Beyond Victim Mentality
Human Rights Office Kandy organized a two day residential workshop from the 22nd to the 24thMarch 2013 for the families of the Torture victims and the families of the Prisoners, based on the theme “Beyond Victim Mentality” to raise their mindset to maintain a holistic life style and acquire a sense of control over their lives. The goal of the workshop as defined by Steve Maraboli is “I am not a victim. No matter what I have been through, I'm still here. I have a history of victory.” There were 30 participants for the workshop. The workshop was held at the Fatima Retreat House at Lewella Kandy.
A victim is someone who is victimized. Victim mentality is to live without a sense of hope, to feel defeated and be unable to exercise the free will. Anxiety, fear, and lack of self-belief all contrive to make one feel like a victim. But it is possible for so called ‘victims’ to refuse to give in totally to a ‘victim’ mindset and 'set rules' in one’s own mind. People under the greatest of stress can still maintain some sense of control even if externally they seem like 'victims'. It is less likely for them to suffer persistent symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and still maintain a sense of personal control.
The input sessions brought home to their minds their past and present experiences as a victim. The realization of what it is to be a ‘Victim’ was an eye opener for them to move beyond the victim mentality. While sharing their own life experiences they were slowly directed towards adopting a positive mind set which would help them reformulate their lives in the future.
Group Art Therapy and personal art work put them back to their original state of their child like creativity and visualization. Slowly but steadily they became aware of their own strengths and capabilities and began to value their personal worth and appreciate themselves.
Walking meditation, Relaxation exercises, Yoga exercises, and Water Therapy relaxed their bodies and minds which were severely affected by past traumatic experiences.
Towards the end of the day a medical doctor explained the effects of trauma on the body and the ways and means of body recovery. The medical clinic organized for the survivor group was well received and remedied many of their mental and physical aches.
By the end of the two day workshop the feedback of the participants was positive and they were refreshed and relaxed. They now look forward to the future with a sense of hope.
“The problem that we have with a victim mentality is that we forget to see the blessings of the day. Because of this, our spirit is poisoned instead of nourished.” Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free.
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