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Trauma & Healing

Trauma and Healing (T&H) aim to facilitate psycho-social and psycho-educational group and individual counselling in order to foster a positive self-image and enhance social skills in communities. The context of the environment and the poverty stricken livelihoods of the beneficiaries (children, youth, adults and the elderly) who live in the low income communities of the Western Cape expose them to mental and physical abuse, trauma, physical and mental illness, injury, abandonment, hunger and desperation.  The exponential growth in population in these areas has resulted in a lack of services and infrastructure.  The Catholic Welfare and Development offers these communities the Trauma and Healing programme, comprehensively, addressing these critical issues.

Trauma and Healing facilitates psycho-social and psycho-educational group and individual counselling to staff and in communities where CWD works in order to assists people to deal with trauma, to foster a positive self-image and enhance social skills in communities.

The programme facilitates healing interventions through therapeutic art therapy (using the medium of dance, music, poetry, drawing, sharing in a nine session process about themselves, their thoughts/feelings and challenges they might face or have overcome), cognitive behavioural therapy, workshops and individual and group trauma support group sessions. The intervention aims to identify symptoms and behaviour and assists beneficiaries to discover themselves, thus eventually, restoring a sense of self-worth.  The intended outcome is resilient, caring, healthy, self-reliant and socially functioning families and individuals. This in turn helps realise a self-reliant society.


The Need

In the Cape Flats where communities are impoverished and often crippled by the evils of crime, gangsterism, drug abuse, child abuse, female abuse and alcoholism, the need for trauma counselling and to facilitate some kind of emotional and mental healing and well-being is crucial.

What We Do
The Trauma & Healing Programme facilitates both psycho-social and psycho-educational group and individual interventions with the aim of fostering resilient, creative, caring, healthy, self reliant youth,  and optimal socially functioning families including the elderly.  This in turn fosters resilient, creative and caring communities, and via a ripple effect helps us realize a self reliant society.

How We Do It
A holistic (physical, mental and emotional) approach to healing and well-being is facilitated via group and individual counselling and psycho-therapeutic work that may include the following in the relevant group sessions:

  • therapeutic art
  • craft
  • clay work

Key Focus Areas

  • parenting skills for primary caregivers
  • youth identity formation
  • dealing with trauma
  • coping with chronic illnesses e.g. HIV/Aids
  • empowerment of the elderly suffering abuse

How Do Beneficiaries Access These Services
Awareness of Trauma & Healing services is created via referrals from our Community Development Centres (CDC's), and via the other programmes at CWD with which we are closely integrated, including our relationship with NOAH (Neighbourhood Old Age Homes).

The Result
Psycho-educational / social groups are a means of creating awareness and developing healthy life coping skills in our communities and society. Trauma & Healing promotes pro-social behaviour rather than anti-social behaviour. We bring about healing to impoverished and traumatised communities and build self reliant communities.