models of group trauma management
Hi @Alberto, and thanks for a great and inspiring post, @ybe!
A couple of examples of previous models spring to mind:
- People used Somatic Experiencing techniques with survivors of the Boxing Day tsunami, and with social service workers after Hurricane Katrina, with some success. Here’s a nice TV spot on it being used in a group setting post-Japan earthquake.
- Somatherapy was developed during the military junta in Brasil as a combination of psychotherapy, capoeira and anarchist theory. It favours use of enjoyable, play-based physical activities and emphasises placing individual mental health within the larger political context.
Predictably enough, given my day job, my bias is towards body-based practices, or at least forms of psychotherapy that incorporate some aspect of physical engagement - I don’t know if @ybe already incorporates these ideas in her practice, and in any case other forms of psychotherapeutic intervention are also very effective.
But the advantages of this kind of approach, as I see it, are:
They engage with the somatic anchoring of trauma, bringing quick results.
The physical nature of the practices can help overcome language difficulties, which might be useful in a scenario like Calais.
They can be applied efficiently in a group setting - rather than waiting their turn to speak, everyone engages in the practices at once.
Because individuals can continue to use the exercises outside the therapy session, fewer sessions are necessary, meaning lower costs and/or more people can be seen.
Somatherapy in particular also emphasises the importance of group work as part of building a community of solidarity and support in the face of potentially oppressive political situations; moving beyond reliance on external care to develop personal and political assertiveness.
Of course, acupuncture is also used extensively in relation to trauma, either alone or as an adjunct to psychotherapy. Organisations like World Medicine run multibed acupuncture projects in places affected by natural disasters, war and poverty. I know of at least one British acupuncturist treating people in the Calais camp, but perhaps @Alex Levene would know more about that.