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Training program resumes to assist traumatized Haitians

February 4, 2011
by News release
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Washington, D.C. — In a five-year plan designed to train 1,500 mental health professionals throughout Haiti to service those dealing with psychological trauma and ongoing stress, Dr. James Gordon will return to Haiti from Feb. 20-28 to continue his work of training an initial group of 120 clinicians, educators, and religious and community leaders to provide self-help skills and emotional support to hundreds of thousands of children and adults.

Dr. Gordon, a world-renowned psychiatrist who directs the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Mind, Body, Medicine, and his international team will give participants a firsthand experience of CMBM's scientifically validated model of mind-body medicine (meditation, guided imagery, relaxation, biofeedback, and yoga), self expression in words drawings and movement and small group support.

After the initial training, Dr. Gordon's team will meet with the Deans of the four leading Haitian medical schools, and conduct community workshops in the tent camps. They will then begin the advanced training of the participants, supervising them as they lead mind body groups and giving them guidance in implementing the CMBM program in their own institutions and communities. All trainings will take place at the Plaza Hotel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Dr. Gordon, an international war-zone mental health expert experienced in healing individual and population-wide psychological trauma, depression, and anxiety, is offering his expert insight to the media on the state of Haiti's psychological devastation, and invites advance and on-site coverage of his work while on the ground.

He has devoted over 40 years to investigating and addressing the causes and consequences of social and individual distress, and to creating effective programs of treatment and prevention for individuals and populations suffering from psychological trauma and stress.

In addition to Haiti, Dr. Gordon and CMBM have created programs of population-wide psychological healing in Kosovo, Israel, Gaza, in post-Katrina New Orleans, post-9/11 New York City, and with traumatized U.S. military returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dr. Gordon is Dean of the College of Mind-Body Medicine at Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center, a Clinical Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at Georgetown Medical School, and served as the first Chair of the Program Advisory Council of the National Institute's of Health's Office of Alternative Medicine.

In addition to Dr. Gordon, team members include physicians, psychologists and social workers, Drs. Amy Shinal (Virginia), Lora Matz and Lynda Reichtsmeier Cyr (Minnesota). Kathy Farah (Wisconsin), Toni Bankston (Louisiana), Jerrol Kimmel (California), Naftali Halberstadt (Israel), Jamil Atti and Shaher Yaghi (Gaza), Jusuf Ulaj and Afrim Blyta (Kosovo).

Dr. Gordon's work is supported by a small network of donors and he is actively raising funds to continue this groundbreaking, life-changing work.

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