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Posts Tagged ‘Play Therapy’

MLAC Partnership with Consuelo Foundation

by Hannah Morillo

One of the most fruitful projects that the MLAC Institute has started in 2016 and continued to this year is its partnership with Consuelo Foundation, Inc. True to living to its motto, “Giving hope”, Consuelo Foundation with MLAC, was able to provide psychological intervention to at-risk youth and survivors of trauma and abuse, to its partner organizations, Messy Bessy (House Foundation) and Purple Centers Foundation.

The MLAC Team (Uzi Araneta-de Leon, Rory Catipon, Bless de Asis, and Hannah Morillo) led by Dr Honey Carandang, set out to the production house and office of Messy Bessy in Pasong Tamo, Makati, and to the school of the children in Purple Centers Foundation, Tondo, Manila to provide individual therapy sessions, group and family therapy, and group mindfulness-based expressive arts and play therapy. Being able to reach out especially to people where psychological intervention is not readily available is one of the most gratifying ways MLAC offer psychosocial support. We look forward to continuing partnerships such as this, and to extend our services to those who need them most.

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Tita Honey during one of our group mindfulness-based expressive arts therapy sessions. (Photo by Hannah Morillo)

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Traversing Tondo: on our way to Purple Centers Foundation. (Photo by Rory Catipon)

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Looking out from Purple Centers Foundation in Tondo, Manila. (Photo by Hannah Morillo)

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The final session of the girls from Messy Bessy was a culmination through their music therapy, among others. It was a “treat” to witness a live and intimate performance from the artist (Dr. Chris Carandang) whose original compositions have touched their hearts throughout their therapy sessions. (Photo by Hannah Morillo)

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A visit to the MLAC Institute clinic: The children of Purple Centers engage in free play and a jovial exchange of stories and experiences. (Photo by Hannah Morillo)

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One way of sifting through one’s experiences is through art. (Photo by Uzi Araneta-de Leon)

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MLAC at the Global Forum on Research and Innovation for Health 2015

October 3, 2015 Leave a comment

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Last August 24-27, 2015, the Global Forum on Research and Innovation for Health 2015 was held in the Philippine International Convention Center. The theme of the forum this year was “People at the Center of Research and Innovation for Health”. That Wednesday, August 26, President and Founder of MLAC Institute for Psychosocial Services, Inc., Dr. Ma. Lourdes A. Carandang, took part in a panel session entitled “Enhancing Resilience in Times of Crisis and Catastrophe”. The panel presentation is geared towards addressing the gap between the human dimensions of the impact of disasters and orients the audience towards an array of issues, practices and directions in enhancing resilience among individuals and families in disaster-stricken communities.

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“Play and Mindfulness Based Expressive Arts Therapy for Healing and Resilience of Children” – Dr.Carandang

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The other topics and speakers of the panel session were:

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Haiyan – Lessons Learned and Yet to be Learned – June Pagaduan Lopez, MD

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Assessing Needs and Resources for Resilience – Nephtaly Joel Botor

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Creative Pedagogy for Community Recovery – Emma Rose Medina

At the end, an indigenous music jam was facilitated by Leo Emmanuel of Hibla Sanghabi where musical instruments were distributed and participants were instructed to play on the basis of “pakikinig” and “pakikiramdam”.

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Participants moving with the beat

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Dr. Carandang with MLAC Team Members, Jaymee Leonen & Criselda Yambao.

PMHA Invites Dr. Carandang for 1st Tri-Annual Lecture Forum

As the first installment of the Tri-Annual Lecture forum of the Philippine Mental Health Association, Dr. Honey Carandang gave a talk entitled “Maglaro Tayo: The Role of Play Therapy in the Development of Children and Adolescents”. It was held last April 10, 2015 in the PMHA Conference Hall in Quezon City.

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A Playful Stage Set-up

A Playful Stage Set-up

Dr. Carandang giving a talk on Play Therapy.

Dr. Carandang giving a talk on Play Therapy.

Dra. Carandang willingly answered questions raised in the open forum.

Dra. Carandang willingly answered questions raised in the open forum.

The participants exceeding the seating capacity of the conference hall.

The participants exceeding the seating capacity of the conference hall.

Dr. Carandang with PMHA's Regina de Jesus and Agnes de Leon

Dr. Carandang with PMHA’s Regina de Jesus and Agnes de Leon

Dr. Carandang with the PMHA Staff

Dr. Carandang with the PMHA Staff

Categories: Lecture-Workshops Tags: ,

Ang Luha at Ngiti ni Elo

June 23, 2013 2 comments

­Ang Luha at Ngiti ni Elo

Marisa V. Marin

Ang MLAC Psychosocial Services for Wellbeing team ay may mahabang proyekto kasama si Fr. Tito Caluag, head ng Public Service ng ABS-CBN. Ito ay ang Family Recovery Project. Ang proyektong ito ang siyang nagdala sa amin sa Barangay Andap, New Bataan, Compostela Valley. Ito ay 3 oras ang layo sa Davao City, walang matutuluyang hotel o bahay panuluyan doon. Pero mapalad kaming walo na pinatira ni Emma, isang butihing guro ng National Andap Elementary School na bukas loob na pinatulog kami ng isang gabi sa kanilang tirahan.

