Archive for the ‘Trauma Counseling’ Category

Together for Marawi: An MLAC Institute Partnership with San Miguel Foundation, Inc.

by Hannah Morillo

            On 27-28 July 2017, the MLAC Team led by Dr. Honey Carandang, facilitated a two-day workshop for the Armed Forces of the Philippines Reserve Command, entitled Training on Trauma Counseling, Mindfulness, and Self-Care, at the V. Luna Medical Center and Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. Through the generous support of San Miguel Foundation, Inc., MLAC Institute was able to reach out to the AFP to equip the army reserve, mostly from the academic field, medical field (nurses, doctors, medical technicians, and psychologists), lawyers, and army officers, among others, with the essential information and tools for when they will be deployed to Marawi.

            The two-day training aimed to bring more awareness to their own processes, prevent possible burnout or trauma, and get to know the definition and nature of trauma more deeply by not only orienting the participants with the technical knowledge of trauma, but also sharing with them its nuanced forms based on clinical practice. In the end, the participants were able to get in touch with their selves before they face the war-stricken zones and offer help to their combat troops. The fruitful event was closed by VAdm. Narciso Vingson, Jr., AFP Deputy Chief of Staff (to represent AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año), through a lively and resplendent display of nationalism for our country and compassion for the troops in Marawi.


The opening ceremony of the two-day training at VLuna Medical Center, with the heads of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, San Miguel Foundation, Inc., and MLAC Institute


Dr. Honey Carandang delivers a talk to 111 participants from the AFP on the nature of trauma.


An activity with smaller groups after the talk of Dr. Honey Carandang.


The MLAC team clinicing and posing for a photo with San Miguel Foundation Executive Director, Camille Buenaventura.


            The participants learned about the significance of mindfulness and self-care especially when reaching out to others.


Expressive arts activity with the smaller groups. The participants were each given the book, Presence (by MLAC and Team), sponsored by TELUS International, Philippines.



The participants take a mindful pause and appreciate the importance of journaling.


Small group sharing and processing.


Dr. Honey Carandang was awarded a plaque for the training and workshop conducted with the MLAC Institute Team of psychologists.


All the people behind the successful training – from the organizers to the facilitators and leaders of organizations. MLAC Institute with our own “general”, Dr. Honey Carandang.


The participants of the training during their graduation rites.


The Pakikipagkapwa-Damdamin book launch is this Saturday already :)

Hello friends! The Pakikipagkapwa-Damdamin book launch is this Saturday already! We hope to see you there 🙂

Invite to the book launching of the 20th anniversary edition of Pakikipagkapwa-Damdamin :)

Hello everyone! You are all invited to the launch of the 20th anniversary edition of Pakikipagkapwa-Damdamin on July 16, 2016. Entrance fee already includes a free copy of the book! More details below. See you there! 🙂

A Look Back at the Original Pakikipagkapwa-Damdamin book 20 years ago

The Ultimate Throwback: Here is an excerpt from the original Pakikipagkapwa-Damdamin book 20 years ago, including the original cover of the book 🙂
We hope to see you all during the book launch on July 16, 2016! 8-12nn (8-8:30am registration) @ Miriam College ESI bldg. 

For more information on how to reserve a seat contact or 0916-6821437.


Heroes of Yolanda

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Hello MLAC friends!

Please check out an article written by our very own Richie Rosales Parr about our work with the families of employees of CHR who were affected by typhoon Yolanda. Thank you Richie!

Finding Compassion


Finding Compassion

by: Tess Aguilar

I find it a contradiction that human suffering brings out the best in people. Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace prize winner and Holocaust survivor said, “Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope too can be given to one only by other human beings. ” MLAC Psychological Services led by Dr. Ma. Lourdes A. Carandang and her team of psychologists bask in such a contradiction. What we do is not easy, but it is necessary.

