Dr Geor­gette Sav­vides

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Prestige (Lebanon) - - Interview - Con­duc­ted by MI­REILLE BRIDI BOUABJIAN

Dr Geor­gette Sav­vides ma­nages Psy­chealth cen­ter. From Greek and Egyp­tian ori­gins, she is psy­cho­lo­gist hol­ding a double Mas­ters in bu­si­ness psy­cho­lo­gy and cli­ni­cal psy­cho­lo­gy. Du­ring her pre­sence at the Egyp­tian em­bas­sy in Le­ba­non, for a confe­rence on how to in­te­grate chil­dren with spe­cial needs in so­cie­ty, Dr Geor­gette Sav­vides gave this in­ter­view to Pres­tige. You are di­rec­tor of Psy­chealth. What is Psy­chealth? Psy­chealth is a ser­vice that pro­vides psy­cho­lo­gi­cal sup­port on a one to one ba­sis to in­di­vi­duals from the age of 16 to 65. The the­ra­py is ba­sed on cog­ni­tive be­ha­vio­ral the­ra­py a well- stu­died and es­ta­bli­shed the­ra­peu­tic tech­nique that works with se­ve­ral dif­fi­cul­ties. Psy­chealth al­so of­fers cor­po­rate work­shops in­clu­ding time ma­na­ge­ment, soft ma­na­ge­ment and soft skills. Psy­chealth al­so is in­vol­ved with se­ve­ral co­ope­ra­tion’s; in well­ness and em­ployee as­sis­tant pro­grams for their em­ployees.

What is the best way in your opi­nion to in­te­grate chil­dren with spe­cial needs in so­cie­ty? Se­ve­ral ideas in­clude need to be ta­ken in­to consi­de­ra­tion: • Ac­cep­tance of the so­cie­ty to spe­cial needs. • Education and pre­ven­tion in schools, uni­ver­si­ties, ru­ral areas and so­cie­ties in ge­ne­ral through work­shops, ra­dio and TV pro­grams. • En­cou­ra­ging more NGO and pri­vate sec­tor to of­fer ser­vices nee­ded to sup­port their spe­cial needs and ta­lents. • In­vol­ve­ment of mu­sic and sports as these are their main strengths. • Of­fe­ring ap­pro­priate edu­ca­tio­nal pro­grams in­clu­ding schools and uni­ver­si­ties to in­te­grate them.

There are se­ve­ral ca­te­go­ries of chil­dren with pro­blems. How should the so­cie­ty be­have to help them cope? Again ac­cep­tance and know­ledge are of ut­most im­por­tance. When I un­ders­tand the pro­blem and know it, I will be able to deal with it bet­ter. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion with em­pa­thy is the se­cond step. When I have clear and ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion that is spe­ci­fied and tar­ge­ted at the pro­blem I can gain mu­tual so­lu­tions that can work with the child.

We know that you are al­so an ac­tress. Do you think that art is an ef­fi­cient re­me­dy along with the me­di­cal sup­port? Art has al­ways been known over the cen­tu­ries to ac­cen­tuate emo­tions; no mat­ter the kind of emo­tions. It had al­ways brought en­train­ment to the pu­blic. It of­fers you the op­por­tu­ni­ty to live in a world of ima­gi­na­tions. It could al­so act as an edu­ca­tio­nal tool. So to me ac­ting is a form of me­di­ca­tion for sure and cinema or dra­ma has hel­ped me a lot with self- ex­pres­sion and lear­ning things, let alone hel­ped me change my mood in ma­ny oc­ca­sions.

Young people are more and more dis­con­nec­ted from their sur­roun­ding and connec­ted to their smart­phone. What is your opi­nion? So­cial me­dia and phones be­come now the cen­ter of at­ten­tion. The world we are all in­vol­ved and re­vol­ved around. Our chil­dren grew up seeing and kno­wing on­ly this form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and in­ter­ac­tion. What­sapp… ins­ta­gram and FB be­come their friends and sources of in­for­ma­tion. Al­though I would de­fi­ni­te­ly wish to go back to the old black house phone when people used to call you be­fore even drop­ping by… I ac­cept that this is the trend now and going against it will just create a ge­ne­ra­tion gap that is un­ne­ces­sa­ry. Ho­we­ver, I stron­gly ad­vise su­per­vi­sion and close mo­ni­to­ring from the pa­rents un­til the chil­dren are old enough to know best. What ad­vices could you give to pa­rents to bet­ter deal with their per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tion with their chil­dren? Se­ve­ral things: • Pa­tience and ac­cep­tance that they are dif­ferent and from a dif­ferent ge­ne­ra­tion. • Tea­ching by mo­de­ling. If I want my child to do so­me­thing let me do it first. • Com­mu­ni­ca­tion with em­pa­thy un­ders­tan­ding and open min­ded­ness. • Fors­te­ring in­de­pen­dence and as­ser­ti­ve­ness. • Be­frien­ding them with li­mits and su­per­vi­sion.

Dr Geor­gette Sav­vides.

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