By: James S. Gordon, MD
My third trip, longer than the first two, will take me to Odesa, as well as Lviv and Kyiv, as I do workshops for the highly stressed psychotherapists, physicians, educators, and community volunteers who are meeting urgent needs. As I move from place to place, I issue invitations to participate in the population-wide trauma healing training for which I’m laying the foundation.
In the midst of air raids, I lead a workshop for a group of 20 “railway station psychologists.” All of them have day jobs, and they volunteer for 24 hours a week at the Lviv train station, meeting through the night, as well as during the day, with children and families as, fleeing from the Russian-occupied East of Ukraine, they descend from the trains.
These psychologists, fiercely committed but understandably weary, combine meditation and self-expression with a deep and growing understanding of the importance of connection for themselves, as well as those receiving their care. As I describe our CMBM program, they recognize their kinship with us, and tell me they look forward to participating in our trainings.
Listening to the railway station psychologists tell me about some of the displaced people to whom they have briefly attended, I’m once again struck by the healing power of small doses of care and hope. In Lviv, and throughout this trip, my mind wanders back to a poem of William Blake’s:
To see the world in a grain of sand,
And heaven in a wild flower;
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour