Garden Soil

The Healing Community of AMEN

Hello there, and welcome to the Healing Community of Land Where Women Heal.

If you are here, then most probably you (or someone close to you) are dealing with the pain and crisis caused by sexual abuse.
We are so sorry for what you’ve had to experience, and for all the ways in which the abuse continues to cause you pain and suffering in the present. We are proud of you for still being here, fighting for yourself, and seeking help. You deserve all the support in the world.

 

Unfortunately, sexual violence remains a devastating and widespread phenomenon which draws a hard and long-lasting price. Many women (and men) suffer from various complex PTSD symptoms: depression, eating disorders, DID and other dissociative disorders, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, and more.

 

Sexual violence affects everyone differently, but it is important that you know that it’s OK to feel everything you are feeling. Everything you are experiencing is a normal reaction to the terrible thing that happened to you. It’s important that you know that you are not at fault, and you are not alone.

AMEN was established by survivors for survivors.

Today AMEN is led by professional women, as well as knowledgeable women with life experience, who believe it is possible to heal. We believe every woman deserves proper trauma-informed therapy. We know how difficult and scary it is, and choose to be there with you and everything that it brings.
 

AMEN was established because in Israel today, there is no proper treatment for those brave women fighting day and night to live in the shadow of their trauma.
 

AMEN was established since we understand that improper treatment may re-enact the trauma and even worsen distress.
 

AMEN was established because lacking proper treatment, many women commit suicide.

We are a young organization, and still do not have governmental support. Our whole operation runs on contributions and volunteers. We understand that it will take years for society to brace the gap between the enormous need and the few places that can offer proper treatment. This gap results from generations of silencing. By asking and demanding help, by recognizing your need for proper treatment, you are already part of this change.

 

We chose to begin in one place, designed to support you at the peak of your crisis. With time, this model will propagate and be reproduced worldwide.

 

We sincerely wish we could give anyone in need an immediate response… we’re here so that in the long term there will be a place for all.

 

The healing community at AMEN offers women living with complex PTSD a safe and protected space where they can undergo their process of healing. We specialize in professional trauma-informed care in a feminist and holistic approach. Supported by a dedicated and experienced team of clinical social workers, holistic therapists, instructors, and volunteers, we provide women comprehensive support 24/7. Our belief is that every woman holds within herself the power and the wisdom to overcome crisis, as well as grow from it. We believe that no woman should be there alone. Within a supportive community, close to nature, women in AMEN find their way to survive, heal and prosper. The tools they acquire at AMEN enable them to venture on a new and independent path.

Our work process at AMEN at is based on 8 core principles:

Trauma-Informed Care

The essence of trauma is the disempowerment of the victim; healing is therefore enabled as one connects with oneself, and creates new relationships based on trust. In a supportive environment, each woman leads/directs her own healing process.


Feminism and Leadership
AMEN is an incubator for female leadership. Any woman who overcomes and releases herself of the confines of trauma, chooses to lead her own life and then to be(come) a social leader – is a powerful force of healing that gives way to the possibility of imagining a new future for society and humanity.

 

Community – We Are a Community
Here in AMEN, one of the main ways to deal with crisis is by creating a tight feminine and humane support network – enabling every woman to support and be supported, practice healthy relationships of trust and feel meaningful and worthy, and to remember she is not alone.

 

Nature Heals – Healing is Natural
The healing community of AMEN is situated close to nature. The connection with nature and the land is an essential step on the path to healing. It is also a place for relief and release, expression of pain and grief, which enables, in its unique way, a process of transformation.

 

Gynecosophy – The Wisdom of the Whole Woman
The healing process at AMEN focuses on coming home to our body, womb, female cyclicality and healthy sexuality, and making peace with our womanhood. Gynecosophy (gyneco =woman, sophia = wisdom), is a school of thought developed by Marva Zohar, combining ancient feminine tribal medicine from around the world and modern western-world knowledge.

