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|Journey to Rwanda - Page 8|
During one break, I see a translator engaged with three participants in a friendly argument about whether asking a patient to open her eyes during a session is "titration" or "pendulation." I love watching them debate the characteristics of each skill and seeing the translator's increasing comfort with the somatic work.
We spend a lot of time in practice groups today. The cases are intense and dramatic, since they deal with the postgenocide symptoms and behaviors of the counselors' patients. Untreated trauma often manifests as violence, and there are stories of domestic violence, of clients who feel forsaken by God, and of clients coming into the counselors' offices and needing to sleep for the entire session. Working somatically helps create a sense of manageability, since the client's trauma story doesn't need to be told, or at least told in great detail, because it "lives" in the body, and we can show the trainees how to work with the body to discharge the trauma.
The training ends with round after round of photo-snapping. There's camaraderie among the participants and with us. One woman, a psychology student, slips a note into my hand thanking me for my "care and responsibility" and then asking if I'll stay in Rwanda and be her friend and aunt. Her note feels like such a blessing to me. There's no question that each of us on the team has learned as much as we offered.