Report from Heyong Shen (Shanghai)

On October 9, 2008, Heyong Shen wrote : “I just came back from Sichuan the day before yesterday. As you know, Luigi Zoja and Eva Pattis came, and we worked together for 10 days. We have been working there since the first week of the earthquake. I will send you more information later but for now will include an update of the situation and our work."

His update on the relief work follows:

On the first day of the “512 Sichuan Earthquake”, Lei Da, the leader of our Jung Group at Chengdu, with the other two members of the Chinese Association of Analytical Psychology, started the work to help the people and survivors.

We, our Chinese Association of Analytical Psychology, set up three “Garden of the Heart-Soul”, our Jungian style psychological support work stations at the earthquake area in the first week of the “512 earthquake”. Gao Lan and I, with our CAAP members, stayed in tents for the first two months, and we now live at the temporary shelter rooms. The reported victims from the earthquake number 45 million. Most of them will have to spend three years in tents and temporary shelter rooms.

Many psychologists and psychological groups went to Sichuan after the earthquake, but after the first month, 50% withdrew, and after the second month, 80% withdrew, and after three months, 90% withdrew. We are one of the very few professional groups still working there.

At the middle of last June and at the end of the last September, there were two “Peak-Meetings” at Beijing for the psychological work at Sichuan. I was invited to give presentations at both of the meetings and presented the way of Jungian psychological work with grief and trauma and the model of our “Garden of the Heart-Soul”. At the following WCP, next week at Beijing, the 5th World Congress of Psychotherapy, I am invited to give a special presentation of our work at Sichuan.

Now we have extended the “Garden of the Heart-Soul”, our Jungian style psychological support work stations. Besides the three work stations at Beichuan school (Beichuan experienced the most severe damage from the earthquake), at Deyang Tianyuan and Deyang Nanbin, and we have a new work station at Wen Chuan Shuimo school (Wen Chuan is the central area of the earthquake), a new one at Du-Jiang-Yan center of psychological consultation, and a new one at Qingyuan Relief Station.

Most of the people we are working are Qiang People, a very special people in China. Their history goes back to the legend of Yan Emperor, earlier than Fuxi (related to the creation of the trigrams of I Ching). They worship sheep or goat and are famous for their Qiang flute.

During the Han Dynasty, the Qiang people numbered about 10 million, but now, they just have 300 thousand, and almost all of them live at Bei Chuan and Wen Chuan, the center of the ”512 earthquake” area.

Just last week, the local newspaper reported the first (or first reported) suicide at Beichuan city. A local officer who lost his child, a 9 year boy, at the earthquake, killed himself at home. After four months of the earthquake, the PTSD and suicide behaviors may increase. We are still facing very difficult tasks.

Many thanks for IAAP support to our work in China. Hester Solomon, Joe Cambray, Tom Kelly and many Jungian friends sent letters to us, expressed their concerns and support. Thomas Kirsch and Jean Kirsch, Murray Stein and Jan Stein, have supported our work with their donations. Luigi and Eva came, spent 10 days with us. They worked with the children and students directly, gave lectures and supervision.

We will continue our work, and we are very proud of the support from IAAP and our Jungian colleagues.

With our heartfelt thanks.

Heyong Shen