Healing the psychological impacts of human rights abuses for a more peaceful tomorrow

October 11, 2016 | Issue #2
Dear Friends,

As we continue our journey to create a safe and empowering space for international survivors of human rights abuses, we are deeply grateful for your support and involvement.  In honor of World Mental Health Day on October 10th 2016, Partnerships for Trauma Recovery celebrates the opening of its Mosaic Healing Center in downtown Berkeley, California.  A culmination of incredibly generous volunteer time and energy has created a warm, welcoming healing space for international human rights survivors from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. 

With this opening, PTR launched its clinical training program - one of the few in the nation with an international trauma specialization. Graduates of our program will be at the forefront of providing globally culturally aware and linguistically accessible mental health care for refugees, asylees, asylum seekers and human trafficking survivors. Reflecting the tremendous need in the area, within one month of opening, PTR is already serving 50 clients, with the capacity to do so in 24 different languages.  

Partnerships for Trauma Recovery is also grateful to receive an Honorable Mention for the 11th Annual Global Citizen's Award by the UN Association's East Bay Chapter. In the words of the chapter President: "I wanted to emphasize how impressed we are with the important work that you and your team are performing.  Highly laudable, and worthy of expansion as well as greater recognition within our community."
With sincere gratitude to our community of donors, volunteers, partners and Board and Advisory Board members, we thank you for your continued support as we establish the foundation for this critical work.


Monika Parikh
Executive Director
Mosaic Healing Center 
Our new center opened on September 8th! See pictures and read about the space here
Blogs and Media

Global Trauma Healing
PTR's Clinical Interns share stories from their first weeks with clients.
Link to Blog
In The News
PTR receives Honorable Mention from the United Nations Association's East Bay Chapter.
Link to News
Fall Reception
Our Sept. 29th Grand Opening and Fall Reception was a success!
Link to News

Reflections on Trauma and Healing 

A Child Held Captive: Gabriela

Over 50,000 unaccompanied children were encountered at the U.S. southwest border during the 2016 fiscal year. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)


Growing up in a Mayan village in Guatemala, Gabriela was abducted from her family as a young girl.  She was held in captivity in complete isolation for a decade, and never saw her family again.  She survived unspeakable sexual, physical and psychological abuse, and bore children before adolescence.   Her only way to survive this relentless trauma was through the mechanism of dissociation: distancing from her emotional and physical experience in an attempt to reduce terror and pain.  Years later, Gabriela continues to struggle with extensive episodes of dissociation during which she is unaware of what surrounds her, and does not recall what she has done when she returns to awareness.  She is frightened by these lapses in consciousness and memory, and feels lost to herself.

Her only way to survive this relentless trauma was through the mechanism of dissociation: distancing from her emotional and physical experience in an attempt to reduce terror and pain.  


Gabriela’s healing has included careful attention to the dissociative survival mechanisms which now compromise her safety and wellbeing.  Through the gradual rebuilding of emotional safety in the therapeutic relationship, she has been able to begin putting the pieces of her fragmented narrative together, to form a more cohesive and integrated story.  Thanks to the processing of her trauma and the gradual reconstruction of her sense of self, Gabriela’s recurrent suicidality has abated, and her chronic migraines have become less frequent.  Though she never had the opportunity to attend school, Gabriela has been able to learn to read and write in Spanish, and is learning English.  Thanks to improved literacy, she is better able to orient herself in her new environment.  Gabriela has also reunited with her children, and is beginning to rebuild the sense of family which was taken from her so long ago.    

Learn more about Gabriela and other PTR clients here.

Partnerships for Trauma Recovery relies on donors like you who understand that, together, we can expand the possibilities for healing and create lasting change for more survivors of human rights abuses. Click the button below to make a donation through our secure online system.

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