Silhouette of FamilyHealing Hearts: The Bach Family’s Journey

 

In response to the urgent need for emergency mental health services following the October 7th massacre and subsequent war, EPIC Family established the Emotional Crisis Center. This initiative aimed to provide support to individuals grappling with the trauma of the conflict, offering a lifeline to those in need.(see article above). 

Among the families we had the privilege of assisting, the Bach family’s story is an example of how vital it was to help those who experienced the impact of trauma and the transformative power of compassionate support.

Evacuated from their moshav in the South during the war, the Bachs contacted us after being referred by a local Chesed organization. Despite no direct threat to their moshav, the trauma of the war deeply affected them, particularly their 20-year-old daughter, whose distressing experience epitomized the toll it had taken on their family.

In the middle of the night, their daughter awoke the entire household, convinced she heard terrorists in their yard. Panic-stricken, she raced to turn on every light and secure the windows. She and her sister hastily hid their younger siblings, including their 10-year-old brother, under beds and in closets. Despite the army’s search revealing no imminent threat, the family remained profoundly shaken.

Seeking refuge in Beit Shemesh for a few weeks, they needed to return home, but the trauma lingered. The two oldest daughters refused to return home, barely agreeing even to walk the relatively safe streets of Beit Shemesh, fearing a recurrence of the terror they had endured.

Upon their return, the Bachs faced another challenge. Their 10-year-old son, who had been hidden during the frightening ordeal, exhibited classic signs of trauma. He just “froze” as they entered the house.

As the mother described, he appeared detached and fearful. He seemed to not be with them, as if his body was there but nothing else. He refused to go to the bathroom alone or shower. He was sent back to his older sisters in Beit Shemesh and his mother was now calling us to get advice about how to bring her son home.

It was clear that she had no understanding of the depth of the trauma her son had experienced. We gently explained to her about secondary trauma. We helped her understand that getting him proper help was vital before he returned home. A third retraumatization might be more than he could handle.

Recognizing the severity of his distress, EPIC Family intervened. We connected him with a therapist specializing in trauma work for children and provided free therapy sessions for his sisters, utilizing EMDR therapy, renowned for its effectiveness in treating trauma. The mother also received guidance from the therapist, who taught her the correct tools to be there for her son. 

With dedicated support and professional guidance, the Bach children embarked on a path to healing. They gradually regained their sense of security and stability through therapy and proper tools. Eventually, they reunited with their family, their wounds tended, and their spirits renewed.

The Bach family’s journey poignantly reminds us of the profound impact of trauma and the transformative power of compassionate support. At EPIC Family, we remain committed to providing vital mental health services to those in need, ensuring that no family faces its challenges alone.

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