The 9-year-old boy would wield a knife and walk
around “as a thug”, savagely hit his sisters and acts pugnaciously towards his
peers, his mother complained.
2 years ago, the little boy, who
lives in poor a family in a refugee camp in Khan Younis Town, southern the Gaza
Strip, saw his father relentlessly beating his mother, after which experience
his family started noticing a negative change in his attitudes towards others.
The boy was referred to Gaza
Community Mental Health Programme by his mother. She explained to the
psychologist there that her son had bad sleep as a result of recurring
nightmares and that he was violent
After meeting with the mother and
the child, he was diagnosed with unidentified disruptive conduct disorders.
A set of therapy techniques were
used with the child during the sessions that were administered to him. They included
training the child on self-assertive skills self-confidence promotion. Besides,
he agreed on a verbal parent-child behavior contract that outlines the rewards
and punishments in order to correct his behavior.
The mother was also included in
the counselling sessions, and was provided with tips on how to deal with her
child, especially through focusing on positive behaviours and validating them,
while ignoring the negative ones. She was also counselled on the negative
impact of corporal punishment and the that it should not be used at all to
discipline her child.
After attending 8 sessions, twice
monthly, the child showed a significant improvement, which has been reflected
on the whole family, especially the relationship between the parents. He also
restored his good relationship with his siblings and friends.
The child is still attending
sessions and the therapists are closely following up with his parents to avoid
any possible relapse.