The OMID Concept A Person Centered Holistic Approach At OMID we believe in creating a warm, secure, and non-judgmental environment in which the young women we support immediately begin to experience what it feels like to have the value of their lives affirmed, and to be treated with respect, dignity, and kindness. Our approach is innovative as it is a program with the right blend of components especially designed to re-integrate marginalized young women into society and gives them the tools to rebuild their lives. The self-empowerment process is based on the four cornerstones of the OMID approach: care, counseling, education and training. We believe that girls with dreams are women with vision. A Trauma Informed Environment to Rebuild Broken Spirits At OMID, we cannot underestimate the significance of having at least one stable adult who cares and connects with a marginalized young woman. Healing begins in secure relationships and through meaningful connections. Our approach makes for a truly innovative and ever evolving trauma informed, person centered. 85% of our beneficiaries go on to achieve the following: 74% continue studies through vocational training 26% continue their studies at university Empathy = Safety, trust and meaningful and lasting healing of broken spirits. To learn more about our trauma informed culture and how we use creative therapies please read on. A Trauma Informed Culture So what happens when a child experiences early traumatic events? The impact of adverse childhood experiences can often create toxic stresses that affect a young person’s development and learning. Their brains often become wired to function on survival mode; and often they resort to flight or fight tactics. Traumatic experiences can impact children’s moods, their social and emotional development and their ability to regulate their emotions. They may have developed coping skills to help them survive the repeated trauma that later become mal-adaptive and isolate the children as they grow. They become broken and tossed aside by those close to them, who are often the cause of their neglect, physical, psychological or sexual abuse. Having lost their childhood, they often lose their self-respect, self-worth, self-confidence and they also lose their willingness to trust adults. Anyone working with traumatized individuals needs to go through extensive trauma-informed training in order to learn how to adapt their expectations, behaviours and communication style to meet the needs of the young women in their care. Within the right framework, a trauma-informed framework, individuals dealing with traumatized clients can become safe adults and role models that can help their clients regain trust; increase their resilience and gain the skills they need to rebuild their lives. Our aim is to train professionals so that they have the necessary background for working with traumatized clients; The first training course is in Resource Based Therapies (RBT). The course leader takes the trainees through a course covering Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (which is a sort of a short-term therapy technique focusing not on the underlying problem, but rather on finding solutions) and positive psychology and its practical therapeutic applications. The next course is an introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). This course being an overview, before a 4-day intensive course, which is part of a series of 3 modules that will lead the team to each qualify with a certificate in DBT. DBT is a cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy technique that was first developed for patients with Borderline Personality Disorders (BPD), however, it is now widely and commonly used for behavioral treatments such as managing risky behaviors and emotional stabilization. Learning and Healing through Creative Therapies Traditional therapeutic approaches frequently fail with individuals who have experienced such intense trauma over extended periods of time. Creative expression can be a more effective tool in the healing process. The four creative therapies OMID focuses on are music engagement, visual arts therapy, movement-based creative expression, and expressive writing. In these forms of expression, arts modalities and creative processes are used during intentional interventions to foster emotional well-being. The creative processes become a refuge from the intense emotions associated with the traumas that the young women have experienced. They become a powerful way to help clients to express these feelings through tactile involvement at a somatic level, as well as to facilitate verbal communication and cathartic release and reveal unconscious materials and symbols that cannot be expressed through words. These forms of therapy help clients in four key ways, as shown in the diagram below.