Training Camp: Helping Helpers
Training camp "Helping Helpers" was held in Ugljan, Croatia
Ugljan, Croatia, June 25th 2017 – For every person in this world it is necessary to pay attention to personal needs, feelings, thoughts and body, and to be able to deal with the difficult situations that come their way, but at the same time to keep the joy needed to live a normal life. In light of that, the organization Croatian Baptist Aid successfully brought to an end the three year program “Helping Helpers”.
We are witnesses to the fact that since the 1990’s there has been an immense need for a program like “Helping Helpers”, where people in church leadership and church organizations, nongovernment organizations, state officials, medical workers, and others in helping professions, can ask for help. People are tired, burdened, their physical and mental health is at risk; all of that results in burnout, depression, even suicidal thoughts, and is reflected in people’s personal growth and development, in their families, but also in their work. The consequences of being in this state long term are detachment, addictions, unresolved conflicts, and the creation of an atmosphere where useful programs cannot succeed. It is important to recognize the needs and prevent those situations and states. The program “Helping Helpers” primarily wants to give people a place where they can find necessary help and quality education, which will serve them as a healthy foundation in working with other people in their ministries. Each person with a calling to serve also has a need for constant spiritual, psychological and emotional growth and maturing. Helping professions require a place where those, who work with others, can “charge their batteries” in order to competently respond the needs of those they serve.
Because of that, the program “Helping Helpers” is conceived as an all-year program consisting of four weekend seminars, a one-week camp training at the coast, and support groups in the participants’ countries of origin. The program is run by highly educated professionals, who are long term workers in the fields of psychotherapy, counseling and Christian counseling, and theology. The program is meant to equip and motivate participants that while working with others they don’t forget to work on themselves, to constantly develop and learn, and to direct the participants to strengthen their relationship with God and other people. Every part of the program has two aspects: the first is theological, where the participants study biblical texts and discuss the biblical approach to counseling; the other is education in psychology, Gestalt psychotherapy, counseling, Christian counseling through interactive group work.
“One of the things I learned here was the importance of making the invisible visible, in order to stop dealing with consequences, and focus more on the cause of our behavior – which is often present in our churches, dealing more with the consequences rather than the cause,” said the president of the Protestant Evangelical Alliance, pastor Giorgio Grlj. Learning about the importance of expressing our expectations and entering the “invisible” processes, was just a part of this year’s training camp called “Healing in contact”. The training camp had a goal of helping participants learn how to set boundaries in helping professions, which is the first step in working with people, and helps to protect oneself and others. When a person has a difficulty saying “no” out of the need to please others, who are demanding, critical, violent, or because they have the need for constant validation, then it is the person’s first responsibility to say something before they enter burn out. There are different boundaries, such as material, psychological, emotional, mental, sexual, and spiritual; it is important that a person can differentiate where his boundaries are, did he even set them and is the way he is setting them healthy, before beginning to work with others. If a person is working in a helping profession, it is important to find time for some introspection, and set boundaries in an assertive way. Setting boundaries doesn’t mean being selfish; man’s primary responsibility is to protect oneself, and stay firm behind each “yes” and “no”. Setting efficient and quality boundaries is a process that requires time but it is necessary for a person to build their identity and take responsibility for their life.
In cooperation with current partners, the organization Croatian Baptist Aid will continues with the program “Helping Helpers” throughout the next five years, with the goal of making the program available to the people in the helping professions in South East Europe.
You can read more about it at: http://www.cbaid.org/en/projects-eng/45-helping-helpers
Croatian Baptist Aid is a non-governmental, nonprofit, humanitarian organization based in Zagreb, Croatia. The mission of Croatian Baptist Aid is to prevent human suffering, to serve those in need, and to promote peace and all humanitarian and social work. The goal of Croatian Baptist Aid is to help individuals and vulnerable groups in society to live lives worthy of human beings.
Croatian Baptist Aid's work is based on Evangelical and humanistic values
If you wish to support Croatian Baptist Aid, send your donation to:
Account Name: RUKE NADE (this is Croatian registered name for CBA and means Hands of Hope)
Address : Radiceva 30, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Bank name: Privredna banka Zagreb
Bank address: Radnicka cesta 50, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Bank account / IBAN: HR3823400091110817743
SWIFT ID Code: PBZGHR2X