01.04.2022 | 16:23



In this difficult time, the work of psychologists and psychotherapists is needed more than ever, and will continue to be needed even more. Now we are helped by colleagues from all over the world who have experience in warfare. Results of work with psychologists and psychotherapists of America, Europe, New Zealand (Robert Dilts, Judith Delosier, Richard Bolsted, Michel Rouge, Kimberly Progaska, Teresa Cianciolo, Art Geezer, Stephen Gilligan, Susie Glitgan, Susie Smith, Deweyt Smith Brian) Nataliya Zhyhaylo, Faculty of Philosophy, Doctor of Psychology, Professor of the Department of Theory and History of Political Science, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv.

“We have developed useful psychological techniques and detailed the necessary psychological assistance in psychotraumas,” says Nataliya Ihorivna. Yes, the American psychologist and psychotherapist (Milton Erickson’s follower) Stephen Gilligan believes that if we want to help someone with trauma, we need to start with ourselves, with our own state. The scientist recommends five steps that help healing: gather your attention in one point in yourself; remember your values, your goal, your positive intentions; tune in, connect with your breath, meditate, pray; Think about what I can do. Stephen Gilligan gives examples of people who survived the war: a priest who at one time endured the wounded – for him it was an experience of spiritual transition; the doctor who worked on the front, developed the idea of a placebo (there was not enough painkiller, so the wounded gave water with salt and said it was morphine, and it acted as an anesthetic). All these are mechanisms for connecting with life. With strong tension of the victim, it is possible to unlock it through communication with someone else; a loved one; ancestors; with someone she sympathizes with. Try to feel the grounding and connection with positive memories (from childhood, from a pleasant event). This is an example of a simple and strong resource that will help to heal. We are looking for a connection with the positive in the past, present and future. Stephen Gilligan recommends: “Never look the enemy in the eye. Never cling to the problem, because this is the right way to become a problem yourself. It is important to believe: “I will win,” “I can.” “

An interesting case: the former Prime Minister of Israel Golda Meier was asked who she consulted in a problematic situation. She replied: “With grandmother (who is gone) and granddaughter (who is not yet).” That is, the connection with the past present and the future will help us to pass through all the complexities of life. The main message of Stephen Gilligan: “There is a force inside a man who is bigger and deeper than pain!” Dear Speaker, he expressed admiration for the unity of our people and the example of heroism.

The experience of psychologists and psychotherapists in conditions of war was shared by Susie Smith, who told how to use the brain in stressful situations; shared the most working and simple tools. To reduce the level of stress is possible by: breathing squared for a minute; move your toes; name 5 things that surround; 4 things we hear; 3 things that can be felt to the touch; 2 things that can be sniffed; 1 thing we taste. Technique 6 seconds: smile and thereby break the bond with stress inside. Claim to myself: “my mind is watchful, but the body is relaxed.” Breathe deep. This technique can be used for children – their attention and educational process are improved; while driving the car; when the heart rate is accelerated, etc. “There is almost no good news on TV, so most of us are stressed by watching the news,” the Speaker rightly noted. Therefore, “watching TV, immediately use this technique”) There is stress on a certain tone of voice. A simple way to get rid of insomnia (when thinking in your head) you need to say in a command voice: “stop!” (add a “stop” sign in your imagination), breathe deeply, and say to yourself, “I will cope with everything.” Guiding your eyes around the circle is one of the techniques of getting rid of obsessive thoughts. The rule of eight, splitting injury and other important techniques was presented by dear Susie Smith. Each technique should be repeated 12, 24, 36 times.

Psychologist and psychotherapist Art Heather believes that having been surrounded by people full of pessimism and fear, you very quickly become the same. Conversely, it is worth activating positive emotions to get out of the state of fear. Specialist taught to work with energy; clean up your energy field; control your inner spirit; strengthen your immune system; direct your energy to loved ones you love. Presented magnet technique, with which you can be cleaned of negative energy and attract positive. Valuable recommendations and techniques for restoring the internal state of a person, in particular, interesting technology “lake.”

Richard Bolstead, from New Zealand, continued to share his experience working as a psychotherapist in dealing with the psychotrauma of war. Presented the process of healing trauma using the technique of rapid eye movement. It is scientifically confirmed that this technique works at the DNA level. Future children are born with a protective response to stress. This technique can be used for aerial alarms and bombing as a first aid. Stability (stress resistance) is an important value. The way our brains perceive an event is more complex than the event itself. An interesting example about the mouse that the girl presented to the guy during the meeting. On this basis, he developed a phobia. Although the mouse – as such – never caused harm, such processes as life – threatening events occurred in the cerebral cortex.

The speaker also stressed the importance of “cinema” technology. Havening technique (safety zone) is also effective for post-traumatic stress disorder and allows us to consolidate our own stress and emotional sphere, helps our intelligent brain to make decisions again, to relax. In this process we use stroking movements (face, shoulders, palms) and mental exercises (counting, chanting, others). In conclusion, we repeat the phrases: “I am safe”, “inner peace”, “peace”. At the same time serotonin, oxytocin is released, which reduces tension and increases the feeling of security. Hugs perform the same function. This technique works quickly, easily and efficiently.

Another experience of working with trauma from psychologist Boryslav Khomulenko (Kharkiv). The scientist suggested Erickson’s hypnosis in working with PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a complex mental condition that occurs as a result of trauma. The experience of hypnotherapy is the same – artificial false therapy for a positive result. Erickson Hypnotherapy is a psychotherapeutic approach that uses hypnotic trance to help the patient use their own mental associations, memories and life potential to achieve their therapeutic goals. Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness, similar to sleep. This is a fixation of attention on comfortable associations. There are many types of trance. There are countries where this method is used even during surgery. It can be used during hostilities; it can relieve pain shock from injuries, shelling, etc. There are clear, step-by-step guidelines for entering a trance. It is important to find out what the patient likes to do when he is well (cycling, playing the guitar). Ability to refocus from a state of pain and suffering to a state of positivity; the ability to avoid sharp corners to achieve balance – the art of hypnotherapy.

American psychotherapist Brian Van Der Horst shared his experience with injuries during the war. The speaker stressed the values that help to survive in difficult conditions. “The secret of my peace of mind is that the dangerous moments I was in could control them (deep jumps).” In the war, something else. A security strategy needs to be developed. Fill the space with employment, you can even write articles. It feels like we’re in control. Discuss values with others. “Worse is behind us” – the first reassurance. It is not true to say, “You will not die,” it is true to say, “You will live; you will feel good and calm. ” Make plans for the future: for a few days, weeks, years. These are the factors that bring victory closer. They discussed interesting cases, typical examples, ways out.

Finally, Nataliya Zhyhaylo noted that she confirmed her clear convictions in the following positions: “Panic, fear – the faithful companions of the enemy and defeat; belief in victory – a strong and motivating factor in victory; the most powerful resource of victory is three things: faith in God; self-belief; faith in one’s country; it is important to fulfill your immediate responsibilities; help others; return to the “learning state of mind”; in the state in which you are resourceful; after the darkness of the night, the light of a new day always comes! ” and once again expressed gratitude to the leadership of the state, servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, volunteers, journalists, people of good will for the heroic defense of our Motherland.


Nataliya Zhyhaylo

doctor of psychological sciences, professor

Ivan Franko National University of Lviv