Photo by Tony Cece

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

SPC Profs Travel to Lebanon

Dr. Benjamin Keyes and Dr. Merrill Reese
leading a trauma workshop. 

Photo courtesy of Dr. Benjamin Keyes.

By Brett Wilson | November 25, 2013

The trauma and terror overwhelming the nation of Syria has created a growing need for professionals trained in providing grief counsel to those suffering loss and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

In late October, Regent University School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC) professor Dr. Benjamin Keyes and associate professor Dr. Merrill Reese traveled to Lebanon to take part in leading a "power-packed" three-day training session for Syrian pastors, youth ministers, social workers and psychologists.

As an initiative of Regent's Center for Trauma Studies, and in cooperation with The Barnabas Group (TBG), Keyes and Reese led workshops on how to help families and children cope with PTSD, restore hope, deal with grief and loss, as well as helping volunteers work through difficult roadblocks such as compassion fatigue.

"These are the people who have bombs dropping through their rooftops, and many of them have lost loved ones themselves," said Keyes. "But they have a passionate faith in God and it's amazing the strength they have and true testimony to their faith that they press on."

Conditions are still very dangerous for those living in Syria. Reese explained that of the 40 participants of the trauma training, many don't expect to live longer than six months. But they keep pressing on to discover more ways to help coach others through their psychological difficulties because, according to Reese, "fear is not in their vocabulary."

"Here are a group of people who don't flinch, and who understand the power of a promise," said Reese. "They're risking life and limb, but they feel called to do that."

Reese also feels called to aid others through his expert knowledge on grief and loss counseling. To him, trauma training is a ministerial tool that he will continue to help others develop.

"The beauty of the kingdom of God, and what we try to do in these trainings, is that you go in and you equip the people to do the work so that they may continue when you're gone, said Reese. "To me, that is what ministry is all about."

Learn more about the School of Psychology & Counseling and the Center for Trauma Studies.

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