BHIDAPA started working on December 11, 2014, at Radnicka 70 c, in response to research findings on the mental health problems of children and adolescents in our area, which says that almost every 4th child is at high risk of developing mental disorders, which is consistent with worldwide research, WHO indicators and reports that suggest the largest deficit of mental health professionals in the developmental age, and with the aim of launching the education of a specialized education program from integrative psychotherapy and counseling of children and youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and with the goal of ensuring and improving the protection of mental health and optimal conditions for healthy development of every child / adolescent;
Developmental psychotherapy, as a separate and independent profession, occupies a significant place in primary, secondary and tertiary prevention in preserving the health and well-being of children and young people.
As Child Psychotherapy is much different from Adult Psychotherapy which requires specific education, in 2015, BHIDAPA launches, as part of primary prevention, the first educational program in integrative psychotherapy and counseling for children and adolescents, based on a developmental approach to children and young people incorporating the humanistic, holistic and integrative approach aligned with new insights in the fields of neuroscience, developmental psychology, psychotherapy led by Professor Dubravka Kocijan Hercigonja, a neuropsychiatrist and psychotherapist for children and young people, and in collaboration with the D.O.M. Institute.
Students have so far had the opportunity to integrate their knowledge and skills of 24 eminent experts in the fields of neurology, psychiatry, psychology, sociology, system-constellations, especially child and adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy from BiH, Croatia, Slovenia, England, Malta, Serbia and America.
On 6th June, 2016 in Antwerp, we have become an equal member of the European Interdisciplinary Therapy Service for Children and Youth (EIATSCYP) and the first European accredited educational program in the field of integrative psychotherapy and counseling of children and adolescents in Bosnia and Herzegovina. More
In September 2017, our country becomes richer with the first nine European licensed child and adolescent integrative psychotherapists who have successfully fulfilled all the requirements of the educational program according to European requirements, and successfully passed the final exam in front of a three-member commission composed of Dubravka Kocijan-Hercigonja, MD – PhD, Vera Daneš-Brozek, MD – PhD, and Lidija Pecotić PhD, and earned the title of Child and Adolescent Integrative Psychotherapist.
Thus, our country gets the first nine European licensed child and adolescent integrative psychotherapists. More
By the end of 2017, by a decision of the BHIDAPA Assembly, the Association’s Statute is being expanded with the primary objective of reaching the highest standards in respecting the Convention on the Rights of the Child through advocating the creation of conditions for the opening of an Interdisciplinary Therapeutic Child, Youth and Family Health Protection Center.
In May 2018, modeled on and with the selfless support of the staff of the Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb, headed by Director Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist, BHIDAPA opens the first Interdisciplinary Therapeutic Child, Youth and Family Health Protection Center in BiH.
From 18th till 21st OCTOBER, 2018 @SARAJEVO, was held the First Congress of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy – “Role of psychotherapy in achieving health and well-being for children and adolescents” which aimed to highlight the need to raise awareness among all health, social care, education and justice professionals of the importance of multidisciplinary and intersectoral cooperation in protecting the health and well-being of children and adolescents.
The Congress was a meeting place for different disciplines, institutions and organizations, attended by over 500 participants from 16 countries in the region and the world with 110 lecturers.
The presentations were organized through plenary lectures, round tables, workshops, symposiums and panels.
We were pleased to present the role of psychotherapy through primary, secondary and tertiary prevention in maintaining the health and well-being of children and adolescents through three groups:
A. Mental health of children and adolescents
B. The specifics of the therapeutic approach to the various problems and challenges of growing up of children and adolescents in the new millennium
C. Psychotherapy approach in the treatment of children and adolescents – workshops
With great pleasure, in the beginning of 2019 we launched the First International Journal: “Psychotherapy in achieving health and well-being for children and adolescents”. Developmental psychotherapy, as a separate and independent profession, occupies a significant place in primary, secondary and tertiary prevention in preserving the health and well-being of children and young people. New insights clearly indicate that most psychological distress in adulthood has its roots in childhood.
The aim of the Journal is to increase awareness and emphasize the importance of scientific and professional cooperation in early recognition and specific treatment interventions aimed at children, young people and their parents, as well as institutions, in order to prevent, as far as possible, the development of disorders in adulthood. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is a fundamental value for the promotion of health.
