To find hope and love to move forward

The Intensive Group Therapy (IGT) training program in Ukraine was established at the request of the Military Institute of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (VIKNU, Kyiv) to understand new methods and improve the provision of psychological assistance in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Ukrainian-American specialists Maria Martynenko and Olena Avramenko conduct the advanced training course for military psychologists who directly provide psychological support to service members.

Based on post-war experience in the United States, methods have been developed and tested to address mental health issues for those affected by war. Psychotherapists, psychologists, and counselors face the same traumatic factors as everyone else but must also be able to provide support to others. Before they can help others, it is crucial for these specialists to feel well themselves. This program aims to provide Ukrainian mental health practitioners with effective skills and techniques so they can have their own effective stress management strategies while providing stable support to others.

Intensive Group Therapy provides the necessary training to address mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other emotional states resulting from war. This model of psychological assistance can be used for service members, war veterans, their families, those who have lost loved ones due to the war, children, volunteers, and individuals who have been victims of sexual, physical, and emotional violence.

Intensive Group Therapy focuses on overcoming trauma, finding hope and love to move forward.

Intensive Group Therapy (IGT) is a crisis state intensive therapy program (trauma, accumulated stress, burnout) that combines psychiatric medication support, individual therapy, and group therapy for 9 hours per week. The effectiveness of a specialist increases when they can help several patients simultaneously. IGT allows precisely this. IGT has proven effective for people of different ages, genders, characteristics, and the intensity of mental disorders.

The training format combines three approaches:

  1. Lecture-based professional training: psychophysiology of trauma, trauma treatment, development of internal resources, mindfulness, art workshops.

  2. Participation as a patient and facilitator.

  3. Group supervision and case work: providing participants with the opportunity to conduct supervision for their colleagues and present case studies.

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