Both Catholic papers reported on the seminar on 'Trauma Focus Therapy' which will continue at St. Mary's Hospital in Seoul. Korea has had more than its share of trauma causing experiences: Japanese colonial rule, the Korean War, the fight for Democracy, continues to influence society. The recent Sewol tragedy will also, if not addressed produce for years to come, trauma for the families of the victims and society.
article begins with the statement that with the external mental trauma
a person has to deal with, we often have a mental and a psychological
breakdown. Dr. Mary Kwan who arrived in Korea from the States is a
member of the team conducting a seminar for those dealing with trauma in
society. Efforts are necessary to train those who work with persons who
have experienced trauma: not treated the experience will be handed down to other generations. She mentions you can't treat all trauma in the same way.
mentions that in Europe and the States instead of dealing directly
with the mental and psychological difficulties in the beginning they
work with the body. Concern is for the way a person is feeling in the
What are the physical sensations in the body? This is not what we do in Korea, she laments.
We often confuse psychological
treatment with trauma treatment. Dr. Kwan makes clear they are two
different approaches to the problems. In psychological problems
treatment is usually to bring up the events that have caused the difficulties, and speak about them and face the emotions that arise. She
maintains this is not what you want to do with trauma for it often makes
matters worse. Efforts need to be made to approach the emotions
aroused in a gradual way.
Korea we talk a lot about a nervous disorder they attribute to
pent up resentment: anger disease--"Han". The problems that come with
trauma, the scars are often deepened, and develop into unhealthy side
effects. The mass media has a great deal to do in the way they treat the
news--whether it will increase or decrease the trauma in society.
in pastoral work should be conscious of the difference between
psychological problems and trauma producing experiences. People with
problems do not only go to the specialists with their problems but to
the religious people in their lives, which makes it necessary for
pastoral workers to be familiar with what is necessary to help those in
the seminar she hopes to use many clinical examples that will make
clear some of problems that are faced dealing with trauma, without
speaking only abstractly. There are many who go to their pastoral worker
when facing trauma and often are disappointed, feel betrayed and in
anger leave their faith life.
does not have a healthy social safety net which makes it more difficult
for the citizens. She concludes with the reminder that people are the
best help in reducing the incidents of trauma. When we have mental and
psychological problems, and those in our lives are not at our side;
we have to deal with the problems alone, which increases the danger of trauma.