The journal provides an overview of original scientific articles, review articles, professional articles and case studies in various fields that seek to preserve the health and well-being of children and young people.
In February 2019, a collaboration was signed between the Rectorate of the University of Zenica and BHIDAPA, and on October 25th, 2019 at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Zenica, officially started an educational program in the field of Psychotherapy counseling for children and adolescents at community mental health centers.
Graduate integrative psychotherapists for children and adolescents are professional teaching associates: prim. Azra Arnautović, MD-MSc, dipl. psych. Belma Žiga, Đana Lončarica, MSc, dipl.psych. Sabina Zijadić Husić, dipl. psych Selma Gaši, dipl.psych Senka Čimpo i soc.ped Mirjana Gavrić.
We sincerely thank the prim. Goran Čerkez, MD Deputy Minister of the Federal Ministry of Health, Mental Health Project of BiH under the leadership of Irine Puvača MSc, Vice-rector Sabahudin Ekinović PhD and the Faculty of Medicine, University of Zenica, headed by Harun Hodžić, MD – PhD, Dean of the Faculty of Science, on recognizing the importance of special education in the field of child and adolescent psychotherapy and counseling. We believe that this is a significant step forward and the beginning of many years of cooperation to jointly participate in the implementation of educational programs in the field of child and adolescent psychotherapy and counseling, thus becoming the leading in the region in order to provide unique standards of education aimed at nurturing the health, protection and well-being of children and young people, and thus and society as a whole. The plan is to prepare a master’s degree program in the field of child and adolescent integrative psychotherapy.
We must not forget as a society, as our professor Dubravka Kocijan Hercigonja says, that the future of each individual and humanity generally depends on the child, his or her development of the creation of the self and the world around it.
In December 2019, our Education Center was visited by the EAIP Commission. We hosted the President of the European Association for Integrative Psychotherapy, Bruno Van den Bosch, and EAIP Board Member Hilda Vleugels. BHIDAPA meets all the criteria for full membership and gaining the status of European Accredited Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy – EAIP.
Official credentials were handed to us in October 2020 in Athens at the annual meeting of the Governing Board of the European Association for Integrative Psychotherapy. This great success of BHIDAPA’s entry into the European Accredited Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy has been enhanced by new diplomas at the formal promotion of second generation child and adolescent integrative psychotherapists and counselors.
In February 2020, the Second Generation of Child and Adolescent Integrative Psychotherapists and Counselors in Bosnia and Herzegovina was promoted at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of the University of Sarajevo.
Examination comission composed of: prof. dr. sc. Dubravka Kocijan Hercigonja, MD, neuropsychiatrist and integrative psychotherapist for children and youth-mentor; prof. dr. sc. Gordana Buljan Flander, clinical psychologist and integrative psychotherapist and prof. dr. sc. Mirjana Graovac, MD, psychiatrist and psychoanaytic pychotherapist, rated the defense of the final exam of the graduates with the highest grade and promoted the second generation of graduate child and adolescent integrative psychotherapists and counselors.
At the solemn ceremony, in the presence of over 150 guests, family members, friends, colleagues, the distinguished professors of the examination commission had adressed to the guests as well as the head of the education program, dr. sc. Mirela Badurina, PhD Goran Čerkez, Deputy Minister of Public Health of the Federal Ministry of Health.
In march 2020, BHIDAPA actively involves in the Oaklander Training Center Global Virtual Supervision. The network brings together experts from psychotherapeutic institutes and centers for children and adolescents from over 25 countries. Supervisions and consultations are intended for psychotherapists for children, adolescents and parents who coordinate their work with the Oaklander virtual model “Just for Now”.
Educational center BHIDAPA provides continuous education, intervision and supervision to our interdisciplinary professional team of the Therapeutic Center for the Protection of Children, Youth and Families, on effective ways of conducting virtual/telephone crisis interventions, diagnostic, counseling and psychotherapy treatment of children, youth and parents in crisis, respecting the prerequisites of the code of ethics for maintaining virtual/telephone treatments.
Skills and knowledge acquired during the global health crisis will benefit the expert team in the post-pandemic period.
