Trauma Therapy for War Survivors - Eastern DRC
War survivors in eastern Congo suffer some of the worst trauma in the world: rape, torture, abandonment or death of husband and children, loss of home, rejection by society and extreme poverty.
To combat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Dr. Bentley teamed up with Gunilla Hamne to create a trauma healing process for rape survivors in eastern Congo. Treating women at Ushindi Center, they found that a combination of TFT tapping, cognitive therapy and group work improved the women's lives by reducing debilitating PTSD symptoms, such as insomnia, startle response, irritability, phobias, panic attacks, headaches, inability to concentrate, psychosomatice illnesses, depression and hopelessness. This trauma healing process has also had positive results with war survivors at other NGOs and displaced people of all ages living in camps in eastern Congo.
Our second goal is to build a formal trauma-healing component into the Centre Ushindi curriculum, and to create a Trauma Healing Training center within the center for peer counselors to treat and train other women in the community. Peer counselors will be chosen from the community and undergo training to implement the trauma-healing curriculum and to become group counselors. The goal is to develop sustainable mental health and healing programs in an area where they did not previously existed.
Helping One to Help Many
Ushindi Center is unique in that it empowers women by teaching them how to heal trauma in themselves and others. All women graduating from Ushindi Center have been trained to be Certified Trauma Healers from Peaceful Heart Network, Sweden.