Friday, March 26, 2010

Ushindi Center Women become Trauma Healers

Ushindi Center women with their Certificates.

Those of you following my blog may remember that Ushindi Center women have received trauma therapy in the past from a Swedish therapist named Gunilla Hamne.

The Founder of Peaceful Heart Network, Gunilla has been treating genocide survivors in Rwanda for several years. She teachs TFT, a form of energy psychology, in which the practitioner taps gently on acupressure points on the hands, face and chest to bring relief to trauma symptoms.

Gunilla taught me the technique last fall, and together we treated all the women, then taught them to treat their trauma symptoms themselves. I must admit I was skeptical at first until I saw the results!
Gunilla teaches body-awareness to teen-age mothers at Ushindi Center.
They learned the process quickly. They now report that they use it on a daily basis to relieve symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which are triggered by their difficult living conditions. (We learned that worry about their children and landlords creates stress, which brings back past traumatic memories with their accompanying emotional distress and physical problems)

Personally, I would not have believed how effective this technique is if I had not witnessed the women’s recovery myself. Last week we interviewed them one by one and recorded the miraculous changes they’re experiencing: insomnia and migraine headaches gone, mental confusion replaced with clarity, panic attacks gone, despair and depression lifted, anger turned to kindness, tension to relaxation . . . the results are extraordinary.

So over a two week period, Gunilla and I trained them to treat other people's PTSD. Then working in pairs, they demonstrated the technique and we evaluated their skill level. All passed the test and now possess a certificate of proficiency from Peaceful Heart Network.

The women are very proud of their achievement. Many speak of treating their children and neighbors, so the circle of healing widens. Bringing relief to their country with energy psychology, they are probably the only group of women survivors of sexual violence in Congo to be certified as trauma healers!

With love and gratitude,

1 comment:

Why? said...

Great job here Dr. Victoria, teaching Trauma Therapy to the women is a great idea!