Family & Community Therapy Project [FCTP]
This is the central charity project of Palestine Trauma Centre in Gaza and its support group in the UK. It aims to maintain and enhance the resilience of Palestinian families and their communities in the face of insecurity, poverty and aggression. The children and their families in the Gaza Strip have experienced repeated severe traumas because of the on-going Israeli attacks and a siege that destroys the lives of all ordinary people. The Family and Community Therapy Project (FCTP) aims to empower children and their families to overcome their complex traumas and resist hardship by strengthening their psycho-social resilience.
Since 2004 when this FCTP started, much has changed in Gaza. Settlers have been withdrawn and the siege has strengthened. Horrific bombardments and invasions occurred in 2008, 2009 and 2012. Resilience in the people is constantly challenged. They are denied ordinary lives, denied Human Rights, denied peace of mind. Palestine Trauma Centre, set up in Gaza City in 2007, directly supports families, building psychological strength from within family units. Palestine Trauma Centre (UK), set up near London in 2010, supports the Gaza mental health workers with professional training. The project now has a team of local workers in Gaza and a support network from outside. It is prepared for emergency action with its rapid-response team in times of crisis and sustained therapeutic intervention during these present times of stress, uncertainty and frustration.
Today, the FCTP has backing from INTERPAL, the Galway Quakers and a London-based funding group called “A Child’s Cry for Help”. The first phase in 2010 was facilitated by the University of Hertfordshire (UK) and funded by INTERPAL and Muslim Aid in London. The second phase, which started in July 2013, is extending its work into schools and community groups.
-To train children and their families through practical skills on how to overcome trauma and enhance their resilience and steadfastness. By challenging fear and despair, their lives have a productive focus which is of benefit to themselves and their families and their society.
-To provide psycho-education to children and their parents.
-To build community solidarity so that no one is alone with a problem. Teachers, parents, youth workers and medical staff can be trained to use psychological techniques to sustain community well-being.
-To help children and families to be like a green stick, which does not break when it bends but will spring back again once released from stress. Without the skills to focus on feelings and manage them, a person is like a dry stick which will be broken when it bends.
The work team consists of a supervisor, a field coordinator, psychologists, social workers, family workers, animators, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and volunteers.
PTC (Gaza & UK) have used and developed therapeutic approaches to be related to the needs and culture of the Palestinian people. All decisions about intervention are made by the local team in Gaza. The basic psychological practices are: Focusing; Family Therapy; Mind Body Medicine; CBT; Complex Trauma-Focusing Oriented Therapy; Play Therapy; Narrative Therapy; Movement and Body Psychotherapy. The activities through which therapy is delivered include Drama, Art, Media skills and Mentoring.
We provide psycho-social caring services free of charge to the most severely traumatized children and adults in all the geographical areas of the Gaza Strip. The team might visit the families at home or the family can go to the centre (PTC) or to some local NGOs to receive the therapeutic services.
The film: support activities and a visit from the Palestine Trauma Center in Britain to the center in Gaza in January 2010
The film: Building bridges of communication between London and Gaza in January 2011.
The film: The first phase of the Family Therapy Project 2010-2012
The film: Family and community Therapy for traumatized children and their families in Gaza 2013.
The film: Noman Jibril, one of the victims of the war, has lost many members of his family and suffered injuries that led to amputation in his hand and his right foot and tells the details of this day and what caused him after the anxiety and the strike and the bad psychological situation and how he changed his life after meeting the Palestine Trauma center.
Watch a short film (6 mins) about the impact of sport training courses on traumatised children and young people in Gaza.There was a significant change at the end of these sport sessions.The symptoms of PTSD significantly reduced from 100% to only 6%.
This is a major achievement and an encouraging result for the development of sport activities to treat traumatized children.