On the 3rd day of August 2017, Dr. Adekunle Jinadu, a clinical Psychologist, was invited to the programme Today on STV, to share his take on the issues of psychology and parental remedy on the aftermath and recent release of the six children from their abductors at Model College, Igbo-Nla, Epe.
The clinical Psychologist gave a straight answer concerning the question about the best persons to proffer a therapy concerning the strange attitude of the recently released children; the parents or the psychological expert?
He gave a straight answer by saying: “They have to first of all go through psychological assessment and evaluation”, after his short preamble from the humane aspect of life, which explains a natural attitude of humans reacting in sympathy to a situation of such, in the form of support and help.
He went further to say if the support and help in the form of sympathy it is not properly organized, it can be counterproductive. Because these children have been cut off from their normal environment to a strange environment and since traumas normally leave psychical scar on the victims involved, proper psychological assessment should be carried out on the victims because of the damage that has been done.
He also said, “as a result of the recurrent issue of abduction like the Boko Haram, Chibok Girls, there should be a document that outlines the process that an individual should undergo after regaining freedom from kidnappers and do Psychological debriefing. He said the essence is to normalize the activities of the victim.
Another clinical psychologist, Adedeji Badmus, who was also a guest on the programme, from the Lagos studio of Silverbird Television, also shared his view concerning the aftermath of the release of the kidnapped victims; when asked, if the victims’ parents would like to take their children back to the same school that they were abducted from.
He went ahead to say: “they should allow the children to have a say in any decision made”. He also said: “they should consult professionals in that field before making any decision so that they can be guided properly. But above all, the children should be totally involved in the exercise and decisions made by the psychologist”.
Still talking about the abduction, he stressed on the issue of a broad personality change in the lives of the victims, as they change from who they are to something else, which is as a result of all they had experienced in the strange environment they were taken to.
The issue of trust also came up when he was asked about “trust” when it comes to doing the job of a psychologist, and how best to help the victims understand the importance of a psychologist. He said: “Genuine Empathy” can be the best form of therapy to be applied in such situation.
According to him, the application of genuine empathy can be exemplified by empathizing with the victims as they can be helped by the psychologist to help themselves; which he calls “Partnership”. He also said that, “the psychologist guides the victims to get better, even when what he calls “re-enforcement” (i.e. when the victim starts exhibiting anxiety and fear of the situation) comes in.
Explaining further, Mr. Adekunle Jinadu made the idea of therapy more explicit as he expressed that the essence of therapy is to make an individual independent and functional maximally. Concerning the aspect of society and family in this issue, he said in Africa, we have so much concern about ourselves. For this reason, if something of this nature occurs, everyone would rally around the victim. But beyond that, the aspect of discrimination and stigmatization carries the day.
In conclusion, he said the capturing of the abductors is not the permanent solution but therapy can be applied especially when they show remorse of what they have done.