Therapy and hand cream

Therapy and hand cream.

Sehadet Ekmen has an unusual approach to helping refugees deal with the trauma of war. Yee-Liu Williams finds out more.

It is 5am, a Tuesday and a bleary-eyed Sehadet Ekmen is catching her weekly flight from Istanbul to Ankara, where she is doing a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies to add to her Masters in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience from Goldsmith’s, London.

The 30-year-old neuropsychologist established the Psychology Education and Negotiation (PEN) Academy in Istanbul, to offer family therapy and counselling to children and young people. She is also the champion of an unlikely source of therapy: hand cream massage. She is trialling this with Syrian women and children in the refugee camps near the Turkish border and says that the power of touch has been transformative.

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