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Rob Blinn



Age: 60
Joined: 16 May 2008
Posts: 21
Location: Mianyang / Beichuan
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:40 pm  Post subject:  From Wugu School in the earthquake zone - Aug 2 Reply with quoteBottom of PageBack to top

Today we returned to Wugu School, the place where we experienced the 6.1 aftershock yesterday.

Daniel , Lisa, and Donna worked with their trainees treating three grandparents of a kindergartner who was killed during the partial collapse of the Kindergarten building on May 12.

Simultaneously, Ale and his trainees worked with a group of nine of the classmates of the deceased Kindergartner.

Before the session, I wandered around and found the Kindergarten building in back of the school. This was another site that touched many of us. To see the cartoon paintings on the side of a building that had partially collapsed, to see the lunchboxes amid piles of rubble was heartbreaking.

The grandparents, in the midst of their grief, looked and reported feeling better following their sessions. During the session that I observed with Ale and the nine Kindergartners, I noticed that one little girl was not participating. She would not smile and stared ahead blankly. She would not walk or play with other children, but instead had to be carried around from place to place by an adult. I tried to engage her verbally, but only got her to state her name. The site coordinator asked about how we should respond to her. I told him to wait and that we would see if Ale and his group could work with her after the group session.

After the group session, Ale made time to work with her and did a teaching session. During the session we learned that this five year-old had been trapped under the rubble. Her symptoms included paucity of speech, lack of eye contact, lack of emotion, difficulty separating from adults, and fearfulness. As Ale started to work with her, this little girl started to come alive. He pushed on her feet trying to activate her ability to complete the fight or flight response that was thwarted when she was trapped in the rubble. She started to express more emotion and then started sobbing deeply, something no one had seen since the earthquake. Ale involved Jamie Yang, the translator who was holding her, in the intervention, intervening to help Jamie center and be able to hold the little girl. Very slowly, like ice thawing on a cold day, this little girl started to change, she stood up and started interacting on a more playful level. Flash forward two hours and this little girl was talking, laughing, and walking around the camp with friends putting small flowers in places where she could fit them.

Everyone: Ale, the trainees, the Wall Street Journal reporter who accompanied us today, and some of the villagers who observed, were amazed at the transformation.

Following lunch, the trainers had planned a group intervention with all four trainers, all 24 trainees, and 27 children around the age of 12. This intervention started with the exercise “I have the power.” Some kids “collapsed” and were having a tough time and worked with trainees and trainers individually. Lisa commented that the team saw a greater number of children in the “collapsed form of freeze” than the team had ever seen before. For those who are not familiar with Somatic Experiencing, when a person or animal is not able to fight or flee during a situation that is perceived to be threatening, he or she will often shut down into a “frozen” state. Physiologically, this is similar to what happens when a cat catches a mouse and doesn’t kill it but rather plays with it. The mouse is “frozen” and looks like it might be dead even though it hasn'’t been hurt. An opossum is probably the example that most people are most familiar with.

Lisa mentioned today that the hospital administrator who set up the clients we worked this week said to her today that there have been many experts who trained them but our training was the first to actually work in the field with trainees and give them skills that were useful. This administrator repeatedly expressed his gratitude and asked if we could be available to help with problems in the future. It is our plan, funding permitting, to return several times in the next 10 months to train new trainees and also work with the trainees we have already trained. As the bus pulled away from Wugu, we looked back to see several of the teenage girls we had treated with tears streaming down their faces. The WSJ reporter that followed us today commented on the row after row after row of tents and temporary housing that one sees in the earthquake zone. We are hoping to come back and train more trainees so that we can at least make a small difference.


Rob Blinn, Ph.D.

_________________
Mainland China Coordinator of China Earthquake Relief Project (CHERP)

Psychologist
Director, Family Counseling Center
Beijing United Family Hospitals and Clinics
E-mail: rob.blinn@ufh.com.cn
United Family Hospitals

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Rob Blinn



Age: 60
Joined: 16 May 2008
Posts: 21
Location: Mianyang / Beichuan
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:46 pm  Post subject:  (No subject) Reply with quoteBottom of PageBack to top

Click on the link below to view picture of a

Partially Collapsed Kindergarten in Wugu

_________________
Mainland China Coordinator of China Earthquake Relief Project (CHERP)

Psychologist
Director, Family Counseling Center
Beijing United Family Hospitals and Clinics
E-mail: rob.blinn@ufh.com.cn
United Family Hospitals

Aries  Pig OfflinePersonal Gallery of Rob BlinnView user's profileSend private message
Rob Blinn



Age: 60
Joined: 16 May 2008
Posts: 21
Location: Mianyang / Beichuan
usa.gif
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:48 pm  Post subject:  (No subject) Reply with quoteBottom of PageBack to top

Click on the link below to view picture of

"I've got the power exercise"

_________________
Mainland China Coordinator of China Earthquake Relief Project (CHERP)

Psychologist
Director, Family Counseling Center
Beijing United Family Hospitals and Clinics
E-mail: rob.blinn@ufh.com.cn
United Family Hospitals

Aries  Pig OfflinePersonal Gallery of Rob BlinnView user's profileSend private message
Rob Blinn



Age: 60
Joined: 16 May 2008
Posts: 21
Location: Mianyang / Beichuan
usa.gif
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:50 pm  Post subject:  (No subject) Reply with quoteBottom of PageBack to top

Click on the link below to view picture of the

Happy 5 year-old

_________________
Mainland China Coordinator of China Earthquake Relief Project (CHERP)

Psychologist
Director, Family Counseling Center
Beijing United Family Hospitals and Clinics
E-mail: rob.blinn@ufh.com.cn
United Family Hospitals

Aries  Pig OfflinePersonal Gallery of Rob BlinnView user's profileSend private message
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