Using alternative, nonmedical techniques to discharge pent-up stress and trauma, the center has, for more than a decade, been bringing its work to global war zones and disaster areas. Its postwar program began in Kosovo, where its work helped reduce children's diagnosed levels of PTSD symptoms from 88 percent to 38 percent, founder Jim Gordon says.
"What's different about this is that it's not a pathological model - it's for people who want to learn to take care of themselves," Dr. Gordon explains in a Jerusalem interview following a recent week-long training session Gaza, his 16th visit to the embattled coastal strip since 2002. Domestically, the center helped victims of Hurricane Katrina, and more recently, the center has been helping US soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Rates of postwar psychological disorders have become an increasing priority for the US military, following the massacre at the Fort Hood military base in Texas last month.
"We have many people come who would never dream of seeing a therapist, but will come to a group to share their experiences," Gordon says. "We teach them in a large-group setting to use these techniques to quiet themselves and to mobilize their imagination."