The Shanti House Way
The Shanti House Way is a therapeutic method developed over the years by Mariuma, the founder and CEO of the Shanti House.
This method, which has been proven to be successful (see Results and Impact), is the product of four decades of experience in the field of treating youth at risk and in life danger who have come to the Shanti Homes for assistance. The method has developed from an intuitive understanding of Shanti House youth lives and experiences, as well as from Mariuma’s own life experience. Mariuma sees the children of the Shanti House as her great healers and her source of inspiration in the development of this method.
The method is based on the right of young people to choose to save their own lives. By choosing life, it helps them find the strength to overcome the past and strengthens them in their faith and power to move forward.
For teens who come to Shanti Homes after being abandoned by their parents, experienced severe violence and being sexually abused, the option that we offer them is something they have not yet encountered.
“… these youth take this choice daily and thus begins to build their inner strength.
With the choice comes responsibility, followed by independence. Over time they deeply understand the meaning of choice and learn that all the things that happen in their lives also depend on them and their wishes. They operate the world rather than the world push them over.”
(From the guidebook for therapists written by Mariuma)
This therapeutic method makes them active in the healing process and is based on choice and self-respect, on optimism and faith, compassion and patience, on self-love, acceptance of the other and devotion.
This method is a way of life that gives teens the tools to be their own healers in their present and future.
“Focus helps us define and give meaning to life, it sharpens concentration and thought, and adds to mental and physical health. This is the basic operating code for a person and it is also the compass.
The essence of life is movement. Liveliness cannot be static, fixed as death. The world revolves and moves in circles around the sun, the rivers flow, the leaves fall from the trees and grow again, the people meet and separate, go back and forth, and what sometimes seems repetitive is actually different, even if it looks similar.
Instead of getting stuck and become terrified in our place, we choose movement and flow, away from the deep pits from which they emerged so bravely”
(From the book “The Shanti House Way” written by Mariuma)
The Shanti House therapeutic method combines individual and group therapy. It gives the child the opportunity to share his difficulties, feelings and thoughts with the therapist, in a comprehending and comfortable space and thus provide him/her with specific tools for dealing with the challenges they face. Moreover, focused questions require him/her to become a partner in his/her therapeutic process.
With the understanding that sharing has power, group workshops are held by Mariuma, where youth can also share their difficulties with their peers, open up, and feel that they are not subject to criticism. Through this process, they also receive tools and reflections into the inner worlds of content that may exist within them (through their friends).
The principles of this structured therapeutic method, in which they learn how to listen deeply and non-judgmentally to themselves and find the ways and forces that will empower them, written by Mariuma in a book The Shanti House Way, published in 2015 together with a guidebook for therapists.
Among the various chapters in this guidebook for therapists a chapter on choice and how the power of choice can be developed and strengthened among youth who have chosen to receive help, change their lives and be their own leader, while choosing to stop being victims and break free from the shackles of their past.
A chapter on fears and the way in which they can be turned into challenges, overcome, and filled with strength.
A chapter on the fog – in which youth at-risk and in life danger situation are, deriving from vague feelings towards them and the way in which clear inner vision can be developed and connected to their authentic selves so that they can be the rulers of their lives.
The chapter on the power of a word to destroy and build, to keep away and to fight, to hurt and ease, and its ability to change lives.
And many other chapters that provide tools so that youth-at-risk and in immediate danger in particular and each of us in general, can lead their lives with love, joy, faith, and confidence in their choices.
“We instill in children seeds of truth, of choice, of uprightness and wait for their growth. Each has a slow progression rate and sometimes over-treatment and excessive watering, are more detrimental than they are beneficial. We seem to be engaged in the agriculture of the soul – plowing and planting and waiting for the harvest like a patient farmer “
(Mariuma, The Shanti House Way 2015)