Amber Gray Presentation At The United Nations


The sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, from 13 to 24 March 2017. Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world attended the session. The themes of this years session were:

  • Priority Theme: Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work
  • Review Theme: Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls (agreed conclusions of the fifty-eighth session)
  • Emerging Issue/Focus Area: The empowerment of indigenous women

Amber Gray, Restorative Resources Director, was a presenter at the Forum. Amber co-presented with colleagues from The University of New Mexico, The Turkish House, and Lutheran Family Services. Amber’s presentation focused on a framework LFS piloted to provide group therapy to Afghan women, who are recently arrived refugees, using a public/mental health and creative arts therapy approach. This group fosters a restored sense of belonging through connection, empowerment, and engagement with meaningful activities.

The framework is being replicated with women from Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo this year. Unlike many group therapy approaches, this framework utilizes a public health approach so the facilitators and the women can co-create the group content and process. The framework is based on Amber’s Restorative Movement Psychotherapy, a mindfulness, somatic and arts based approach to working with refugee and war trauma; survivors of torture; and survivors of interpersonal trauma in cross cultural contexts. Participants attending the Forum from Mozambique and Kurdistan expressed an interest in similar programs, and Restorative Resources is currently co-seeking funds for the Kurdistan program. We are conducting research on impact on a sense of belonging, for the second year.