Sumud Palestine supports psychotherapists working with traumatised families and children in the occupied West Bank. We do this by recruiting experienced UK based psychotherapists to volunteer for one or two week visits to the West Bank to deliver structured training programmes to local mental health professionals, principally around clinical protocols such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for depression or CBT for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Volunteers are hosted locally and build professional relationships and then offer informal support on their return to the UK.
Access to regular, accredited supervision is critical for effective therapeutic practice and supervision capacity remains desperately low in Palestine. Under the inspiration and guidance of Mohammed Mukhaimar, Sumud Palestine’s past and present relationship with the Palestine Counselling Centre enabled collaborative approach and in June 2015 a Palestinian Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy was inaugurated in Ramallah. This was the product of five workshops conducted by highly skilled and experienced psychologists whom Sumud Palestine sponsored. They worked to a jointly prepared syllabus and for the first year Mohammed conducted group supervision via video link.
Once the PACBT was inaugurated, Mohammed’s role became more that of a mentor, but the association continues to benefit from his energy and commitment to maintain momentum.
In June 2016, Sumud has sponsored a two day ‘Introduction to CBT training course at Al Quds University and in August, the association was formally recognized in Stockholm as a member of the European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies. Sumud Palestine sponsored Dr Mona Humied and Mrs Farah Darwaza to attend.
Hopes of replicating the programme in Gaza proved unrealistic but Sumud Palestine sponsors a training workshop in Ramallah or at Al Quds University every year. To date, psychologists have come from Britain, Sweden and Switzerland.
In this way, Sumud Palestine supports the growth of a sustainable professional infrastructure by encouraging the adoption of evidence- based therapies, robust data collection and clinical research. This serves as a signal that there is an infrastructure that supports a clinical professional group which can develop, monitor and maintain itself. Although a long-term goal, Sumud Palestine recognises that practitioners need to start somewhere to build this infrastructure and this is what Sumud Palestine offers.
You can support mental health professionals by contributing to sponsoring UK-based psychotherapists to conduct training workshops for Palestinian mental health professionals.
UK Palestine Mental Health Network
In addition, Mohammed Mukhaimar is an active member of the UKPMHN which aims to raise the issue of Palestine and the oppression of the Palestinians within UK mental health services and professional organisations and to present a perspective based on the application of international law, universal and democratic principles and anti-racist practice.
Ref. UK Palestine Mental Health Network https://ukpalmhnblog.wordpress.com/about/