From November 8 – 14, the creators of the Mind-Body Medicine Psychosocial Support Program, based at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine (Washington, D.C.), were visiting Ukraine in a group led by Dr. James Gordon.
The visit included group supervisions run by American experts in Kyiv and Ivano-Frankivsk, for representatives of 12 regions of Ukraine who, as part of the USAID Public Health System Recovery and Resilience Activity, were trained in the Mind-Body Medicine Program and became facilitators six months ago. They mastered stress management techniques and self- and mutual support skills and started group sessions with community members. Today, the facilitators have joined together in a community of practice in order to share their group-leading experiences, discuss their achievements and challenges, and work on practical exercises.
Dr. Gordon’s team not only met with facilitators, but also attended group sessions with community members. Interaction with teenagers in Ivano-Frankivsk who had completed the 8-week course and were ready to share their feelings and impressions was especially touching. Many teenagers said exercises, such as “soft belly” breathing, meditation, drawing, shaking, and certain dance moves, helped them learn to relax when they needed to or, on the contrary, focus on the action at hand. It has primarily helped them in their studies, so that, for example, they can be focused but not overly stressed when taking tests. Some participants also reported that their communication with friends had improved.
Following the visit, the Center for Mind-Body Medicine team praised these first results of the intervention in Ukrainian communities. Keep up the good work!