August 2006, Volume 56, Issue 8

Student's Corner

Indigenous and Transcultural Psychiatry; Putting Research into Practice

Nazia Siddique1  ( Second Year B.Sc. (Hons) Clinical Psychology Student, The University of Punjab1, Lahore, Aga Khan University2, Karachi. )
Abdul Waheed2  ( Second Year B.Sc. (Hons) Clinical Psychology Student, The University of Punjab1, Lahore, Aga Khan University2, Karachi. )

Madam, Babar T Shaikh has implored some probable psychological problems of earthquake survivors and stressed upon their possible solutions. 1 However, we are of the opinion that their physiological needs should be fulfilled first as proposed by Abraham Maslow. Psychotherapy/counseling supportive therapy helps the person whose basic needs are being fulfilled. According to Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs: physiological, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization needs are fulfilled in a hierarchical sequence. Once human physiological needs are gratified, needs to feel protected (shelter) become apparent. 2 Psychotherapy/supportive therapy has a very long process that requires not only basic needs but also peaceful atmosphere. 3

Therefore the first step in the cause of such sensitive matters is to involve the Government and NGOs in the reconstruction of destroyed colonies and to provide employments to help them attain their basic needs.

Clinical psychology and psychiatry are the disciplines still nascent in Pakistan. 4 There is shortage of trained professionals and hence a homogeneous task to cater to the disaster aftermath. Therefore, there is a dire need to look for indigenous solutions. Ali BS, et al in a recent study show that counseling by minimally trained community volunteer counselors results in the reduction of anxiety and or depression in women of their own community. Therefore the second step is to minimally train the community health workers in counseling of the same area. 5 This would bring about a positive change in the volunteers themselves also and would enhance their self-esteem, self-confidence, and sense of competence. 6

Nazia Siddique1, Abdul Waheed2
Second Year B.Sc. (Hons) Clinical Psychology Student, The University of Punjab1, Lahore, Aga Khan University2, Karachi.

References

1. Shaikh BT. The Earthquake aftermath in Pakistan: Unearthing the most Vulnerable. J Pak Med Assoc 2005; 56:146.

2. Dabidoff LL. Introduction to Psychology. 3rd ed. United States of America: McGraw Hills 1987, pp 289-90.

3. Gul A, Ali BS. The onset and duration of benefit from counseling by minimally trained counselors on anxiety and depression in women. J Pak Med Assoc 2004; 54:549-52.

4. Gadit A. Mental Health Research in Pakistan and the Developing World. J Coll Physicians Surg Pak 2006; 16:169-70.

5. Ali BS, Rahbar MH, Naeem S, Gul A, Mubeen S, Iqbal A. The effectiveness of counseling on anxiety and depression by minimally trained counselors: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Psychother 2003; 57:324-36.

6. Naeem S, Ali BS, Mubeen S, Iqbal A. The transformative effect of training in counseling and its application, on the community counselors themselves. J Pak Med Assoc 2003; 53:388-90.

Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association has agreed to receive and publish manuscripts in accordance with the principles of the following committees: