Nov. 5 & 6/2022, Ukraine Community Society of Ivan Franko

EMDR4 Ukraine- Group Therapy for women whom war has displaced

Have you ever had that moment where you feel that all your experience has led you to one particular moment? 

This is where I found myself to be on Nov. 5th & 6th as I stood as part of an Emotional Protection Team in a 2 day Trauma Healing Group for women & their families displaced by the war in the Ukraine.

Under the expertise & director of EMDR Therapist, Crystal Arber MSW, RSW, RCC, (Trauma-Transformed) and her team who have been trained with Dr. Ignacio Jarero , the world pioneer in the world of EMDR therapy and is known for developing the group EMDR protocol, I was honored to be asked to be an EPT.

This protocol of Group EMDR makes it possible for people to receive free EMDR therapy to those affected by disasters or critical incidents. Being able to be of service in this regard will be one of the highlights in my career. It was a beautiful healing weekend, meeting the interpreters, the women there that provided the meals and child care support. All powerful to witness. 

What is an Emotional Protection Team? 

They are assisting clinicians or paraprofessionals assigned to hold space, nurture support, establish rapport and emotional safety to form a circle or square around the adult participants in order to be aware of their emotional reactions and help them. 

Part of the EPT member’s tasks during the group protocol is to be alert to the patient’s reactions (basically to provide tissues but not to interact with them by talking), drawings, SUDS scores, and titles of the future vision drawings. For more specific information on this particular protocol –

This work is largely about listening, tuning in somatically, without words to where both the group is at emotionally but also observing individual emotional and mental safety in order to provide trauma-informed care.


Through this experience, I realize that so much of the work in my careers (professional theatre & counseling/facilitation) has been about providing trauma-informed care through holding space for others so that they might be able to engage in healing & move forward.

Being able to be of service like this is an honor. My work is grounded in being tuned in to how to support and give trauma-informed care as well as how to support others to engage in their own self-care, whether it be through journaling, treatment, therapy or creative expression.

Being fearless to hold space for healing, personal, professional and creative transformation is a gift that has been given to me. 

Are you ready for a Tender-hearted Revolution?

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