In order to contribute to the protection and reduction of the negative impact of the health crisis on the mental health and well-being of children, adolescents and their parents, in May 2020 we created and implemented an Education/Training Project callled Virtual Crisis Intervention “Here&Now” in cooperation with UNICEF BIH, with the support of USAID and the consent of the competent ministries in BIH.
Education/Training aimed to empower professionals from mental health centers, social work centers and educational institutions in BIH in the application of virtual/telephone crisis interventions in working with children, youth and families during Covid-19 pandemic.
More about project realization in final report
We are glad that despite the demanding time, we organized Second International Congress of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy entitled: Importance and possibilities of psychosocial support in protecting the mental health of children and youth, during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. The main partner of the Congress is UNICEF BIH.
We would like to thank to all the lecturers who responded to our call in a short time manner and their willingness to share their knowledge and examples of good practice in changed conditions.
The final exam of the third generation was held in June 2021, combined, live and online. The exam consisted of two parts and included a presentation of the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge and skills of female graduates in the therapeutic treatment of children, adolescents and their parents.
Examination commission composed of: Prof. dr. sc. Dubravka Kocijan Hercigonja, MD, neuropsychiatrist, integrative psychotherapist for children and youth, mentor and chairwoman od the commission; Prof. dr. sc. Gordana Buljan Flander, clinical psychologist and Integrative psychotherapist for children and youth, mentor and committee member; Prof. dr. sc. Mirjana Graovac, MD, psychiatrist, specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry and psychoanalytic psychotherapist, mentor and member of the commission, assessed the defense of the final exam of the graduates in accordance with the demonstrated knowledge and skills.
The chairwoman of the examination commission presented the decision of the commission and promoted the third generation of graduate child and adolescent integrative psychotherapists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia.
Child and adolescent integrative psychotherapists of the third generation of the educational program are: Mia Roje Đapić, Jelena Subašić, Merima Špirtović, Maja Žuljević, Marija Pavlović, Amra Razman, Iskra Mihalj, Katarina Višić i Samira Omerkić (in the order of taking the exam).
The exam and the ceremony were moderated by Belma Šeteta, an integrative psychotherapist in education, After taking the Oath, Jelena Subašić, a representative of the third generation of graduate psychotherapists addressed the gathering and the ceremony was rounded off with a short movie by our graduates about the path of growth and development through 4.5 annual educational program.
Project entitled Basic Skills in the Treatment of Children on the Move and Recovery Plan was implemented in 2021 in cooperation with Médecins du Monde and UNICEF BiH.
The training is intended for experts (psychologists, psychotherapists, pedagogues and social workers), who provide psychosocial support to children on the move in migrant camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Croatia.
Cooperation between Médecins du Monde and BHIDAPA began in January 2021 with the aim of strengthening the capacity of specialists for the specific treatment of children and adolescents on the move, with and without accompaniment in maintaining mental health.
In September 2021, another historic step in the development of the psychotherapy in Bosnia and Herzegovina began. Module on the topic: Integrative psychotherapy, introduction and comparisons, Prof. dr. sc. Gregor Žvelc, psychotherapist, trainer and supervisor, officially opened the first educational program in the field of Integrative Psychotherapy for Adults.
With this new program, BHIDAPA has completed educational programs in Integrative Psychotherapy. At the same time, the fifth generation of educators started education in child and adolescent integrative psychotherapy. We are pleased that our BHIDAPA European accredited educational programs are recognized beyond the borders of our homeland, because we were joined by colleagues from Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Syria.
After the completion of the previous cycle of education “Virtual Crisis Intervention Here&Now”, the goal of the new cycle is to develop and strengthen the established Interdisciplinary Network of experts “Here&Now” in preserving the mental health of children in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The training is aimed at strengthening the capacity of community resilience in order to provide early intervention, promote mental health and emotional well-being of children, adolescents and their families.
In addition to thematic modules, space for supervision issues, the importance of this project is the research/screening of mental health of children and adolescents in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The final phase of the project is a conference where the results and examples of good practice aimed at promoting the mental health of children, adolescents and their families will be presented. We thank the UNICEF project partners in BIH and the EU and the relevant ministries for their trust and support.