Eye Movement De-Sensitisation and Reprocessing-EMDR Training Project
Some time in the future we aim to train clinicians to work with moderate to severe PTSD, using a recognised treatment method known as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing). PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) is a massive problem in Gaza. Reliable estimates suggest that around 700,000 people in Gaza are suffering the moderate to severe symptoms of PTSD. Apart from its debilitating effects on the individuals who suffer from it (nightmares, flashbacks, dissociation, depression – any one of which can lead eventually to psychosis), the impact on the families of the sufferers is just as serious. PTSD sufferers tend to develop unpredictable behaviour, which can lead to violent outbursts and mood swings. In turn, this can terrorise other members of the family, particularly children, and trigger them, too, into traumatic stress which can last all their lives. Long term training for EMDR is not practical yet inside Gaza, but a form of Focusing developed in the US to treat extreme trauma was introduced late in 2013.
FILIAL THERAPY This is a family intervention programme in which the therapist trains and supervises parents as they hold special child-centred play sessions with their own children. This way parents are engaged as partners in the therapeutic process and empowered to be the primary change agents for their own children. Filial Therapy has been refined over 30 years to be a successful preventive programme to strengthen families as well as a therapeutic intervention for depression, anxiety, attachment disruptions and traumatic events.