Psychosocial work, trauma-sensitive
Together with partner organisations, medica mondiale has developed approaches to psychosocial support for survivors that are adapted to the respective contexts and are based on a stress- and trauma-sensitive approach.
Psychosocial counsellors support those affected, helping them overcome their traumatic experiences. They know and understand the concerns and needs of the women, as well as the taboos in their society, so they can support them in a trauma-sensitive way to regain their self-esteem and develop prospects for the future. Counsellors often also involve the social environment, such as partners or other family members, in this psychosocial counselling.
The approach taken by medica mondiale has its focus not on the suffering but primarily on the strengths and resources of the women and girls affected by violence.
The counsellors help survivors to tap into their individual, cultural and collective resources, uncovering their buried power and strengths. They learn to take responsibility for their own healing process, which then enables them to avoid dependency on support services as far as possible. Women’s groups provide a space where the clients can strengthen each other.
The implementation of trauma-sensitive counselling differs from community to community, but the goal is the same: survivors of sexualised violence learn to live independently and safely, in spite of their experiences of violence. And they gain a social environment that acknowledges their suffering, but also their strength.