Project Reflect promotes psychological well-being of children, and inculcate qualities such as inclusivity, empathy and sensitivity. Ample research supports this idea; however, implementation of the resultant theories in the Indian context is an unexplored realm. Thus, its novelty is one of its most impressive features.
The impact that #reflect could have is two-fold: firstly, in an age where unqualified wisdom is an epidemic, reflect ethically harnesses the knowledge of professionals to aid child development. Secondly, and more importantly, though trivializing mental health issues in children might be a way to cope, the reality is that children face a number of issues from bodily changes, gender discrimination to bullying, which need to be dealt with care and responsibility. Hence, an intervention like #reflect will strike the right balance between being appealing, engaging, and truly growth promoting.
Can you train the school counsellor/ teacher be part of the module?
Although school counsellors may also be qualified to deal with children, arts based therapeutic exercises need further training and caution. Thus, it would be ideal for facilitators, trained under us to deliver the module. With regard to teachers’ participation, although children might be more uninhibited in their expression in the absence of known authority figures, if the school mandates participation of teachers, the facilitators will ensure the space is modified to suit their involvement in activities.
Are empathy and sensitivity the only two concepts that will be worked on?
Reflect focuses specifically on empathy and sensitivity, but is not microscopic in its approach. It will target a plethora of culturally relevant themes, which lie in the domain of child development, such as collaborative learning, gender sensitivity, group participation, assertiveness, acceptance, independent thinking, and a number of other tools to create a positive mental atmosphere. The benefits will not only cater to psychological well-being, but could also aid the child’s classroom participation, academic progress, peer interaction, social behaviour, at-home behaviours, etc. The module can also be altered to train parents and teachers. Thus, #reflect aims to create harmony among the various spheres of functioning, by focusing on two core concepts, empathy and sensitivity.
What is the difference between what is offered now as psycho-education and Project Reflect?
Reflect aims to strike a balance between what children want and what they need. Unlike passive learning which occurs in moral education classes, children will get to experience the concept of “empathy” while learning about it, giving them the freedom to independently internalize the concept of “empathy” as a moral to live by. It also focuses on increasing Emotional intelligence which in turn brings about emotional awareness that helps harness emotions and apply them to thinking and problem solving and regulate emotions.
How will the process deal with age appropriate issues, when they arise?
The power of Creative Arts Therapies provide ample evidence against misconceptions, for instance, “adolescents might get bored”, or “younger children might not understand abstract experiences.” The module will be tailored to suit the cognitive and emotional level of the group, its age related issues, and also individual specific conflicts.