The Department of Clinical Psychology offer services for those in need of professional psychological help across the life span – from childhood to old age. The major areas of services include assessments, diagnostic services and psychotherapies.
A deficiency in intelligence can be a major reason for poor performance at school, or other activities of daily life. Using standardized procedures, we assess the intellectual ability of the person and try to understand the level at which he or she is functioning.
This service helps to identify personality traits underlying various psychiatric conditions and personality disorders.
This service aids in the diagnosis as well as the severity of an underlying psychiatric disorders using standardized diagnostic materials such as Rorschach Inkblot Test, Thematic Apperception Test, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory and rating scales.
This service primarily aims at understanding the various functions of the brain by a detailed assessment using standardized neuropsychological tests. It is useful in planning intervention and rehabilitation strategies and tracking improvements in functioning.
Therapeutic services aim at addressing and improving the psychological health of persons through interventions that supplement but do not use medications.
Relaxation techniques help a person to relax; to attain a state of increased calmness and reduce levels of anxiety, stress or anger. Relaxation techniques can decrease muscle tension, lower the blood pressure and slow heart and breath rates, among other health benefits.
Behavioral treatment approaches are focused on treating maladaptive behaviors. The therapeutic approach assumes that both normal and maladaptive behaviors are learned and that appropriate therapy will help a person learn new adaptive behavior and 'unlearn' maladaptive behavior.
Cognitive behavioral approaches focus on changing the faulty cognitions (thinking processes) of people about themselves and other people to more accurate perceptions.
Family and Marital services focus on the family or the couple as a single integral unit to which each member contributes significantly. In family and couple therapy, the entire family or both members of a couple are treated simultaneously - not just the person identified as having the "problem". The therapy also focuses on enhancing adjustment between the couple and other members of the family unit.
A wide variety of developmental (autism, mental retardation), behavioral (hyperactivity, conduct disorders), and emotional challenges (depression, anxiety, stress related rage) of children and adolescents are assessed and treated by using behavioral, cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic methods.
Group Psychotherapy is a therapy in which a group is guided by a trained therapist to help each member of the group effect changes. Several technical maneuvers and theoretical constructs are used by the therapist to optimally utilize the group members’ interactions to make that change.
The 2-day workshop on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Psychosis, Depression & Anxiety was organised by the Department of Clinical Psychology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), Kochi on January 10-11, 2020. The workshop was conceptualised around September 2019 and the proposal was sent for CRE (Continuing Rehabilitation Education) approval. Information regarding the workshop was disseminated in early December and registration commenced. The workshop received a total of 43 registrations of which 41 were CRE participants.
Day 1 of the workshop focused on introducing Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) to the audience and providing an overview. Dr. Gitanjali Natarajan, Head of the Department of Clinical Psychology, AIMS initiated the first session and took up the huge responsibility of socializing the audience to the cognitive-behavioural approach. She also brought in snippets from the process-based approach, which is a relatively recent development in the epistemology of CBT. After the socialization, Ms. Sruthi Annie Vincent, Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Clinical Psychology, AIMS led the group in to the cognitive behavioural assessment approaches. She discussed the relevance of evaluations and how to obtain relevant information from the assessment phase of interventions.
After a short tea break, Dr. Gitanjali led the group into case conceptualization which is a very important technique in CBT. The conceptualization methods help us observe how thoughts, feelings, behaviour and physiological reactions are related to various negative automatic thoughts, intermediate beliefs and core beliefs, which are further influenced by our early experiences and our perspectives regarding them. With the conceptualisation in place, Ms. Lakshmi Saranya, Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, AIMS helped to conceptualise depression, a common mental health concern in cognitive behavioural terms and discussed intervention strategies like behavioural activation that may be utilised for effective treatment.
The post-lunch session focused on how to apply various cognitive techniques like guided discovery, visualisation, distancing, cognitive continuum which are effectively used in CBT. These techniques were introduced and detailed by Dr. Dhanya Chandran, Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, AIMS; some techniques were introduced as activities for the audience while some were demonstrated as role play along with Dr. Gitanjali.
On Day 2, the first half of the workshop focussed on applying CBT to various disorders in the anxiety spectrum. Mr. Sreehari, Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, AIMS initiated the group into using CBT for Generalised Anxiety Disorders after which Ms. Sruthi continued into using CBT strategies for Panic Disorder. Various techniques like behavioural experiments, exposure, problem-solving and relaxation were discussed by both of them and the group came up with interesting queries that generated much deliberation. After the tea break, Ms. Lakshmi guided the group into using CBT for Social Anxiety Disorders with special focus on techniques for enhancing interpersonal effectiveness. Ms. Vidya Menon, Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Clinical Psychology, AIMS discussed CBT techniques for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, especially strategies like cognitive defusion, mindfulness and acceptance that are increasingly being found effective. Mr. Sreehari further elaborated on reattribution strategies and their application in Somatization Disorder. In the afternoon following lunch, Dr. Devvarta Kumar, Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore kept the audience charged with his thought-provoking session on CBT for Delusions.
The Department of Clinical Psychology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences observed World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2019. In connection to the event, the department organised a poster competition and exhibition. The theme for this year is ‘Suicide Prevention’ with the aim of
The poster exhibition was on key themes on suicide prevention, risks and protective factors, help seeking and mental health-based services available in the community, contributed by students from campus and outside spreading the message of mental health and well-being. Mr. Madhu Bhaskaran, renowned motivational speaker, was the guest of honour. The MPhil Clinical Psychology trainees performed a mime in connection to the theme.
The Department of Clinical Psychology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, organized a three-day National Conference on “Promotion of School Mental Health Programme” during July 12 - 14, 2019 on the theme - “Let’s come together to ensure that School Mental Health programme reaches every child; a promise for better tomorrow!”
The school is an ideal place to promote mental health of children and adolescents, providing an opportunity for their cognitive, emotional, social and behavioural development. Currently, school-going children across the country face wide range of problems such as:
In the current scenario, the need of the hour is having trained school mental health professionals capable of understanding the growing child with multiple issues, and allowing him to develop positive mental health. Hence the programme consisted of multidisciplinary team of eminent professionals, sharing a common platform, to create a new paradigm in the area of school mental health.
Overall, the conference aimed to critically analyse the current status of school mental health programme and explore barriers to its effective implementation, and provide impetus to crystallizing and consolidating the school mental health programme.