6 September, 2014
The training was held at Rihanli National Center for Mental Health, located in the city of Rihanli, Turkey, on the border with Syria. Masa Al-kurdi (Managing Director at IDRAK Research & Development, Dubai), who participated in the first trainings of Syrians in Amman, 2012, delivered the training together with Unni Heltne, psychologist at the Center for Crisis Psychology and Children and War Foundation. Of the 21 participants (11 women, 10 men), the majority were psychologists. The majority of the participants worked at the center, while a smaller group worked at a similar center with Syrian refugees within Rihanli and Kilis, Turkey. Most of the participants were well-experienced and showed good clinical skills. Most had prior experience in treating seriously traumatized people, and expressed that the techniques provided by the TRT training were new to them and would be useful. They were also interested in using the provided techniques in individual treatment, and with adults. During the training they shared some of the extremely traumatizing experiences Syrian children are exposed to, e.g. witnessing parents and others being tortured and raped in front of them, witnessing the killing of parents and other family members, being buried over long time under collapsed buildings and having to run from shooting and shelling in order to save their lives. As expected, they reported that serious symptoms of PTSD, anxiety and depression were observed among both children and adults seeking help at the Center. Parts of the training was sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway.
Photos by Dina Sawaf, Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organizations (UOSSM).