This entry may be a bit of a ramble…bear with me. Do you ever have that feeling that you may have just stumbled upon something, but can’t name it? I’ve been feeling that a lot lately. Life is becoming a huge and confusing revelation.
If you read my last post then it probably comes as no surprise that the idea of healing would become important to me, but that is only part of the story. Last year I began working with refugees and my main responsibility was to administer a virtual therapy project. What began as very promising only produced moderate results which was at first disheartening, but got me to thinking. Was it a problem with psychotherapy or the fact that therapist and client were not able to be in the same room? Does the healer/needer of healing relationship pose a problem in terms of power dynamics? How can we mitigate that without blurring boundaries? How necessary are bounderies? Our refugees tended to be from the same region…what does collective healing look like? If the problem was psychotherapy then what would be a more meaningful alternative? What role can nature play? What role does ceremony play? What role does activism play? Does sharing one’s story in this context help or harm? Can that even be measured?
I have the feeling that traditional medicine could be helpful in this situation, but have not had the opportunity to test out this theory and am hesitant to open those wounds. I also think that in the face of senseless death that ceremony could give a sense of meaning. So many have not been able to bury their dead. I didn’t realize how important that was until working with this population. When we conducted a ceremony for Day of the Dead some people reacted in ways that made me fear for their safety. I did not feel prepared to contain that grief. How does one prepare? Since then I have stepped down from the position as I did not feel equipped to give what was necessary, but I still have constant contact with the group. I hope to one day work with a similar population, but with at least a couple of these questions answered (or somewhat clearer).
Anyone have any thoughts they’d like to share?