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Teaching RC to Typhoon Survivors

I have had a most rewarding experience in Dulag, Leyte, Philippines. Three weeks after the November 2013 Typhoon Yolanda, I came here to help the survivors. I have friends, both U.S. and Filipino, who live here and are involved in their communities. I let people know that I was a teacher of “trauma counseling” and was willing to teach anyone and wouldn’t charge anything.

The first group I worked with consisted of seventy-five children, with five adults helping. (I’d had no idea so many would come, with only ten hours’ notice.) The children described the wind, rain, water surge, and sounds during the typhoon. I played games with them and had them physically move around, being the typhoon. They laughed and cried and automatically gave each other attention as they shared their experiences of the six hours of the raging typhoon.

In a second gathering there were more adults and ninety children under twelve. I gave out crayons and paper, and the children drew pictures and wrote of their experiences during the typhoon. Ten children, one at a time, shared their experiences, with many tears and dramatic physical movements showing the fear and hardships they had endured. Then all the children shared their experiences with each other in small groups.  Their teachers are continuing the trauma lessons at school and encouraging the children to express their feelings.

Thirty youth, ages twelve to twenty-five, came to an RC “trauma training.” We played basketball and tag. After two hours of playing hard and laughing, the young people were physically spent. They talked about how much fun it was to not be thinking about the typhoon.

A group of fifteen college students came to an intense RC fundamentals class. It was amazing to watch them enthusiastically embrace The Human Side of Human Beings,1gladly share their experiences, and really get2 the importance of discharging. After that, the dean of the college invited me to come to the school and address the teachers and students on the theory of RC, and of course I accepted. The high school teachers also want an RC introduction this week, and the midwifery college has asked me to talk with its students.

Fifty adults, mostly women, came to another gathering. I briefly described to them how RC was done and the importance of discharge. Four of them had learned some RC beforehand, so I divided the group into five smaller groups, which they and I led and in which people took turns sharing their experiences. 

A second gathering of adults brought even more people. This time I kept everyone together in one group, with an interpreter. I shared the theory of RC and the importance of ongoing sessions and asked them to make a commitment, to themselves and their family, to continue to do sessions and tell their story of the trauma, over and over.

Fifteen adults came for more theory and sessions. One of them asked me to teach RC to the teachers at her college. I went the next week, and the group eagerly absorbed the theory.

I have met with many of these people several times. It is rewarding to hear how they can now sleep, eat, or be present and laugh without feeling guilty.

Perrilee Pizzini
Bothell, Washington, USA

1 A book by Harvey Jackins describing the basic theory of Re-evaluation Counseling
2 “Get” means understand. 

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00