 

Crisis as Birth
We understand that immense personal or social difficulty can be an opportunity for birthing something new, a new creation. In biblical Hebrew, the word “crisis” (מַשְׁבֵּר, Mashber) means ”birthing stool”, or “birth”. We believe that crisis is an opportunity to be reborn. Within a supportive environment, the wisdom of birth is revealed at every moment anew.

Growing and Learning
Our model at AMEN evolves as we go along. We are dedicated to ongoing learning and development, through our dialogue with professional experts, as well as trade literature and knowledge from life experience.

 

Open Dialogue
The ‘open dialogue’ approach is the core moral compass of AMEN. Through an open dialogue, a woman’s social network and close circle are perceived as full and active partners in her process of recovery from crisis. This approach was developed in a psychiatric hospital in Finland in the 1980’s, and is considered today to be one of the most effective and economical approaches in the world for treating emotional crises.


 

Who is the Healing Community for?
The healing community invites adult women over 18 years of age, dealing with complex post trauma (C-PTSD) resulting from sexual violence. The full stay at AMEN is meant for women experiencing a time of crisis, which is characteristic of the healing process.

Where is the healing community located?
The healing community is based in Kiryat Tiv’on, within Land Where Women Heal – a center for female wisdom, celebration and empowerment. The center also hosts various workshops on female empowerment and health, as well as gynecosophy studies. These are part of the yielding enterprises which support the healing community.

What does the treatment plan include?
Individualized sessions: open dialogue meetings, body treatments, and herbal medicine and clinical herbal dietetics consultations.
Procedural groups: trauma and healing, feminism and leadership, community discussions – communication, agreements and relationships, and various other workshops.
Sustainability and craft: participating in the ancient crafts center of AMEN, working the land, nature walks, gathering herbs.
Ceremonies: we conduct singing circles, communal evenings, ceremonies for holidays and seasons, as well as personal ceremonies supporting and marking the completion of the healing process. We believe that ceremonies aid in community building, and enable those who are interested to reconnect authentically with their inner powers and the powers of good in the world.

The women living in AMEN are treated psychiatrically according to their individual needs, each by a physician of her choice, whether through her medical plan or privately – but not by AMEN. Our professional staff maintains ongoing communication with the caregivers in the community.

AMEN – Land Where Women Heal is a community. Stemming from our values and our view on healing as a preparation for independent life, household chores and the maintenance of the center are the shared responsibility of the our residents. You should be aware that community life brings forward encounters and relationships with different women and their life-stories, each having unique powers and strengths, as well as encounters with traumatic materials that may overwhelm or trigger.


How long can I stay at AMEN?
The duration of stay at AMEN varies from 3 months to 3 years (including a transition to the graduate* community), and is modeled individually by each woman’s needs, and according to the processof her healing.

What are the accommodations like?
Staying at AMEN means living in a condominium, 2-3 women sharing a room, with a vegetarian/vegan kitchen, and a supportive network of volunteers and counselors, with the guidance of additional professional women, during all hours of the day. During the nights, there is always a caregiver at hand, and a professional on call.

What is the cost of staying at AMEN?
AMEN is run by the Ohela foundation – promoting communal spaces for women’s wisdom and healing. AMEN is a non-profit operation. We have no government support (yet). Our activity is based on contributions and volunteers. The stay at AMEN – including accommodation, meals, professional therapy, 24/7 care and support including weekends and holidays – is estimated at 12,000 NIS per month. Currently, every woman that arrives at AMEN receives a monthly scholarship of 7,000 NIS from the organization, and is required to self-finance the additional monthly 5,000 NIS.

There are options for funding your stay by actualizing your right for disabled persons pension + rental assistance from the housing ministry.


Is there a place for men?
rental assistance We believe each and every one deserves a place like AMEN. We know sexual violence affects women and men, cisgender and transgender alike. Our healing community provides for women who define themselves as women. We hope and believe that in the future, many healing communities like ours will be founded, for all genders, in Israel and around the world.

Is partial participation possible as well?
There is an option of joining the daytime program group – which meets at AMEN twice a week and is intended for women who are treated privately within their community and live in the vicinity of Kiryat Tiv’on.
 
