Trauma-sensitive counselling and support
The women’s counselling centres run by medica mondiale offer a wide range of support for traumatised women, from open conversation groups and specialist trauma therapy sessions to material support and assistance in finding accommodation or employment. Some women also find temporary refuge in medica mondiale shelters. The organisation’s workers respond to the personal support needs of each individual woman who seeks help from medica mondiale projects.
In addition to the psychologists and psycho-social counsellors, all staff members of the local medica mondiale organisation (doctors, midwives, lawyers) need to be able to identify signs of traumatisation and of experience of violence even if the women do not talk directly about their experience, as the feeling of shame and the fear of stigmatisation prevents many women from doing so. In the various counselling settings – medical treatment, help in finding work or living quarters, legal advice – staff can engage with their clients in a sensitive and empathetic way, thereby making it possible for women to confide in them and to receive additional support for dealing with their trauma, perhaps by being referred to counsellors or psychologists. It is already a first success if, in the midst of adverse living conditions, the staff member is able to offer the clients a little bit more security and help in overcoming their social isolation by means of material support, medical treatment and attentive dialogue.