Along the path of our mission, we found allies who, like us, carry the same vision. This summer of May, our team members Richie Parr and Tessibeth Cordova spearheaded a project with our sponsors TIAXA International and Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) in doing trauma counseling for families and children who survived typhoon Yolanda and now are relocated in Pampanga. It was a series of therapeutic interventions through the expressive arts. During the interventions, therapy became the language of their soul. Every artwork, every movement, and every story, remembered the experience of devastation.



Every therapeutic work unearths gems from the “rubble”.  Let me share with you what I have found.

I sat in awe and admiration listening to a group of men and women about the impact of typhoon Yolanda. They described the devastation as unimaginable but also a tragedy that they conquered. My heart broke into so many pieces listening to their stories. Like them, I didn’t know how to put the pieces back together. Every story created a unique kind of pain. Yet, it was in sharing these stories and being together that we were able to piece our broken hearts.

All stories touched me and changed me in many ways. But there is one story, which I want to mention most especially. The story came from Mercy ( not her real name) . At the aftermath of Yolanda, she and her family went so hungry.  There was no food, only desolation. With her indomitable spirit she walked miles with her young niece to look for food. It took them a day to find enough loot. As they headed back home, what they saw were corpses and the lingering stench of death. In its midst, they also met hungry people needing food. Without hesitation, the food she intended for her family, she shared with them.  They went home with enough to give to her family.

I wanted to weep in the middle of therapy for her compassion was so deep and priceless. I wanted to weep because her heart was huge enough to accommodate not just her hungry family, but those who did not have anything to eat.  If I have wept, my tears could not have conveyed the admiration I had for Mercy. Her compassion bears no name because for me it was beyond words.  My tears also meant to say that such compassion carries it’s own magnitude that the universe is sure to know that hope is real.

My sense of awe put me in a place of humility. It is only with genuine goodness and deep love that you know you have found true compassion.

The adults processing their art as a community.

The adults processing their art as a community.

Preview to the Trauma Therapy with the Survivors of Typhoon Yolanda

February 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Preview to the Trauma Therapy with the Survivors of Typhoon Yolanda

By Jaymee Q. Leonen

In response to the onslaught of the Typhoon Yolanda that left many homes devastated last November 8, 2013, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) partnered with MLAC Psychosocial Services for Well-being to provide their employees and their families with psychosocial support. So far, two group trauma therapy sessions were provided to the employees of CHR- Region 8, covering the areas of Leyte and Samar. CHR transported their employees to the island of Cebu and housed them in St. Mark’s Hotel, where they were provided trauma therapy by the MLAC team members.

Last December 19-20, 2013, the first batch of CHR Region 8 employees and their families were provided trauma therapy sessions by MLAC team members. A total of five CHR families and their employees were guided in their journey to recovery by MLAC members Rachel Parr ,Marisa Marin, Queenie Cezar, and Peachy Gonzales, with me as their documentor.


MLAC members with the CHR Region 8 employees and their families after the fruitful two-day session last December 19-20, 2013.

The second group trauma therapy intervention was conducted last January 28-29, 2014. This was a larger group of families, comprised of almost 60 attendees. To ensure the quality of the processing sessions, a larger group of MLAC facilitators also came to the sessions, namely Marisa Marin and Rebecca Gerodias for the children, Queenie Cezar and Chris Carandang for the adolescents, and Aileen  Sison , Rachel Parr, Fiona Sandoval , Wash Garcia, and Peachy Fernando for the adults. Dr. Maria Lourdes “Honey” Carandang also came with the group to provide the input on trauma and to answer the questions of the adults regarding their experiences and also help the facilitators in integrating the key lessons learned from each of the participants’ experiences. The entire program for the children was documented by Anna Lopez, while I was assigned to document the program for the adults and adolescents.

Tita Honey and MLAC team members with the CHR Region 8 employees and their families post the very successful session last January 28, 2014.

Tita Honey and MLAC team members with the CHR Region 8 employees and their families post the very successful session last January 28, 2014.

Many lessons were learned during both sessions. Please watch out for a more complete write-up of the insights gained from these two activities in the coming week.