Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) – Resilience Building

Athens, Greece, 14-19 Nov. 2022.

Desert Bloom participated in the retreat of the two-year project; Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) – Resilience Building, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. Athens, Greece, 14-19 Nov. 2022.

The project, which was led by Feminenza International, was designed to support workers dealing with Secondary Trauma. Please check the below piece of news on the project by Feminenza International.

Day 1: Covering the first segment of Managing Mental Trauma. Collaborative sessions of small group passion plays and life stories illustrated the reality of "stop situations" and internal cages, our habitual pitfalls, and the connection to human values and qualities that cause the turning point of change. The second part of the day moved on to a process called the "Field of Fears" – a safe space for people to discover and consciously identify their fears – while not identifying with them. A very contemplative, intimate time for each one.

Day 2: Covering the 2nd segment of Managing Mental Trauma, we enter the “Domain Of Courage”. We had the space and time to go through a quiet introspective process to connect with the higher functioning parts of our brain, through what we cherish, value, and have actively developed as inner qualities. As we reflected upon these inner values and qualities, we were able to register the natural, inner fortification, the strength of our higher functioning nature, our own domain of courage.

Day 3: The first steps into the domain of Forgiveness began with reading the individual unique stories of forgiveness. We were reminded of the complexity of Forgiveness in our lives, the struggle between fear as a stopper versus our higher functioning humanity. What moves it from the personal to the universal and what place it has as an effective influence on the community we live in.

We visited Acrocorinth, an ancient Greek castle with an amazing view if you do the 25-minute steep climb up.

Day 4: We touched on the first and second pillars of Forgiveness – Understanding and Freedom. With the poignant takeaway from the pillar of Understanding – It is impossible to resolve any conflict without each side fully understanding the other from the human aspect. What influences affect their thinking, behaviour and actions instead of being locked on the “labels and stigma” that were stuck on others by us or history? In Freedom – a very simple “ribbon exercise” demonstrated the steps of walking the path to freedom from that which holds us imprisoned in our past, unable to walk into our future.

Day 5: We covered Pillars 3 and 4 of Forgiveness; Remedy and Warmth. The remedial effects of forgiveness were illustrated with very lively, fun small theatre plays, and stories. Demonstrating that carrying unwanted baggage of the past, grudges, resentments, hurts, self-blame, and so on always weigh us down into low functioning and keep us stuck in the circle of fear, anger, violence, and revenge. But we always have the option to put the bag down and let go of it, which is very remedial and freeing. Warmth is at the pivotal turning point as we decide to let go and see ourselves as worthy and deserving of a life free and unburdened of the past.

Please check the photos