Story 1

 

 

 

In order to maintain confidentiality, actual names and photos have been omitted.

Ms. “V” is a 59 year old, female. She was referred to FRC by another client who was also receiving treatment from FRC. She is a widow and lives with her only daughter. She was engaged in agricultural activities with her husband prior to the conflict. In 2008, her husband and two sons died due to a shell attack. She and her second son were injured due to a bomb blast and were taken to hospital, where her son’s right leg was amputated. 

When she came to FRC she presented several physiological symptoms, coupled with psychological symptoms. Even though she received medical treatment from the hospital she failed to show any improvement. During the first assessment using the Client Intake Form (CIF), the Psychosocial Worker (PSW) identified physical symptoms such as swollen knees, joint pains, headaches, and back pain. She was also assessed for psychological symptoms, and she reported that she was constantly feeling anxiety, sadness and grief, fear inducing nightmares, flashbacks, and helplessness. Even though she didn’t have active suicidal thoughts, she also reported of feeling that life is worthless and it was better if she wasn’t alive. Behaviorally, she was avoiding going to places like the Kovil, marriage ceremonies, and crowded places. All the above symptoms have been affecting her capacity to function productively in her life, as she is unable to continue with her livelihood, create and maintain social relationships, family relationships and her own general welfare.

After assessing her physical and psychological problems, the PSW concluded that she suffered from symptoms of PTSD and prolonged grief reaction, as a consequence of the multiple traumas that she faced. At FRC, she was provided with both medical as well as counselling services. The main objective of these sessions was to enable the client to speak about the various traumatic experiences that she had faced in order to enable her to lead a normal life. 

By giving psycho-education, and by emphasising the role of the PSW in enabling her to overcome her problem, the PSW instilled a sense of confidence in her. During the counselling sessions, she discussed her family life prior to the death of her husband and sons. She also spoke in detail about the traumatic experiences. During these sessions, the client was taught to perform certain breathing exercises and was instructed to carry out the same at home. She was also trained on coping skills to help her be resilient during future difficulties. 

Ms. “V” received counselling sessions, according to the FRC counselling framework, for a continuous period of 03 months where she attended sessions regularly. After 13 counselling sessions, 5 medical sessions, and 5 sessions of physiotherapy, her condition showed a remarkable improvement. The PSW held discussions with the client’s family members. The PSW also paid home visits and observed the daily routines, family environment, and the overall improvement of the client was also assessed. The PSW also observed that the client engaged in social and spiritual activities which further aided in improving her condition. Her relations with her family members as well as her neighbors had also improved. After the conclusion of her counselling sessions, she resumed working in the fields. She also started visiting places that she had avoided for several years. Ms. “V” also shared her improvements with the other FRC clients.