Near death experiences, trauma, loss, dissociation, psychotic distortions, drug induced perceptual trips, depressive withdrawals – all valid sources of communication from a different experience of the self and of the world. We seem to be scared of engaging in a dialogue where we share our lived, experiential knowledge. The obvious question is whether we are just scared (and stigma plays a significant role in the genesis of this avoidant tendency) or in addition we lack the tools necessary for such a dialogue. The author’s hypothesis is that language can bridge this void when accompanied by rich nonverbal communicative exchanges (intuition, rapport, empathy, curiosity, acknowledgement of common humanity). Sharing is thus facilitated and isolated experience transformed in the search for meaning and playfulness beyond classification
Civilian populations living in or near combat zones suffer profound trauma and loss and as fighting ends, face immense challenges in post war recovery. Relief and aid, desperately needed, come from many quarters. Those who have suffered also need opportunities to be active players in their own recovery, calling on their own strengths and capacities in the service of repairing damage and building a preferred future.
Every year more than 3,000 Danish children under the age of 18 experience the loss of a parent by death. Another 42,OOO children experience that their mum or dad is acutely hospitalized with a severe illness. One of the basic conditions in working with children in loss and grief is that the responsible adult person involved in the child's unbearable situation makes space for the child to be heard, seen and understood. The key to this work is to denounce the part of our upbringing that taught us that silence is golden. Grief is not an illness, but on the contrary a very tough condition of life. lf we realise that SPEECH is golden, we can help the child continue life in spite of the wounds in the soul that a big grief causes.
The problem of finding and identifying missing persons from the war in Bosnia Herzegovina (1992-95) remains one of the most painful consequences of the conflict. Around 13.000 people are still considered missing. The suffering experienced by the families of missing persons can be viewed as a kind of torture, and therefore considered as a serious violation of human rights. This paper presents findings from a 2 year project working with 20 women with missing family members. Group work was conducted with 20 women at the location where their trauma occurred over a 2 year period.
For more than 13 years the project OmSorg (Dealing with Bereavement) has been a nationwide practical founded school and kindergarten based intervention towards children (age: 0 - 18) in loss and grief. The aim is to inspire and support teachers and kindergarten staff in attending the difficult matters concerning responsible adult help to grieving children. This is done by offering educational materials, giving lectures, consultation and courses, establishing training groups for bereaved children and by political lobbyism. One of the basic conditions in working with children in loss and grief is that the teachers share a common approach on what their basic responsibilities are.