Counselors Without Borders (CWB) teamed up with Partners of the Americas in April 2010 to provide counseling training in post-disaster situations for counselors, social workers, psychologists, principals, and teachers in Port-au Prince and Jacmel. The CWB team visit was funded by the United States Agency for International Development. The following report describes the activities of CWB while in Haiti.
Following Report taken from Partners of the Americas Website.
Program Report, July 12 2010
From April 8 – 18, 2010, a three-person team of trauma counseling specialists from Counselors Without Borders teamed up with Partners of the Americas to provide training in trauma counseling, specific to post-disaster situations. While in Haiti, the team – Rita Chung, Lewis Aptekar, and Fred Bemak – visited and provided counseling and training at 4 camps for displaced people, a women’s center, and a Center for Trauma begun by two Haitian psychologists in 2008. In addition, the team carried out multi-day training sessions for school directors and teachers in Port au Prince at the College Catts Pressoir, as well as for social workers and psychologists in Jacmel in collaboration with Femmes en Democratie.
Through the trainings, sessions, and focus groups, the counselors encountered common recurring systems of trauma in children and adults. They were able to train 59 people and assist 71 in recognizing and treating the psychological and physical manifestations of trauma. The team reported on one case where a “woman had not gotten out of bed for 3 months and was highly depressed and traumatized. Through a counseling session with the woman and her daughter she was able to talk about her deep feelings of loss and fear, and was able to begin to work through some of her trauma. At the end of the session she actually sat up and got dressed for the first time in 3 months, was smiling, and calling out to us, ‘my friends, my friends.’” Their trip was carried out through a special initiative through Partners’ Farmer to Farmer Program, funded by USAID, and in close collaboration with the Haiti Chapter of Partners of the Americas.