The First International Congress of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy will be held in Sarajevo from October 18 to 21 at the Hills Hotel on the topic: “The place of psychotherapy in preserving the health and well-being of children and adolescents.” The Congress aims to highlight the need to increase the awareness of all experts in the field of health, social protection, education and justice about the importance of multidisciplinary and intersectoral cooperation in preserving the health and well-being of children and youth.
The organizer of the congress is BHIDAPA – Bosnia and Herzegovina Integrative Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Association in partnership with UNICEF.
“A child is not the past of an individual, it is his present and future. It seems important to us that through this Congress we send the message that through a responsible relationship with respect and love we nurture the child, and through him and humanity! We hope that the Congress will create a place of true encounter that will foster a relationship of trust and love. ”She pointed out. Mirela Badurina, gestalt psychotherapist and child and adolescent integrative psychotherapist, founder and director of BHIDAPA and president of the Congressional Program Committee.
The congress is a meeting place for various disciplines that will exchange participants, announce new trends, present psychotherapeutic practices to enable participants to raise awareness and strengthen their own capacities, strengthen mutual networks and thus work to better understand the mental health of children and youth within the system. The congress is being organized in this way for the first time in the world.
„At a time when it is often said that children and young people are our future, when we increasingly recognize the importance of health and healthy lifestyles, it is crucial to actively act on the mental health of children and youth, which according to research and practice is not at an enviable level. and it is something that all members of society should take with seriousness and responsibility. This gathering of mental health professionals, who help children and young people through psychotherapy on a daily basis, is needed to connect, improve their knowledge and skills through high quality lectures and workshops and to support and inspire each other for further action. As an expert and as a man, I am looking forward to meeting in Sarajevo and I thank the organizers for the much-needed initiative, which has not been realized in the region so far, and I believe that we will strengthen cooperation and meet much more often in the future. dr. sc. Gordana Buljan Flander, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, director of the Polyclinic for the Protection of Children and Youth of the City of Zagreb.
The idea to organize this Congress was initiated by the results of research in our area, which shows that almost every 4th child is at high risk of developing a mental disorder. There is a large number of children who suffer, and an insufficient number of specialists who recognize the specific symptoms that manifest in children and adolescents.
“Psychotherapy of children is very different from psychotherapy of adults, and that is why specific education is necessary. The use of adult psychotherapy methods in the treatment of children is considered not only inadequate but also unethical. The laws on psychotherapy in the region stipulate that psychotherapists who work with children and young people must therefore have special additional education, “said Sabina Zijadić Husić, psychologist, gestalt psychotherapist and child and adolescent integrative psychotherapist.
The common position of the experts gathered at the congress is that the experts have a responsibility to actively work on preserving the health and well-being of children and youth through multidisciplinary and intersectoral cooperation. “
“The Congress is one of the most important events in the field of science that promotes new scientifically acceptable methods and approaches to supporting children and adolescents. The Congress is important not only for Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also for the entire region of Southeast Europe. The Congress comes at a time when psychiatry and medicine are at a crossroads and when new approaches to mental health care are required, when it is necessary to strengthen collaborative practices, continuity of care, but also to strengthen social inclusion. Let this congress be the first step towards cooperation of local communities, other sectors and policy makers in involving psychotherapists in planning activities to improve children’s health, “said Primarius Dr. Goran Čerkez, Vice President of the Congress Program Committee and Assistant Federal Minister of Health.
“The future of humanity depends on each individual, his feelings, value systems and attitudes towards himself and the environment. The first congress on psychotherapy of children and adolescents aims to show the needs of children, help identify problems and learn optimal approaches to enable positive development of children, meet children’s needs in a quality way and create conditions for proper mental development with optimal encouragement of children’s abilities. President of the Congress, Distinguished Professor Dubravka Kocijan Hercigonja, Child Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, President of the European Interdisciplinary Therapeutic Service for Children and Youth.
Geeta Narayan, UNICEF spokeswoman for the conference, said: “UNICEF would like to see a world where no child dies from preventable diseases and where every child reaches their full potential. To achieve this, UNICEF is monitoring the health needs of children at all ages and recognizes the need for stronger efforts to respond to growing health inequalities. This includes focusing on specific needs and removing barriers based on gender differences that determine whether boys and girls will be able to reach their full potential in health and well-being. ”