War and Conflict

Healing the trauma of war, violence, and extremism

Our programs in Kosovo, Israel, and Gaza have pioneered the role of mind-body medicine in improving health and quality of life for both children and adults in communities traumatized by war. We are developing similar programs in Central Asia and South Sudan.

Our work in Israel and Gaza

With parallel programs in Gaza and Israel, we are helping communities address the population-wide trauma that comes with war and violence. Since 2005, we’ve shared our model with more than 1,500 clinicians, educators, religious leaders, leaders of women’s groups, and other community leaders to bring healing tools to 280,000 Gazan children and adults. We’ve partnered with over 200 organizations and have worked with every major women’s group in Gaza. Through our current initiative, Hope and Healing for Gaza Schools, we are training educators to integrate our mind-body approach into curricula and daily routines. Our aim is to make self-care and mutual support an essential part of the educational experience of all 250,000 children in Gaza’s public school system.

I used to hate sleep because I had terrifying dreams. After I joined the Mind-Body Skills Group and practiced these skills, I got rid of the nightmares. Now I wake up feeling energized and optimistic.

– STUDENT, NORTH GAZA

Our work in Central Asia

In partnership with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and Search for Common Ground (Search), we are implementing a program to build a trauma-informed psychosocial support infrastructure in Central Asia to support the reintegration of those fighting ISIS reintegrate into society and family life. In 2021, our team traveled to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to continue training caregivers and community leaders serving to reinforce rehabilitation and reintegration efforts of Central Asia repatriates from zones of armed conflict, and their families.

In September 2021, a diverse group of professionals from across the region completed our online Professional Training Program. During this month’s Advanced Training Program, 31 participants learned to facilitate Mind-Body Skills Groups and incorporate mind-body techniques in their work reintegrating former members of extremist groups and their families.