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H.O.P.E. Clinic Volunteers Fly to St. Peter’s College-Ormoc City for the Psychological Debriefing of Earthquake Survivors

September 13,2017

Volunteers of the SSC’s H.O.P.E. Clinic visited St. Peter’s College in Ormoc City from August 6 to 8, 2017 for a school-wide psychological and stress debriefing. The initiative followed after a 6.5 magnitude earthquake that hit the City of Ormoc on July 6, 2017, causing enduring posttraumatic stress among the students of SPC.

The H.O.PE. Team, comprising of clinical psychology graduate school students from SSC, DLSU and UST under the supervision of Dr. Lourdes Medina (Therapist and Case manager of H.O.P.E. Clinic)  and Dr. Maria Victoria Trinidad (H.O.P.E. Clinic Operations manager),  gave a 3-day intensive debriefing to primary, secondary and tertiary level SPC students. Those debriefed were previously tested positive for clinically significant indicators of psychological trauma and stress.  The team, in coordination with SPC School President Sr. Mary Vincent Feliciano, OSB and the SPC Guidance Center, guided the students in processing their experience of the earthquake and its resulting posttraumatic stress.

The Team put their psychotherapeutic skills to work as soon as they got to Ormoc City. On Day 1, 055 college students underwent Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD), a group debriefing technique that specifically targets recent traumatic events. One hundred twenty five (125) Senior High School students received the same debriefing in the morning of Day 2, while about a hundred pupils participated in a group debriefing for children. The Team wrapped up the day with 246 Grades 7 and 8 students receiving a group psychotherapy called Integrative Group Treatment Protocol (IGTP). On Day 3, 228 Grades 9 and 10 students received IGTP in the morning. The 3-day event culminated with an estimated 180 students undergoing a group intervention called Trauma Releasing Exercise (TRE) in which the participants performed a series of physical exercises designed to release trapped traumatic experiences in the body.

As per self-reports by the participants, the earthquake and the multiple aftershocks that followed caused many of the students to experience the symptoms of posttraumatic stress one month into the event. By the end of the sessions, the participants reported a sense of relief and reduced fear of possible earthquakes. Early morning of August 9, Sr. Mary Vincent sent the team off with thanks and blessings for their services to the SPC community.

Below are names of the members of Team Ormoc:

     Dr. Lourdes C. Medina – HOPE Clinic Therapist and Case Manager
     Dr. Maria Victoria F. Trinidad – Dean, SSC Graduate School
     Nicole Dwayne Factor – SSC Graduate School
     Kristina Andrea Fernandez – SSC Graduate School
     Julie Reyna L. Flores – SSC Graduate School
     Rasel C. Leycano – SSC Graduate School
     Marvin Leslie A. Yian – UST Graduate School
     Ronald John Recio – UST Graduate School
     Fr. Kuttiankal Thomas – UST Graduate School
     Shenna Mae E. Zerna – DLSU Graduate School
     oseph G. Marquez – DLSU Graduate School

Kudos to the H.O.P.E.  Clinic volunteers!

by Kristina Andrea Fernandez – SSC Graduate School