Training in Rwanda
Since 2009, Drs Langberg and Monroe, along with Rwandan colleagues have provided basic counseling and trauma recovery training in Kigali, Rwanda to representatives of nineteen different non-profit organizations. Each of these representatives currently provides care to a wide range of traumatized individuals. Training sessions review symptoms and diverse expressions of PTSD as well as practical recovery strategies, advanced listening skills, and special topics from addictions to domestic violence to addictions. Training local counselors often means providing care for caregivers. Following their 2011 trip, Dr. Monroe reported,
“We were amazed to discover that many of these very capable care givers had never told their own stories of trauma, even as they had helped others for the 17 years since the genocide. It was moving to see these hardworking people take the time to express their own hurts and losses. Once we got them talking, it was hard to get them to stop talking!”
Along with the popular story-telling exercises, the participants found the live counseling sessions and practice to be most helpful. For many it was the first time they had observed live counseling as part of a training exercise. The exercises prompted good conversations about culture, counselor power, and the purpose of talking and tears.
Since 2011, Drs Monroe and Langberg have returned in 2013, 2014 and 2015 to continue supporting the trauma recovery work by institutions such as International Justice Mission, World Vision, and the Bible Society of Rwanda. The most recent trip, July 2015, brought together GTRI students and Rwandan caregivers in a community of practice designed to encourage and support the work being done by the Bible Society.