Dar Assalam for Intercultural Exchange (NGO, Lebanon)

Trauma training in Dar Assalam Wardaniye Shouf Iqlim al Charoub

Dar Assalam is an intercultural center. Founded 1994 by Mr. Said Mohammed Arnaout and his German – Lebanese friends. Since 2009 Dar Assalam is registered as NGO in Lebanon. Its aim is to enable people from different cultures, religions and political parties to improve peaceful movements in Lebanon. As cofounders, Friederike and Uwe Weltzien, organize Trauma trainings since more than 10 years for women who work with traumatized people, mostly refugees, either from the Palestinian population in Lebanon or Syrian refugees. Our main partner in Lebanon is the Organization Najdeh, who offers psychosocial social support in every Palestinian camp in Lebanon. Najdeh sends us at least 10 members for each seminar, so we can offer 4 -6 more places for women from other social organizations in Lebanon. It is important for us that women from the Palestinian camps have the possibility to meet other women from Lebanese NGO´s

Friederike Weltzien recognized the big need for help in dealing with Trauma, while she was living in Lebanon for 9 years (1999 -2008) As a Psychotherapist trained in Trauma therapy she developed a special concept on Trauma healing in Lebanon with her partners in Dar Assalam, Dr. Edward Bardeen, who is originally from Palestine, and another Psychotherapist Ruth Simon-Weidner. The participants must learn how to deal with traumatized persons, while most of them suffered themselves from traumatic experiences. We decided that the training needs 4 modules, every one for 8 days. Traumatized people need a safe place, a friendly atmosphere, helpful is a beautiful garden and they need time! It is important, that they experience their own resources. We work with a holistic approach, which includes a lot of creative methods, like music, singing, dancing, poetry writing, painting etc. Our own training is based on body work, as we are originally Dance therapists working with the methods of Somatic Experiencing (SE).

Every module has a headline: In the first module we work on the theme of “Ground”. We need to build up trust in the group, in the trainers, in the house, and in the method. The participants experience how to build up trust and how to use these methods in their own work. We develop even a special language in observing the body reactions on every change they experience. Our focus lies on the reactions of the Autonomic Nerve System. The ANS is the region in our brain and body where trauma healing must take place. 

The second module has the motto “relationships”. We work on the relationships in the group, in their families, in work and how a trustful relationship will help to recover from trauma. They observe the reactions of the ANS in different relationships. They will experience their approach in contact with their own clients.

The third module is “encountering” trauma. They learn based on the previous modules how to cope with traumatic experiences. There are many different possibilities to go through a traumatic event in a safe way, so that the ANS has the chance to learn it is over and the body will be able to relax!

The fourth module has the task of “integration”. The participants will work on a small performance how they experienced their personal changes during the training, and how they can integrate this in their work. There will be the chance of supervision and the offer of further guidance in their work through Zoom sessions.