate change to desirable behaviours in children with ADHD.

Domestic Violence Manifesting as Depression

posted Oct 16, 2017, 10:48 PM by Piyali Misquitta   [ updated Oct 16, 2017, 10:50 PM ]

Domestic Violence Manifesting as Depression

Piyali Misquitta, MA Clinical Psychology

The psychological impact of domestic violence, and response to intervention is illustrated by this case. Targetting inaccuarate and unhelpful thoughts through CBT helps clients manage their emotions better and encourage problem-solving behaviours.

A 30-year-old married woman, TN approached Pathfinder Clinic alone with concerns of tearfulness, sadness, guilt, and anxiety. She was especially worried that her thoughts and mood were interfering in her work, and that she would be asked to leave. Further enquiry revealed a history of physical violence by her husband. This information helped provide a context for the distress she was experiencing: she felt sad and guilty about the deterioration of her marriage, and often blamed herself for the situation she was in. When she considered the options for her future, she felt anxious and unable to take a decision. She also reported that she had suicidal thoughts, especially when she was distressed.

Psychological assessments revealed severe depression and anxiety, and also that TN was very concerned with what others people thought of her. This concern was then addressed during consequent sessions of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), which helped her make an independent decision about what was best for her future. She learned how to deal with conflict with her husband, and put her own requests forward in an assertive way. CBT also helped her re-evaluate the guilt she was experiencing, and reduce self-blame. With regular sessions of CBT and medication, TN reported doing much better at work, and felt confident about her decision to leave her husband. She was also able to identify old hobbies that she used to enjoy, and incorporate them into her schedule.

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing—CISD

posted Jul 18, 2017, 2:32 AM by Piyali Misquitta   [ updated Jul 18, 2017, 3:02 AM ]

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing—CISD

Piyali Misquitta, MA Clinical Psychology

CISD (Critical Incident Stress Debriefing) was conducted at the  office of a software company in Pune by Piyali Misquitta. A team of 15 members were present for the debriefing, including Lynette Nazareth (CGP) and a representative from the HR department. The session was planned in response to the unexpected death of a young team member three days before the session. 

The stress debrief began with an overview of basic guidelines which established the tone of the session, with an emphasis on confidentiality. Next, the facts of the incident were elicited from the team members, and most shared what they knew. This facilitated an understanding of the members who were most impacted by the incident, as well as clarifying the facts of the incident for everyone present at the session. 

Reactions to the incident were elicited from the group, focusing on the distressing thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. The use of standardised scales for trauma and general health aided the discussion. The group then moved to the educational aspect of the session. The emphasis on this session was on validating the experiences of different people within the group, and acknowledging that distressing and unusual reactions are expected in highly stressful and unusual situations like present one. In addition, members were advised self-care and to prevent avoidance of anxiety-related events. A Quality of Life Scale helped identify areas in their life that needed attention. 

A report of the scores was handed to the members at the end of the session. Members with high distress levels were advised to seek personal counselling.

ADHD—Psychoeducation I/IV

posted Jul 5, 2017, 5:51 AM by Neville Misquitta   [ updated Feb 9, 2018, 9:29 PM ]

Presentation for Thursday (06-Jul-17)

Psychoeducation for ADHD

By Nishtha Budhiraja, MSc Psychology

For parents of children that are diagnosed with ADHD.

Information about ADHD and coping with disorder. Management and support group information will also be provided. This is the first of four modules each an hour long. Sessions include activities and videos to make it easier to remember and apply knowledge about ADHD.

Psychoeducation is the process of providing knowledge, awareness and information to the individual who is suffering from mental illness and their immediate group of people. The immediate group of people often includes parents, teachers, caregivers, family, close relatives and friends. The aim of is to impart scientific knowledge over ancient and faulty theories. The basic purpose behind psychoeducation is to deal with problems associated with the illness and management of maladaptive behaviour in case of troublesome events. An overview of the possible treatment plans is also given with psychoeducation.

This module is specifically designed for parents of children that are diagnosed with ADHD. ADHD is a neuropsychiatric condition which is characterised by an inability to control behaviours like hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. Not only will the information be given about ADHD and coping with it, information on its management and support groups will be provided. The module is divided into 4 1-hour long sessions which include activities and videos to make it easier to remember and apply knowledge about ADHD.

Workshop on IQ

posted May 19, 2017, 12:21 AM by Neville Misquitta   [ updated May 19, 2017, 10:17 PM ]

IQ workshop dates, venue, faculty and contact number
Assessment of IQ Workshop for Psychologists

IQ Workshop for Psychologists

Registration is open for the IQ Workshop for Psychologists. This workshop will benefit psychologists who have just completed their masters degree and seek to gain practical experience in IQ testing and assessment.

Dates

Day 1     Sunday     04 Jun 2017     (9:00am to 5:00pm) 
Day 2    Sunday      11 Jun 2017      (9:00am to 5:00pm) 

Venue

Pathfinder Clinic
S-5 (2nd flr) Destination Centre 
Magarpatta City 
Pune - 411028

Registration Fee

Rs 2500
(includes tea and vegeterian  lunch on both days)

Contact

Ms Shalini Prakash 020-66069676

Faculty

  1. Dr Neville Misquitta MD Psychiatry
  2. Dr Bharti Rajguru PhD Clinical Psychology
  3. Ms Piyali Misquitta MA Clinical Psychology

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