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Crawling into the Wounds to Discover Where the Fears is

Mental Health and Basic Counseling Training

We, Metta Moe Myanmar, started to meet, discuss and confirm with the organizer who would like us to conduct training for her staff last month. During the period before training, we did preparing for the training with our best effort. Even in the evenings of very exhausted days, our team discussed and planed for what we shared to the trainees. We purchased and organized the training materials which we often use in our training programs.

I would never forget this training. No. I will always remember it. Just before starting the implementation, we had to face some difficulties. Although I had not experienced such a bitter treatment, I did not feel very seriously. I did not also realize that it was a beginning of a misery. From the first day to the last one, we had to face unexpected challenges.

I do not really want to mention what lead to greed, anger and uncertainty as my colleagues and I had tried our best trying to forget those irrespective behaviors to us. As we have a perspective that there is no mistake, but lesson, we just intended to have quality training.

The participants are from International Child Support (Myanmar) and Noble Compassionate Volunteer Group. The number of training participants was much fewer than our previous programs and we did not really hope that all of them would be women. One from our group criticized that we would not get a sense of diversity as there is not male student. Honestly, we were pretty worried whether we would miss different points of view when we discuss some issues. However, surprisingly, as our participants are women of incredible strength and compassion, we could have an amazing training.

The title of our training was “Mental Health and Basic Counseling Training”. The facilitators were my two teammates and me. I am always very proud of working with those two guys although I am the only woman as when people see our team, they can witness women can do and perform as men do. The training time was from 9:00A.M. to 5:00P.M. and it was a three-day course.

The topics we discussed at the first day were
• Normal and abnormal events (We have both positive and negative events in our life and that is called life-event.)
• The normal reaction to a traumatic event (The normal coping process to a disaster or problem)
• Mental Health Problems (such as Depression, Anxiety related disorder and so on)
We discussed the topics very deeply.

The way we teach in training was learning by doing; doing exercises, role plays, lectures and group discussions. As the participants had a keen interest in training theme, all of the discussions were very lively. They also made very fabulous presentations on what they had discussed. They played games happily and responded their best in the debriefing sessions.

As we had been asked many questions, we, the trainers, felt we are also learning from them. They made us thoughtful. I was so impressed them. When I was a pupil, I did not ask actively as they were doing.

In the second day, we shared about
• The counselor, characteristics and attitudes (Who is a counselor?)
• The helping process-theory and skills (Structuring a counseling session and supportive intervention techniques).

That day was the climax of the activity. Their active participation and interest were very motivated. And, for the first two days, as the doctor did not join us, we, only the two facilitators were quite exhausted. However, we were attracted by the incredible number of follow-up questions. That became the training we had to be shot by the largest number of questions.

As we listened, shared and discussed cases and stories which are used to happen in our daily lives, to be frank, we felt really overwhelming. That is why; I would like to spread a message that those who work for social and humanitarian assistance works should always have self-awareness.

In the last day, all members of our team joined the training. On that day, we contributed the knowledge of special issues a counselor might encounter such as treating rape victims and steps to a suicide assessment. And we also talked about self help methods.

Despite having some challenges, we were very satisfied with our effort. We were more delighted to hear that the participants were very fascinated with what we had served. We will try to provide better facilities in the future.
It is our pleasure to read the feedback. As we had requested, they wrote their feelings on the training very frankly. Their support really encouraged us. We welcomed to hear our weakness and they were very outspoken. By this way, we can create a better training as a more skillful facilitator.

During these days, there were some difficulties but I tried more for myself, my organizations, Metta Moe Myanmar and SalusWorld, and the people I would like to help. I might have done some immaturity behavior in dealing with people. On the other hand, I had to realize the nature of human being, work and professionalism. I was transmitted sorrows and grief. I had a chance to laugh lightly and heartily. May be some values of Shwe Wutt Hmon was attacked. It was very hopeful to become progressive Shwe Wutt Hmon.

I really thank the fortune that allowed having that training. For the ladies, I am very thankful to you for joining us, for your wish to apply your new skills in your jobs. And let me express some words of thank for asking many questions to us that made us the smarter. I am very proud of meeting and working together with you all, my hero ladies. All what I can do is impossible without you, Gwen, my teacher as well as my employer of SalusWorld.

Dear my two fellows, I would like to express my gratitude from the bottom of my heart for working happily all the time with me.



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