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Today is International Women’s Day. To honor the day we’re highlighting a day in the life of  a CVT psychologist.

   

Greetings from Moba in the Democratic Republic of Congo!

In my work as a psychotherapist and trainer, I’m teaching local counselors how to lead therapy groups to help the Congolese people heal from the traumas they endured during the civil war.

One day last fall, I went with two of the Congolese counselors to the community of Karonja to lead the second session of a women’s group. Most of the women in this group are 30-39 years old – just like me – but their lives have been very different than mine since they lived through a civil war.

DRC PSCs in the Landcruiser

Congolese counselors Mado, Josée, Benjamin, Georgine, and Francoise in the back of the Landcruiser heading out to the field to facilitate group sessions.

The counselors introduced the topic of the week and asked the women to think back to the time before the war and try to identify one happy memory that they could share with the group. It took a little while for them to begin to feel comfortable and talk freely about their memories. They began generally talking about the joy that existed in their lives before the war and how things were better -- that they could move around freely walking from village to village.

There were stories about the joys of marriage proposals, wedding celebrations, eating and drinking with friends and families, and moving into homes as they started new lives with their husbands.

There were stories about being young and selling charcoal and other products so they could make some money to buy things like soap and salt, and how happy their children would be when they returned with these things.

The simplicity of these happy memories reminded me of the pettiness of all the things that I regularly allow myself to get caught up in and frustrated by. The group, which was designed to help members reconnect with their own feelings of joy through happy memories, had done the intended for me. By the time the group ended, we all felt reenergized and once again inspired.

Wishing you peace and joy,

Sara Feldman 
Psychotherapist and Trainer
Moba, Democratic Republic of CongoCVT-Donate-Now-button_JPEG.JPG
   

P.S. Watch for our monthly Postcards from CVT! Each message will give you a glimpse into what our employees are experiencing as we help men and women find hope and healing after torture.

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