Monday, September 27, 2010

Key Focus on process of testimonial therapy and folk school

Building self-esteem:


A human/survivor having self-esteem is creative, happy, and active and has more confidence. Survivors derive confidence about themselves from the way they are treated, mostly by their family/community/therapist/social worker /society at large.


Considering that we work with the marginalized survivors, who have experiences of deprivations of various kinds, building self-esteem among these survivors assumes greater importance.


Self-esteem refers to the sense of personal worth and ability that is fundamental to an individual's identity. The term self esteem can be explained as an essential quality that one should have, to become a confident and independent person. It is also called as self pride, where the person feels proud of himself and the things he does. A person with high self esteem considers himself/herself capable to achieve whatever he sets out to do. S/He not only knows about his strengths, but also his/her weaknesses. On the other hand, a person with a low self esteem doubts his/her abilities for every step s/he takes, and this attitude may lead to failure in his/her professional as well as personal life. This surely shows the importance of having a high self esteem.  


Facilitating Critical thinking:


Critical thinking is a process, the goal of which is to make reasonable decisions about what to believe and what to do. Philosophers emphasize the importance of survivor's exposure to causality and logic. Improvement in survivor's cognition allows them to produce new ideas and confront problems by reasoning through them. This 'critical thinking' allow survivors to explore their own concepts, derive conclusions and dispute the reasoning of others.


Because we all are continually making decisions, critical thinking is important to us in personal and vocational, as well as societal aspects of our lives.


Folk school-Education for life:


The challenges marginalized communities today faces are many, and they need to develop skills beyond the mere numerical and literacy skills.


Education for life should be one that is able to have an all round development of the marginalized. She/he should try to develop life skills that will make him/her an asset to society and re-build the society based on the principle of social justice. Education for life in the 21st century includes the ability to lead change, think critically, work in teams, create and quickly adapt to new changes - technology, be a self-managed learner, communicate effectively, and understand the needs of the communities in which we live and contribute.


Developing Leadership:

The objective is not to teach survivor how to become a leader but to enable them to develop their full potential and teach them basic ethics and values so that they become strong individuals with the capabilities to become a leader. The best way to teach survivors about leadership is by first telling them why individuality and ethics are important. Leaders are the most pro-active people in any group so survivors need to be taught to take the initiative. Discussions with real life examples of leaders and fighting survivors will inspire and motivate survivors.

Helping survivors analyze a situation and take in a lot of different perspectives is also an effective way of teaching how to approach situations differently. Learning from each experience is a very important trait of a leader. Leaders are knowledgeable, so encourage children to read the newspapers and books regularly. Reading can be a great source of inspiration for aspiring leaders.

And lastly, teaching survivors to set goals and high standards. This does not mean we force survivors to achieve the impossible, but enabling them to aim for the best. And more importantly,
empowering them how to get there too!


Dr. Lenin
Executive Director-PVCHR/JMN
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