Safety and protection

We understand PTSD can bring forth various symptoms, and we are here to facilitate complex processes. We are not a hospital, nor an alternative for hospitalization; there is no medical staff on hand, and the premises is unlocked.

AMEN is a place of rehabilitation and healing for women who are at the stage of trauma processing, have supportive connections within the community, and are capable of functioning independently within a supportive community. We cannot provide a shelter for women at high risk. 

AMEN invites women who are willing and able to take responsibility for – and be full partners in – their recovery.

Women who choose to protect themselves and the community in the face of any kind of violence and abuse, who understand that it is impossible to do so alone, but also know it is impossible to protect you – without you.

Use of alcohol, drugs or unprescribed medication is prohibited on the premises.
 

Introduction to the orientation process

1. Initial application is via the link below. Women may apply on their own, or with the aid of a therapist or any other liaison of their choice.

2. Currently, we are fully booked. We have a waiting list, and from time to time, when there’s a spot available, we contact women on the list. Therefore, we recommend filling in the form in order to be on the waiting list.


3. When we have a vacancy, one of our volunteers will contact you on the phone for the first stage of the admission process. If the stay at AMEN seems like a suitable placement, we will schedule an orientation conversation at AMEN, in Tiv’on.

4. You are invited to the orientation conversation with 2 accompanying women from your support circle. these may be friends, family members, or therapists. During your visit here, we will tour the grounds of the healing community, the boarding house, and premises of the Land Where Women Heal. An additional discussion with our professional staff will also take place.


5. After considering mutual compatibility, we will schedule the start of your stay at AMEN.

6. With your arrival, the admission process includes signing the communal agreements and settling your payment.


7. The minimal period of stay at AMEN is 3 months.

8. The first two weeks are dedicated to getting acquainted and accustomed. During this time, there will be no outings or outside visits, in order to provide a safe space and the time necessary for acclimation.


9. During these 2 weeks, our staff will assist you in formulating a personal agreement that will allow you to look after yourself with our support. This agreement may be renewed and adapted on a weekly basis, according to your personal process.

10. During your whole stay at AMEN, you are obliged to participate in the full program. We invite you to come as you are, and engage in the workshops and sessions. Staying at AMEN is a prerogative and an opportunity that many await, and we invite women who are ready to commit to meet with their selves and undertake the process.


11. The object of staying at AMEN is to acquire the tools and skills that will enable you to safely cope with the various symptoms of complex PTSD. The duration of stay varies from woman to woman. Upon completing the process at AMEN, you may enter the graduate community.

12. The graduate community: women who have obtained coping skills and tools, return to independent life and keep in touch with AMEN. We also offer activities for graduates.

Day Program at Land Where Women Heal

The healing program includes:

Procedural groups: core skills – trauma and healing, feminism and leadership; community discussions – communication and relationships; sustainability and crafts – learning and working at the ancient crafts center of AMEN, as well as land workshops.


Participating in ceremonies: here at AMEN, we hold singing circles, communal evenings, ceremonies for holidays and seasons, as well as personal ceremonies supporting and marking the completion of the healing process. We believe that ceremonies aid in community-building and enable those who are interested to reconnect authentically with their inner powers and the powers of good in the world.


Individualized sessions: personal meetings with a social worker are scheduled according to need.

Who can join the day program at Land Where Women Heal?

  • Independent women coping with C-PTSD from the Kiryat Tiv’on area.

  • Women who see themselves as activists, interested in creating a cultural change and becoming leaders in the community.

  • Women who choose to go through a healing process as part of a group, community engagement.

  • Women who are treated professionally within the community.

  • Women who have a support network (social/familial/occupational).

Additional information:
The day program at AMEN operates from October 2021 till the end of July 2022.

The program takes place twice a week – Mondays and Wednesdays between 8:30-15:00.
Participant fees are 2,000 NIS a month.
Admission requires an initial phone interview, followed by an orientation meeting at AMEN.
Taking part in the program means committing to participate in the meetings throughout the year.