Burn Survivor and Caregiver Retreat
“Where are you right now?” If you are a burn survivor or caregiver that question can be difficult if you are focused on trauma, grief, stress, and recovery.
Last month, 13 burn survivors and caregivers came together for a full-day retreat with staff and counselors to delve into the question of “where are you right now?” The group ranged from couples new to the Burn Institute programs, family members coming together to better understand one another, and a few familiar faces. The group split up for sessions focused specifically on the unique challenges and emotional needs of burn survivors or caregivers. They were able to reflect on the frustration of figuring out how they have changed, both mentally and physically. Caregivers shared their struggles and heard from others on how they adapted and learned to focus on what is most important.
“Talking about our story with others felt very inspired” – Pablo
Afternoon sessions reunited the group to focus in on the question of the retreat. They discussed where they are in their healing process, where they got “stuck”, and learned from one another different ways to focus on the present. By creating a community of burn survivors and caregivers, participants can feel comfortable expressing themselves and discussing difficult aspects of their journey. Trauma doesn’t end when a burn survivor leaves the hospital and survivors need resources and a community that help them talk about the struggles and successes with others who have lived that experience.
2020 may not hold a lot of answers, but this late summer retreat gave survivors and caregivers an opportunity to be together and to learn to heal together.