Group Psychotherapy Projects / Sharing Circles

In response to the systematic and ongoing human rights violations across the globe, SalusWorld has generated a group psychotherapy intervention that integrates several psychological and social justice theories.  This intervention is culturally adjusted with local experts and can be run by local implementing actors under the supervision of expert consultants.  Relationally focused, strengths-based coping skills approach are utilized to foster collective therapeutic strategies in the participants, and offer them the opportunity to express needs, concerns, and fears in a supportive environment while building reparative relationships with others whom have experienced similar issues. This shared space allowed participants to learn how to help themselves and one another, rather than strictly rely on the guidance of the group facilitators. 

This framework assists participants in developing a repertoire of coping skills that would enable them to manage stressful situations effectively.  Through the lens of empowerment theory, participants obtained material and internal resources, knowledge to re-build individual lives, and the development of a community wherein the sustained process of collective healing can reside.

To date, groups have been run with People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), former political prisoners, commercial sex workers, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning queer groups.   Click here to read impact statements and testimonials from participant members.

30 Seconds In Podcast

As it continues to discover innovative ways to address staff welfare, SalusWorld now provides a space for returned international aid and development workers to share and process their stories from the field. Through intimate conversations with these individuals, 30 Seconds In examines those stories often left untold after the work is over. Our first season is underway, as we release episodes on Mondays. Check out our 30 Seconds In Podcast page to learn more and listen in!

Upcoming episode release schedule:

Episode 5: "Ring of Roaches" - July 18, 2016

Episode 6: "Untitled" - July 25, 2016

Humanitarian and Development Aid Worker Resiliency Training

A 3-day experiential group training to alleviate the impact of vicarious trauma on humanitarian aid and development workers has arrived.  This unique program, created by SalusWorld, allows institutions to better retain their staff expertise and address the issues that lead to staff turnover and burnout.   


Caring for individuals impacted by violence, displacement, illness and poverty can make huge emotional demands on those who perform these tasks.  Through their professional work, aid workers can suffer a special kind of trauma.  Of course, unlike the primary sufferers of trauma, it is not direct.  Aid workers suffer an accretion of exposure to the traumas suffered by their beneficiaries.  These are dedicated people who perform some of the most emotionally difficult work that society desperately needs.  But in doing this crucial, moral work, the personal consequences are often severe.  Symptoms of Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder include such reactions as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, mistrust of others, isolating from family or friends, frequent or increased illness, persistent trauma imagery, and often a shift in outlook from optimism to helplessness.  Many of these symptoms are similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and can be as damaging.  Care-providers incur harm across the spectrum of mental health impacts – on the emotional, cognitive, physical, relationship, and spiritual levels.


The Humanitarian Aid & Development Resiliency Training will …

  • Improve the readiness and resilience of humanitarian aid workers and anyone feeling the impact of caring.  This training creates a holistic, collaborative and coherent enterprise to increase individual and team.
  • Build upon physical, emotional and psychological so they improve performance to deal with the rigors and challenges of a demanding profession.
  • Work to help reduce burnout, depression and agency attrition.
  • Connect those in need to additional services to facilitate safe care, recovery and personal growth

Additional Information:

For further information on this issue, please click here ( for an institutional analysis of UNHCR’s Staff Welfare programming, published by one of SalusWorld’s board members.  Also, The Guardian has an ongoing series on the day-to-day reality of humanitarian workers, including features on issues of sex, safety, and general health. From that series, there is an article on aid workers and PTSD that highlights the work of Dr. Gwen Vogel Mitchell, SalusWorld Director of International and Clinical Services, who is one of the trainers of this program.

Are you interested in Humanitarian & Development Aid Worker Resiliency Training?  Please contact our lead psychologist for this initiative, Gwen Vogel Mitchell (  Once we have reached a critical mass of participants in a specific area, we will announce the dates and further details.