Neuro specialist addresses post-Cyclone trauma issues

Published on 1st Dec, 2023
Trauma specialist Dr Andy Harkin speaking at the two-day workshop in Napier for mental-health practitioners working with people affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. Photo: Supplied

WelCom December 2023

Nick Wilson

The Diocese of Palmerston North in collaboration with Frontiers of Hope Director Michael Hempseed, brought neuro and trauma specialist Dr Andy Harkin to Napier for a workshop, for mental-health practitioners working with people affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Dr Harkin led the two-day workshop in October, which was generously hosted at the Mission Centre of the Catholic Parish of Napier. Dr Andy, a GP and a psychotherapist in Australia, is leading the development and implementation of a new modality of therapy called Deep Brain Reorienting (DBR).

DBR is a gaining momentum to treat PTSD and trauma. Early research indicators suggest the modality is having significant success with patients.

The attendee practitioners wish to thank the Catholic community donors for their generosity to the Cyclone Relief Fund because it meant that they – mental-health practitioners, therapists and counsellors – could attend this event at no cost.

The workshops examined the neuroscience and neuroanatomy behind trauma and PTSD and applied this understanding and treating people experiencing the symptoms of threat response and trauma through DBR. The practitioners who attended, work in person and online with people affected by the Cyclone Gabrielle event.

The Diocese and Frontiers of Hope are looking to bring Dr Andy back to the Hawke’s Bay in 2024.

The Palmerston North Diocesan Cyclone Relief Fund has an allocations’ committee that is providing ongoing support to the community post-Cyclone Gabrielle. If you are from the cyclone-affected areas and would like to request support, please contact Nick Wilson at [email protected] in the first instance.

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