In response to the trauma suffered by Sri Lankans in the tsunami of December 26, 2004, Zen teacher and psychotherapist Joan Hogetsu Hoeberichts traveled to Sri Lanka to help introduce a form of group therapy called “Council.”
Hoeberichts and other American psychotherapists associated with New Jersey’s Heart Circle Sangha taught the therapeutic technique to Sri Lankan paraprofessionals working for Sarvodaya, a local non-governmental organization.
Working together, Americans and Sri Lankans incorporated meditation, mindfulness, and culturally congruent spiritual ritual that made the group process acceptable and healing to the survivors, who were Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Christian.
Hoeberichts wrote an article about her experiences for the peer-reviewed Journal of Religion and Health.
Read the full article here (PDF format): Teaching Council in Sri Lanka: A Post Disaster, Culturally Sensitive and Spiritual Model of Group Process