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Ang MLAC team kasama si Teacher Emma

Doon rin sa paaralan na iyon nag-aaral si Elo (hindi niya tunay na pangalan). Si Elo, isang siyam na taong bata, nakaligtas sa hagupit ng Bagyong Pablo pero ngayo’y nangungulila sa pamilya. Isa siya sa mga batang binigyan ng MLAC team ng trauma counseling.

Dalawa sila ng kanyang Ate noong nakilala namin siya. Pero pinaghiwalay namin sila ng grupo para mas ka-edad nila ang kanilang makakasama. Tinanong namin ang mga bata kung maari ba nilang ikuwento sa amin ang nangyari noong Bagyong Pablo. Sinabi namin na puede sila magkuwento sapamamagitan ng pagguhit o pagsulat. Pinili ni Elo na magsulat.

Matagal bago siya nagumpisang magsulat pero ng maumpisahan na niya, tuluy-tuloy na ito. Kung minsan may buburahing pangungusap, papalitan niya ito. Binasa ni Elo ng tahimik ang buong sinulat niya, siya ay nakontento tumingin sa aming mga therapist at napangiti. May mga sandaling nakatulala siya habang tahimik niyang hinintay na matapos ang dalawang kasama niya sa grupong gumuhit.

Heto ang isinulat ni Elo:

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Ang Sinulat ni Elo

NOng Panahong youn sa Bagyong Pablo

Nawala lahat ng pamilya ko dahil sa Bagyong Pablo

Don nag kakahiwalay kami sa mang pamilya ko nong Disember 4, 2012

don domating si Bagyong Pablo

Na rarandanako na wala na pala sila young manga magolang ko

Lola ko tapos kapatid ate kuya kong

Asan ma kayo andito lang kami sayo kahit…wala kayo

Andoto kami nagmahal sayo wag ninyonng kaklimotan

Mama Papa mahal nahal ko kayo.

* Hindi ko pinalitan ang pagkasulat niya nito.

Maiksi ngunit malaman ang kanyang isinulat. Namangha ako kung paano niya ito binasa. Malakas ang boses, malinaw at tiyak ang kanyang pagbigkas. Ang aking damdamin ay naantig, ang puso ko ay napukaw dahil sa husay ng kanyang pagbikas. Ilang saglit pagkatapos niyang magbasa, bigla siyang napaluha. Hindi rin namin napigilan na sabayan siya sa pag-iyak. (‘Yon ang isa sa mga paraan para maipadama naming mga therapist kay Elo na kadamay niya kami sa kanyang sinapit). Sandaling naging tahimik muna ang lahat. Kailangan ulit makabuelo bago makapagtanong. Nang inumpisahan namin na magtanong, siya naman ay maginhawang nagsalaysay ng kanyang kuwento. Ang sabi niya noong araw na iyon sama-sama sila sa bahay. Madami sila, mga 21 na magkakamag-anak. Pero sa sobrang lakas ng Bagyo natangay ang bahay nila, nagkahiwalay-hiwaly sila at lima lang sa kanila ang nakaligtas. Siya daw ay natagpuan sa sementeryo. May nagdala sa kanya sa ospital at doon rin siya natagpuan ng kanyang Ate. Ang kanilang Kuyang sundalo walang tigil rin sa paghahanap sa kanila. At doon rin sa ospital silang magkapatid natagpuan ng kanilang Kuya na nasa Cotabato noong nangyari ang trahedya sa Compostela Valley. Ngayon ang kasama niya ay tatlong mas nakakatandang kapatid na babae at ang kanyang Kuya na sundalo.

Ayon kay Elo ngayon lang siya nagkuwento tungkol sa nangyari noong Bagyong Pablo. Ayaw niyang magkuwento sa mga kapatid o sa mga guro. Tila ba ayaw pa nilang pag-usapan. Tumatango siya kapag sinasabi namin, “Mahirap ikuwento no?”

Kahit pagtanungin mo siya kung ano ang pakiramdam niya nang nagkita sila ng kuya at ate niya, sasagot lang siya na, “wala lang.” Pero mahilig siyang mag eye contact, at kapag ako ay tinitingnan niya para bang ang lalim ng iniisip niya o kaya’y nagtatanong rin ang kanyang mga mata kung talaga bang wala na ang kanyang pamilya lalo na ang kanyang mga magulang. May panahong makikita mong nakatulala siya kapag ang ibang bata ang nagkukuwento. At ang sagot lang niya parati ay “wala lang” kapag binabalikan namin kung ano ang kanyang nararamdaman o ginagawa kapag naaalala niya ang Bagyong Pablo. Ramdam namin na hirap pa siyang pag-usapan ang kanyang damdamin kahit okay lang magsalaysay ng kanyang karanasan. Pero alam rin niya na babalik pa kami ulit sa ibang buwan para makasama siya ulit.

