Letter of thanks and news from the President of UDG, Valentina Samus
Dear friends and colleagues,
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, we have received many letters of support and a lot of assistance from the Jungian communities from all over the world. We thank each community and each person that have joined their efforts to help us survive and to ensure our well-being. We are especially grateful for the generous financial donation from IAAP.
During these 18 days, we have gained a lot of experience that we had never imagined we would. We had to sleep in the subway stations to hide from the bombings; had to teach our children what to do during airstrikes; had to wait for a “+” text message which meant that our relative or a client had returned alive from the mission. We had to consult people who had killed a human being for the first time or had witnessed a death of a close person. However, alongside we also had an opportunity to feel an incredible unity and radical hope. Most of us have lost our home since we had had to evacuate for the sake of some semblance of safety. Some of us have lost their houses to Russian artillery and air strikes.
During the first days of the war, it was important for us to restore our ability to work. We succeeded because most of the analysts and supervisors who worked with our members had cancelled, or substantially lowered, their fees for the time of the crisis. We are unable to mention every single person here but nevertheless we are thankful to each one of them.
Many European analysts have opened their own homes to accommodate their Ukrainian colleagues. Also, the members of Czech, Polish, Bulgarian and Lithuanian societies are organizing psychological, financial assistance and accommodation to the people who temporarily flee to their countries.
A while ago Dale Mathers and AJA had launched a long-term supervision project in Ukraine, and now, as they continue it, they are providing the supervisions for free and coordinate a lot of activities for the refugees.
We have organized the daily support groups for the members of our community. The organizers of various educational programs are offering the support groups to their students and are providing further training for free.
Our members are finding the ways to help and support their local communities. For example, Yuri Danko had been moderating the support groups for his neighbours while taking shelter in the basement of their apartment block.
In February, under pressure of possible invasion, we had organized a training on crisis intervention taught by our Israeli colleagues beforehand, and it turned out to be particularly timely. We thank IAAP for its decision to cover the expenses for this training. 60 colleagues took part in the event.
Our colleagues from many countries have offered free supervisions. All volunteers who work with the victims of war are able to receive personal and professional support in the groups. Batya Brosh Palmoni (Israel), Elena Shpigner (Israel), Victoria Reicher (Israel), Goda Rukšaitė and Algis Petronis (Lithuania) are already working as moderators of these groups, and more supervisors are ready to join soon.
The Czech community has donated the funds used by us to organize a training on crisis intervention for 60 therapists who work with children. Immediately after the training, the participants have started working with the children via telephone and online and have organized the support groups in the Western regions, where a lot of people had found refuge. Right now, this project needs supervisors with the experience in children’s trauma. Asta Adler (Lithuania) is ready to become a supervisor in this project.
Batya Brosh Palmoni and her society had organized a large open workshop “Psychological assistance to the population and the aftermath of stress caused by rocket attacks, military and terrorist acts”, with Oleksandr Ostrobrod (Israel) as a trainer. This workshop has been attended by 257 participants.
Currently, 46 Ukrainian Developing Group, UDG members do volunteer work to provide psychological support to the most affected regions of the country. Each one of them has their personal story of this war. One of the colleagues shared that her grandkids were able to fall asleep only in a bomb shelter, the other one was forced to cross the border on foot to be able to continue cancer treatment after a Russian missile had destroyed her cancer clinic. Everyone has their story, but they were able to revive their resources and started consulting other people, and now they know how the archetype of the wounded healer works from their own experience.
Eva Pattis Zoja and her sandplay project have supported Ukrainian children since the first days of war, which had started in 2014. Today, the volunteers, which were trained as a part this project, and the new groups are involved in the work on a greater scale.
The project on serial drawing for children, led by Oxana Zaleska, which first had been implemented in the Eastern regions that suffered from earlier Russian aggression, is now implemented in many other regions of Ukraine.
The colleagues that combine analytical and body-oriented approaches are going to launch the project via Telegram messenger posting small videos with exercises and are gathering groups with video connection to demonstrate possibilities to work with body to fight stress and anxiety. This project would need the supervisory support from someone who works both in analytical and body-oriented frameworks.
Together with PTPJ and Ukrainian Catholic University, our Lviv colleagues are running a help project for the people going towards the Ukrainian border.
Beside all of the above, there are 25 routers in Ukraine, and we are doing everything necessary to ensure the continuity of their education.
We have got a lot of work right now, and we will even more to do after the victory. These events are an ordeal for each one of us, but they have also proved to be a powerful push to maturity and individuation.
We feel optimistic and are still planning to invite all of you to the conference in Kyiv in autumn of 2023.
With love from Ukraine,
Valentina Samus and UDG