Mental health was the focus of this month’s social work training, with an exciting and cutting-edge therapy tool taking center stage.


Many of Children’s Future’s students experience distressing situations on an ongoing basis – often losing caretakers, witnessing violence or being subjected to assaults. Additionally, growing up in an environment of severe poverty adversely affects their self-confidence and ability to learn.

The Group Protocol and Stabilization Technique trainings provided our social workers with in-depth tools to support students dealing with emotional trauma, severe distress and behavioral problems. But the trainings were not only aimed at students in the present. The evidence based and scientifically backed-up “stabilization techniques” help children build resilience and learn to withstand future adverse experiences with less of a risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder.

The training was led by Janet Wright, an EMDR specialist and award-winning social worker, and Zach Rawlings, a long-time member of the Children’s Future family and licensed professional counselor. It also marks the beginning of a long-term partnership between the EMDR Cambodia Association, represented by Plaktin Om and Phearith Phul, and Children’s Future.

Despite the proven success of the technique, it is not widely used in NGOs in Cambodia. Trainings like these are a substantial part of our focus on local capacity-building and best practice, and critical to our long-term goal of enabling our students to support themselves and their community.