Treatment and survival
For now, the war is ongoing, for therapists in Ukraine as well as their clients.
Pokrovskaya was temporarily displaced to a nearby town but still felt she couldn’t escape. “There were days when the explosions did not subside. Emotionally and physically, it was very hard,” she said.
Over time, she marked the progression of the invasion through the shifting needs of her clients. “At first, it was crisis assistance,” she said. “There were many requests to cope with panic attacks.”
Later, people sought help with the problems of displacement: conflict with new neighbors, or between family members hosting once-distant relatives. Relationships cracked under the stress of mothers taking children out of the country while fathers stayed behind to fight.
Now, Pokrovskaya said, many patients are struggling with longer-term trauma and grief as they grapple with the magnitude of their losses. “It is difficult for them to cope with their emotions,” she said. “The realization of the scale of losses for their families is coming.”
In April, she and her husband returned home to Kyiv. They hope to stay but are ready to flee at any time. “We always have a plan in our heads,” she said. “We have everything ready, emergency suitcases.”
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