Catharsis Retreat: Healing Palestinian Kids
On October 4th, 2019, a life-long dream of mine came true. I was able to work with ten traumatized girls who came to my retreat in Jericho. I planned to provide them with a full day of healing, fun, and love, mixed with a dose of yoga and horse riding.
And what a wonderful day it was. The young ladies were very happy to have a day for themselves, to exchange emotions with me, and talk about issues that sadden them and others that made them happy. It was a wonderful day full of learning, friendship, and positive energy.
I am now planning the next session, which I plan to hold with the young ladies and their mothers.
Healing Through Yoga, Meditation & Art
When the Greek philosopher Aristotle first defined the term catharsis to mean ‘the sensation that would ideally overcome an audience upon finishing a tragedy,’ he referred to a feeling of ‘ekstasis’ or ecstasy that would descend on the audience after enduring the hardships and suffering portrayed in the play. In modern psychotherapy, catharsis refers to an act or process that gives expression to deep past emotions in an individual’s life, which have never before been adequately cleansed.
Over the years I have developed a catharsis program for Palestinian kids that combines yoga, meditation and creative art therapy to deal with stress and trauma.
Catharsis Kids for Palestine aims to work directly with children, listening to their stories and working with them to release their traumas and provide them with a new way to achieve mental and physical wellbeing. We work with the kids and their mothers to introduce techniques and processes that help them deal with their traumas more effectively and be able to integrate back into a healthy childhood.
Our strategy is to work with a group of former children most of which are girls - from the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Working with their mothers in a group workshop, we would assess the child's state of mind and physical well-being and develop a customized, individual plan to deal with the child's specific traumas. The programs combine yoga, active meditation, and art therapy techniques aimed at finding the inner peace that would reflect in their home and on their societies as a whole.