‘Glencree Welcomes Refugees’ Project Host Relaxation & Stress Management Sessions


4/4/23: The 'Glencree Welcomes Refugees' project team is running Relaxation and Stress Management sessions for both refugees and the professionals who work with refugees. The most recent sessions took place in The Sanctuary, Dublin 7 on Saturday 11th March, with the next events taking place at Glencree on Saturday 25th March.

From August 2022, the Glencree Welcomes Refugees project has been providing group well-being sessions for refugees and the professionals who work with or care for refugees, using Capacitar Multicultural Trauma Healing self-care practices and Laban Dance.

Capacitar (‘to empower’ in Spanish) comprises a series of techniques including deep breathing, visualisation, Tai Chi, Finger holds, and Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping), among others.

Capacitar International was founded nearly 40 years ago by Dr Patricia (Pat) Cane (PhD Psychology), who developed this programme after living in Central America at times of violent conflict. As part of her PhD, she put together a number of selected wellness tools which have helped thousands of men, women, children and entire communities in remote and poor areas in over 40 countries around the world.

Glencree’s experience is that these wellness tools and movement practices provide immediate benefits to participants and support their well-being and integration within local communities. Participants find the sessions very useful to reduce levels of stress and became more aware of their own bodies and stress carried in different body parts,” said facilitator Patty Abozaglo. “The sessions help them to be more connected, to feel peaceful, calm and positive.”

The group has been growing since Glencree started the project last August and the most recent gathering saw 23 people attend. The day began with participants gathering and chatting over tea and coffee. Then the session kicked off at 10.30am and ran until lunch at 12.30pm. Participants first introduced themselves sharing their names and places of origin and / or where they work, including organisations and services for refugees and volunteer groups from across Dublin.

The group then were invited to experience various practices of the Capacitar programme, including a full body-scan, which enables participants to check in within themselves on the levels of stress they may be holding in their body. Patty led the group in a sequence of head and shoulder releases while paying attention to specific acupressure points that address high levels of stress, depression or anxiety. Finally, the participants were introduced to the tapping technique called Emotional Freedom Technique, a sequence of Tai chi movements then helped balance out the group’s energy centres.

Little by little, the energy in the room became calmer and more peaceful. Participants felt the benefits of the practice. Facial expressions softened and a sense of calm arose. These special sessions also enable participants to experience a sense of connection to themselves, and each other, in addition to other improvements from the practices.

Patty Abozaglo concluded: “As a facilitator, it is very gratifying how participants open up to learning safe care tools of the Capacitar International Multicultural Wellness and Trauma Healing programme, taking time from their busy lives and highly demanding jobs to come to spend time with us, and enjoy the benefits of the Capacitar Programme.”

Over lunch, there was a chance to debrief and share final thoughts or comments about the session.

To find out more information on the Glencree Welcomes Refugees project, or to join us for the final session in this series on 15th April 2023, please click here to fill out this form.




For further information:

Glencree Media Contact: Valerie Ringrose Fitzsimons | 086 3771020 | Valerie.fitzsimons@glencree.ie

"I feel relaxed. I had shoulder and back pain at the beginning of the session, but it is all gone."

"I was tense when I arrived. I feel much lighter and energised now."

"It was amazing, relaxing, peaceful."

"I feel more relaxed now. My stress levels went down."

“Very powerful techniques.”

“Life saving skills-blood pressure regulation.”

“You shared things that people can share with others.”

"It was brilliant. The Capacitar Programme offers very useful, powerful balancing techniques. I want to learn more."

“Good time for ourselves.”

Glencree Welcomes Refugees participant feedback