AS PART of the community service extension program of the UST Graduate School, the first psychotrauma clinic in the country is now open in the University.

Located on the ground floor of the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex (TARC), the clinic aims to provide psychotrauma counseling to help patients return to their “normal lives.” The clinic is headed by Dr. Johnny Decatoria, a psychologist and a professor of the UST Graduate School who specializes in trauma and stress cases. Decatoria obtained a board certificate as an expert in traumatic stress and has earned a diplomate status from the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress in New York.

According to Decatoria, the clinic was conceptualized to provide training for graduate students in Clinical Psychology on trauma and violence-related issues.

The clinic’s services include counseling on cases of child abuse, rape, incest, vehicular accidents, violence-related issues and practically all cases related to the psychosocial aspect of a person.

However, Decatoria said the clinic does not handle psychiatric cases.

Decatoria said those who want to avail of the clinic’s services only have to accomplish the form, the person undergoes a series of psychological assessments for anxiety, depression, and trauma, after which the counselor determines the level of supervision suited for the client. The counseling process usually takes a maximum of one hour, Decatoria said.

The clinic is open on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 to 5 p.m.

As of this writing, 92 cases of trauma have been documented. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) referred most of the cases. USTGS also gives training programs at Balagtas, Bulacan, the Bureau of Corrections in muntinlupa, and the Laguna Catholic Schools Association. Other services provided by USTGS are: professional training, education, consultancy and networking, support system to trauma workers, counselors and helpers, and research/documentation and publication. Cherie G. Clemente

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