New writing program mobilizes therapists to help K-12 teachers, librarians and school administrators | Nation and World


“The Things They Carry” writing workshops to help teachers, librarians and school staff deal with the stress of the past two years

WASHINGTON, DC, July 14, 2022 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — The Things They Carry (TTC) project, part of New directions in writing, an offshoot of the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis, was launched in April 2021 to provide Writing for Resilience workshops to frontline Covid healthcare workers suffering from the trauma of working during the pandemic. The project has helped over 700 participants from the United States, Asia, Brazil, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.

The TTC was later adopted by the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh, led by Anne Hallward, to provide a trauma healing pathway for over 1,100 refugees from 17 countries in the Middle East and Asia. .

Now, TTC has expanded to reach teachers, school librarians and counsellors, and other school personnel, to help them cope with the stress of working during the pandemic and the growing threat of school violence. ‘school. The first workshop will launch in August 2022 and will be comprised of therapists and some co-led by writers from across the country who have come together specifically to help our teachers and school staff.

A recent national poll of K-12 employees found that the vast majority reported feeling stressed (63%), high levels of burnout/fatigue (54%) and significant anxiety (47%) at work due to pandemic.

The workshops of things they carry ( ) are led by experienced therapists qualified to work with people suffering from anxiety, stress and PTSD. If the title sounds familiar, it’s intentional: it honors Tim O’Brien, author of “The Things They Carried,” a groundbreaking meditation on the Vietnam War, memory, and the redemptive power of storytelling.

The workshops are the brainchild of Kerry L. Malawista, Ph.D., psychotherapist in private practice in Potomac, Maryland, and McLean, Virginia. Malawista is co-chair of New Directions, which offers a postgraduate training program for clinicians, scholars, and writers who want to bring modern psychoanalytic perspectives to their work.

Launching the group for Frontline workers, Malawista said: “From them I hear about the ghosts of the COVID deaths they carry, the patients they have cared for, those who have been lost to because of the virus and those who still haunt them. Like soldiers returning from war, they cannot close their eyes to all they witnessed – the smells, sights and sounds of those who died while in their custody. And sadly, like the soldiers O’Brien commemorated, ghosts often pursue them in their dreams…. Along with talk therapy, writing offers an effective avenue for dealing with traumatic memory.

Nationally, our teachers, librarians and school administrators were also first responders.

Participants will learn a technique called “writing for resilience”, in which writing prompts will be offered to encourage them to explore their classroom experiences, helping them to deepen their meaning. The workshops will take place via Zoom.

After the writing sessions, participants will have the opportunity to share what they have written, listen to other stories, respond to group writings, and explore their meaning in writing and conversation.

“Writing in the company of other people has particular advantages,” Malawista said. “Having one’s experiences lived through and validated by other writers has been shown to relieve isolation and create a sense of togetherness…. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on the life stories they have heard during their work, as well as the ways in which they can stay calm and strong. »


For more information, contact Kerry Malawista, Ph.D., at [email protected]


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NEWS SOURCE: New Directions in Writing

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