Holistic Trauma Care Project
In the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes that struck Nepal, the Isha family was called in to support its local community and various organizations in holistic trauma care. We began, in the immediate aftermath, to offer psychological first aid and body-based self regulation and relaxation classes to groups and individuals in need.
It became clear, however, that care would be needed longterm, through a multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary approach. Needs change as recovery takes place; different needs require different approaches. We understand that not one cure fits all, and that healing is a process not just a goal.
As of February 2016, Isha, with the help of its partners in Nepal and abroad, began organizing and implementing holistic trauma workshops and holistic counseling services. These were offered in the earthquake-hit areas of Nepal and in other communities that deal directly with trauma. Participants including educators, community leaders, local health care personnel, the Nepal police, government employees for the ministry of women and children, psychosocial counselors.
Being present: We are on site in Nepal and are in contact with various communities, from urban to rural, from literate to illiterate, diplomatic to agricultural, from expatriate to local. each community has its own dynamic and different specific needs. We aim to be aware of these and respect each community as unique and fully capable of recovery. Our team is a mix of non-nepalis and nepalis from different ethnic heritages and from urban and rural backgrounds.
Listening & identifying the needs: Our mission to provide holistic tools for recovery and self reliance is clear. Yet we understand that effective support is one that answers to a real need by those actually requesting help. Through dialogue with communities, we cooperatively identify the needs and tailor the offerings accordingly.
Offering: Giving and receiving go hand in hand. We believe that those in need are fully capable of moving forward given the right support and circumstances. We respect them as survivors of hardship rather than “victims”. We work in partnership with communities and we request an exchange for the services we provide: whether that is “paying it forward”, offering a small monetary token, a meal, housing our volunteers or helping in coordinating events. This co-creative participation allows for ownership and empowers all.
Ownership & integration: We offer specific holistic tools, counsel and support. In doing so we know that only those tools that can be taken on and integrated into the person’s behavior, psyche, or into a community’s way of being, will create positive long term change. We therefore ask that communities choose what they need from this group of skills and services before we do trainings. We assist them in understanding them and adapting them, as need be, to their environment.
Sustainable: Our goal in all of this work is to empower individuals and groups to be more self sufficient and empowered–psychologically, financially, socially. Our aim is that the holistic tools we impart and that people imbibe assist them in the short and long term. They are adaptable and practical.