Pagkatapos nilang magkuwento, inilabas na namin ang mga laruan. Ang mga laruang iyon ang siya ring nagbigay buhay sa kanyang mga matang, biglang napangiti. At doon ko lang lalong napansin na mapungay pala ang kanyang mga mata. Sa buong oras namin silang binigyan ng panahon na makapaglaro ganun din katagal siyang nakangiti habang naglalaro ng mga laruang hayop, puno at mga sundalo. Sa isang bahagi ng kanyang paglalaro, makikita mo pa kung paano niya hiniwalay ang dalawang klaseng sundalo. Ang isang grupo ay tinawag niyang NPA at ang kabilang grupo naman ay ang mga sundalong militar. Mahahawa ka sa kanyang ngiti na marahil galing sa kasabikang makapaglaro. Simpleng laruan ngunit dulot nito ay purong kaligayahan. Nakakatuwang pagmasdan.

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Ang Laro ni Elo

Maaring simple ko lang naisalaysay ang kuwento ni Elo pero pagbinabalikan ko ang araw na iyon, simple lang kasi ang naging daloy ng aming sandaling pagsasama. Subalit tagos hanggang sa aking buto’t balat, puso at kaluluwa ang naidulot nito. Bakit kamo? Sa kanya ko kasi muling natutunan ang tungkol sa pag-ibig, pag-asa at payak na kaligayahan.

Umuwi si Elo may dalang tatlong laruang puno at dalawang laruang hayop -isang leon at isang tigre. Ako rin may baon pag-uwi ko ng Maynila, baon ko ang bakas ng kanyang pagluha (sa pangungulila) at kanyang pagngiti (sa paglalaro). Tanda ng hiwaga ng buhay.

Play and Expressive Arts Therapy

July 22, 2012 1 comment

Play and Expressive Arts Therapy

By Jaymee Q. Leonen

In the fast-paced world of today, many adults complain of stress. We often hear complaints about “burn-out”. With the increasing demands of society, even adolescents are sanctioned with endless responsibilities in their academic life, while adults are often torn between pressures of work and family. Given the mounting pressure that adults in society seem to be constantly facing, it is important for individuals in the helping profession to learn to address this pressing issue.

MLAC Institute, in partnership with the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) conducted a seminar last June 23, 2012 in order to address this concern. The seminar was entitled “Play and Expressive Arts Therapy for Adolescents and Adults” . It was held in the 3rd floor of PSSC Building, Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City. The event was organized by Ms. Richie Parr, the head of the Developmental Psychology Division of PAP.

The goal of this seminar was to introduce play and expressive art as a tool to discover the inner resources of the adolescent or adult in order to help him/her cope with the challenges he/she must face. The seminar was conducted by the husband-wife tandem, Chris and Olive Carandang, both candidates for their doctoral degree in Psychology from the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

The event was open to interested participants, and it was attended by people of various backgrounds, all sharing the common goal of the willingness to help others.

The seminar began with a getting-to-know-you activity that also incorporated some self-discovery. Each participant was provided a kit that contained art materials they could use for the activity. This was followed by a talk on the essence of play and expressive arts as therapeutic means for others which was facilitated by Chris Carandang. Chris has been practicing expressive arts therapy with children and adolescents and  is at the same time a candidate for a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology.

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He began by describing play as a “spontaneous and active process in which thinking, feeling, and doing can flourish”. He further emphasized that play is an enriching activity that is essential to everyone since it facilitates relaxation, enjoyment, and even the development of creativity.  He also clarified that in expressive arts therapy, the process rather than the product takes precedence. This is one benefit that makes expressive arts appealing, especially because there are some emotions that people feel they are unable to sufficiently convey through words. Healing occurs as the client gets in touch with his emotions through his artwork at his own preference and pace. As a therapist, it is important to always be respectful of the client’s space, to serve as a companion rather than a dictator in the journey that your client embarks in.

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The next portion of the seminar was on the use of play and expressive arts therapy for the self. The talk was conducted by Olive Carandang, who is a practicing faculty at Miriam College with a specialization in Personality Psychology. She discussed the essence of allotting time simply for one’s self, especially for the individuals in the helping profession. She also discussed the many uses of play and expressive arts therapy for self-enrichment. Firstly, expressive arts allows for individuals to clarify their own feelings. It can also serve as a tool for self-expression, or simply a companion during the need for one’s alone time. For some, it serves as a means for distressing or coping with their daily demands. Perhaps the greatest benefit in the practice of expressive arts for the self is it becomes an avenue for self-growth. Her talk ended with an activity for the self, a visit to own’s safe place and an opportunity to express and share this safe place to the other participants. Before the participants were sent off, the speakers shared a song they composed.

The seminar served as an opportunity to develop a further appreciation for the use of play and expressive arts as a tool not only to assist others, but also to allow for self-growth.

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Olive and Chris Carandang sharing a self-composed song to the participants