The Family, People Helping People
The drug crisis in the Bahamas, paired with the recent socioeconomic downturn, has led to increases in violence, lack of respect for property, and youth gang formation, resulting in a breakdown of family values. These forces fracture and fragment Bahamian society, coalescing into a self-perpetuating culture of antagonism. In response to this community fragmentation, “The Family: People Helping People” Program is an intervention designed to improve socialization in Nassau, The Bahamas. The group therapy model offers support, opportunities, and training to improve communication and relationships. The Family aims to help people replace negative emotions and behaviors with positive ones through open discussion. While similar therapy models only target one main aspect of rehabilitation, The Family project addresses a broader range of psychosocial issues to facilitate community re-building through personal transformation. The core question is: What is necessary to improve long-term socialization in the Bahamian community?
De-socialization is the process of creating a presence for the Shame Self, characterized by fear, hurt, and anger, which results in a diminished and destructive view of the self, life, and the world. In contrast, re-socialization is defined as the process of developing an inner vision of the Self extending beyond one’s limitations to experience one’s potential that is characterized by love, compassion, gratitude, and forgiveness. We will address the core question of finding what is necessary to improve long-term socialization in the Bahamian community by building up the main work of The Family program through widening the therapeutic scope and teaching its doctrine to others. Resources are needed to operate The Family project over a long-term period, as well as to develop a rigorous instrument to define and evaluate how treatment is able to change the view of the Self and influence social behavior (re-socialization). Furthermore, we propose to train lay and professional therapists to aid the healing process of others in their community. Finally, we want to expand the Family project into other fragmented areas to widen its reach. These new Family projects will provide insight into the role of cultural influences in re-socialization psychotherapy.