CMBM commits to initiate the first phase of its expansion program immediately and to implement it in the eighteen months beginning January 1, 2008.
CMBM will begin by working with UNRWA (our primary partner), to recruit the most gifted and committed counselors, teachers and administrators for the initial six-day training. CMBM international faculty and its current Gaza leadership team, drawn from UNRWA and a number of Gaza NGOs, lead the training programs during this phase. During the basic training, 150 local leaders learn the science and practice of stress management, self-care, self-expression and mind-body medicine and use the CMBM small-group approach to address their own personal stress and trauma. In the five-day advanced training several months later, they learn how to teach the model they have learned to children, individually, in the small groups they will form and in the classroom setting. All participants attend all phases of the training program free of charge. Local faculty are given stipends for their work, and participants, where appropriate, are provided with scholarships for room and board as well as free tuition.
Once trained, these local leaders will be deployed, together with fifty previously trained Gaza mental health professionals, into UNRWA schools to provide psychological counseling and support to children.
The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM) is a 15-year-old 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, DC which has trained 1500 health, mental health and education professionals in the United States. For the last ten years, CMBM has been working in areas where violent conflict and natural disaster have killed, maimed and emotionally traumatized large numbers of people and produced major social and economic disruption.
Over the last two years, CMBM's 90 Gaza trainees have led over 300 intensive , ten-week long 'mind-body' groups for traumatized children and adults (with a total of 3,000 participants) and have integrated our approach into their work with some 15,000 individuals in many schools as well as in hospitals and clinics-with battered women, the chronically ill, the disabled, and ex-prisoners. These programs are ongoing in every major organization-governmental, non-governmental and the UN-that is dealing with psychological trauma and psychosocial issues.
Founded on the principle of teaching and empowering people to help themselves and one another, this program includes psychological self-care, scientifically validated mind-body approaches (including meditation, guided imagery, biofeedback and yoga), self-expression (through words, drawings and movement) and small group support. CMBM has trained more than a thousand health and mental health professionals, teachers and community leaders who are living and working in devastated areas to deal with their own stress and trauma, and has equipped them to effectively disseminate the CMBM model throughout their communities.
The program will be directed by James S. Gordon, M.D., the CMBM's founder and director. Dr. Gordon, who is a clinical professor at Georgetown Medical School and chaired the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy, created the Healing the Wounds of War program in 1997 and has personally directed all its trainings. The senior faculty members who will work with him (physicians, psychologists, nurses and clinical social workers) have participated for many years in the CMBM's work in war and post war situations (including Gaza) as well as with New York City firefighters post-9/11,the post-Katrina New Orleans population, and medical school faculty throughout the U.S. This international faculty includes Christians, Muslims, and Jews.
The administrative and operational components of the program will be managed by CMBM staff experienced in working in war and post-war situations including Kosovo, Macedonia, Israel, and Gaza. In-country Gaza staff have extensive background managing health and mental health programs with the most prominent Gaza institutions and management experience implementing psychosocial programs and CMBM's model throughout Gaza.
2013: If further funds are secured, CMBM will expand the program to reach the remainder of the population in Gaza.
The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM) is seeking funding sources to expand their growing Global Trauma Relief work. CMBM's programs in Gaza and Haiti are growing, and other countries have requested training for clinicians, community leaders, and children in mind-body skills to rapidly and effectively reduce their stress and trauma. Please find more information online at www.cmbm.org, or contact [email protected].