Course 'Coping with scars'

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The course ‘Coping with scars’

Serious burn wounds often result in aesthetically unattractive scars. Burn wound scars are generally hypertrophic (red, thick and bumpy) and can cause functional restrictions if they are located level with joints, or if (part of) a limb has been amputated. Having scars often causes psychological problems as well. Anxieties, depressions, a negative self-image, social isolation and sexual problems are frequent issues.

In the 1990s, a social skills training was developed in Great Britain for people with 'visible' afflictions. The Dutch Burns Foundation has elaborated this programme further in the course 'Coping with scars'. The therapy uses techniques such as cognitive behaviour therapy, social skills training complemented with body-charts, (Scheffers, 2008) and the mirror technique developed in psychomotor therapy (Schoemaker, 2002).


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Purpose

To favourably influence self-image and develop a more positive body image, by integrating and accepting the scars and focusing attention on the beauty of unaffected body parts.

Target Group

People with burn wound scars (and a negative self-image)

Intended result

To enhance the quality of life for people with burn scars through 8 therapeutic group sessions (6-8 participants) of approximately 5 hours each.

By Who

Psychologist/behavioural therapist of the Dutch Burns Foundation


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Resources

Course book (downloads)

Evaluation

Qualitative response by participants indicates that the course achieves positive effects for a large number of participants. Participants say it helps them deal better with the reactions of other people, helps them have more respect for themselves, and even to adjust their lifestyle. Their body-charts also reveal positive change. See also the article in Seksuologie journal (downloads)

Contact name

Ms. B. Aler