Safe Embrace Trauma Healing (SETH) Program
The Gracias Foundation Vice President and Co-Founder, Elayne Doughty, MA, MFT, has designed the SETH program as a tool to help heal traumas endured by young survivors by empowering local caregivers at the grassroots level to heal their own communities. The SETH program is currently being used in the DRC with survivors of sexual and gender-based violence..
The SETH Model is specifically designed to breathe life into survivors who have been severely traumatized, giving them a sense of respect, autonomy, agency, and power by bringing together a number of recognized trauma treatment approaches:
These three approaches when combined together are a very simple and effective combination of treatment modalities for healing trauma.
Social Rehabilitation places survivors into a strong community of sisters and brothers, where they can heal by being in a supportive, loving and positive relationship to one another. The Creative Arts are embodied - meaning that when survivors engage in playing, dancing, singing, or drumming they can start to feel a new and different relationship to their mind, body and spirit; it is a felt and lived experience. Somatic Awareness Skills then give survivors education, knowledge, and tools to manage and ameliorate their symptoms. When teamed together, these three approaches are powerful as treatments for survivors.
The model of social rehabilitation has been used for decades in the treatment of women survivors of trauma, abuse and substance abuse in the West. At its core, survivors heal in relationship to one another, and are positively affected by the relationships that they have with others. In particular, women who have survived sexual torture and abuse need the safety and security of an all women’s environment where they can feel at ease to heal themselves and their relationship to their communities. The social rehabilitation model is a very powerful way to create a culture of change and transformation. By its nature it offers a new way of seeing life, and usually it has its own precepts and agreements that it asks its members to adhere to. Because survivors live and heal beside one another, strong bonds are created, and each person's self identity is healed, restored and enhanced through the positive mirroring of her sisters and brothers.
Creative Arts Therapies (Art, Music, Dance and Drama Therapy)
Creative Arts Therapies are some of the most powerful ways that we have as humans to express, describe, explore, and potentially heal the vagaries of intense trauma. The Creative Arts are embodied practices - they involve our “whole’ being into the process - and as treatments, they are very effective in addressing a variety of different needs that survivors in severe trauma recovery need.
These are techniques that help trauma survivors begin to heal by teaching them how to calm symptoms and start to feel comfortable and safe in their bodies. Core skills include:
Breathe Life: Core Skills and Competencies
Build strengths and resiliency
Regulate, relax and reset your nervous system
Express your emotions in safe, nurturing, compassionate relationships
Access practical ways to reduce your anxiety, depression, numbing, and intrusive thoughts
Talk about what happened to you and be heard in a safe, loving way
Help one another to heal, create community, develop skills and circles of support
Embrace a new story of survival and empowerment
Learn practical coping skills that you can easily teach to others
Inspire others to learn about themselves, to heal and to help others
Find hope, meaning and energy to create a new life
Experience play, fun, spontaneity as ways to feel health and empowerment
Make a difference
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