UAE clinic helps teens work on their self-confidence

A therapeutic programme to improve the confidence of teenagers with emotional issues is proving a success, its organisers say.

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DUBAI // A programme to improve the self-confidence of young people who have trouble coping with their emotions is proving to be a success, organisers say.

Bounce Back offers three days a week of training to children whose education and everyday lives have been disrupted because of their emotional difficulties.

Billie-Jae Richards, day therapy centre coordinator, said the Camali Clinic programme is helping the teenagers with their issues and offering them a sense of belonging.

“The difficulties the people face may be affecting their social functioning and their ability to thrive at school and we recognise that they may need some additional support,” she said.

The programme offers behavioural therapy sessions to help develop and improve social skills, change negative thinking and address anxiety and depression.

Suha Al Shuaibat, a speech and language pathologist, said social skills are critical.

“These skills enable us to know what to say, how to make good choices and how to behave in different situations,” she said.

“The major aim is to teach verbal and non-verbal behaviours to improve young people’s abilities to cope with interpersonal expectations.”

This helps children cut out frustration and aggressive behaviour, she said.

Weekly group sessions allow therapists to see how the child is adapting, said Ross Addison, cognitive behaviour therapist at the clinic.

“If we know that one particular young person has difficulties with confidence or self esteem, the team will encourage that person to engage in more of the public speaking or role play activities,” he said.

“The young people present realise they are not alone in dealing with their problems and that there are other people out there also going through a challenging period. We want people to know that they are not alone and that others their age have similar problems.”

The clinic also initiated Bounce Back Junior, which caters to younger children with similar issues.

“We recognised that there were younger children who also needed a similar intensive treatment approach,” Ms Richards said.