“Francis, what are you doing with your life?”
Here’s the gist of it. I’m spending my summer interning in Sarajevo with a non-profit called Fondacija Krila Nade (translated to Wings of Hope). The organization began in 1995 to help children whose education access had been affected by the war. Additionally, as the program grew, psychotherapy services were added to the programs. Today, WoH works mainly with women and children to provide education and psychosocial support along with a range of other services.
At my internship I mainly work on mental health projects with the psychologist and social work supervisors at WoH. My job for the summer is along the lines of program evaluation. I have been given the task of evaluating data management of the organization’s psychotherapists and psychotherapy services. Additionally, I have been given the opportunity to work with an English speaking client.
The entire experience has been so great. It has given me more insight on to how mental health works in this part of the world. I’ve spent the past few weeks learning about the conflict and seeing the need for psychological services throughout the country. Being here at WoH has helped me learn more about how to approach mental health in this specific culture on an individual level. While there are some differences, the overall nature of therapy feels pretty similar to how things are done in the States. What I have noticed is that it feels like many of the people who I have encountered process and heal through story telling. More on that later. For now, I am interested to learn more about the different idioms of distress and more about mental health as a larger system in this country.