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Press Release

Finding healing from vicarious trauma at the Rothko Chapel

June 29, 2017

Finding healing from vicarious trauma at the Rothko Chapel 

Special event aimed at helping professional service providers on Thursday, July 27

HOUSTON –June 29, 2017 – The Rothko Chapel and MasterWord Services, Inc. are teaming up to help those wrestling with vicarious trauma, offering them tools and practices to better understand and constructively address work related stress while strengthening their sense of inner-peace and well-being.

“Vicarious trauma” describes the phenomenon when professional service providers – such as doctors, interpreters and therapists – experience mental or emotional distress through their experience of helping others.  

The free event, Vicarious Trauma: Healing From Within, will be held on Thursday, July 27 and begins with a reception at 6 p.m. with light refreshments, followed by a presentation and meditation at 7 p.m. The Rothko Chapel is located at 3900 Yupon. 

Dr. Alejandro Chaoul, an advisor and regular presenter at the Rothko Chapel, will be leading the meditation designed to provide methods for self-care. “The majority of the participants are interpreters, many of whom are working at hospitals, jails or courthouses,” he said. “They are often translating a difficult diagnosis or bad news. What happens is that the translators take on part of the trauma themselves.”

Chaoul will provide helpful techniques that will be valuable throughout the lives and careers of participants. “They can learn these skills one time -- and keep practicing them,” he said. “We’re going to teach small things that they can take home and make part of their daily practices.”

Meditation practices do not have to be labor intensive. “Something as simple as a breath can be a way of reconnecting to yourself in the moment.” Chaoul said. “This is not to say you have to meditate for an hour a day. If you take five minutes every day to yourself, to connect with yourself, and find a way to connect and renew your mind or reboot yourself, then you’re more prepared for the next traumatic situation.”

Even ordinary routines can be meditative with the right outlook. “It can be as simple as, if an interpreter is going from one patient’s room to another, when they wash their hands, imagine that they are not just washing their hands, but their whole system,” Chaoul said.

Rothko Chapel Executive Director David Leslie will also lead a portion of the program, which will illustrate how physical spaces, such as the Chapel, can help people connect with their inner world.

“An external sacred space can be a great refuge to reconnect us to what we sometimes call an inner refuge,” he said. “The hope is that this allows you to be more still in the moment, more silent, more open and connected. To find your inner sacred space, it can help to have an outer space to support it.”

Ludmila Golovine, president of MasterWord Services, Inc., looks forward to hosting the program.

“This directly affects the heart of our company – our language service professionals,” she said. “We want to teach them how to cope with the feelings and thoughts that they carry with them.”  

For more information about the event and to register, visit rothkochapel.org/experience/events/event/vicarious-trauma-healing-from-within

For more information about the Rothko Chapel, including a full calendar of upcoming programs, workshops and events, visit rothkochapel.org or call 713-524-9839.

For more information about MasterWord Services, visit www.masterword.com

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About the Presenters

Dr. Alejandro Chaoul is an advisor and regular contributor at the Rothko Chapel. He is an assistant professor and director of education at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center's Integrative Medicine program, an associate faculty member at the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics at University of Texas Medical School and a board member and teacher of meditation and Tibetan yoga at Ligmincha Texas Institute for the Tibetan Meditative and Healing Arts. 

David Leslie joined the Rothko Chapel as executive director in 2015, after serving for 18 years in the same role for Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon. His career has been devoted to human rights, interfaith relations, immigration reform, ending homelessness and addressing the societal impacts of climate change. He was recognized for this work with the Eugene Carson Blake Award for Ecumenism given by the National Council of Churches and Church World Service. 

About the Rothko Chapel

The Rothko Chapel is open to the public every day of the year at no charge and successfully interconnects art, spirituality and compassionate action through a broad array of free public programs. Founded by Houston philanthropists Dominique and John de Menil, the Chapel was dedicated in 1971 as an intimate sanctuary. Today it stands as a monument to art, spirituality and human rights. As an independent non-profit, non-governmental organization, the Chapel depends on contributions from foundations and individuals to support its mission of creating a space for contemplation and dialogue on important issues.

About MasterWord Services, Inc.

MasterWord Services, Inc. is a woman-owned global language services provider founded in 1993. MWS supports more than 300 clients, in more than 250 languages, in projects in more than 50 countries worldwide. We offer translation, interpretation, language training and assessments, cultural intelligence training, and language compliance consulting.  MWS is the first language service company in the region to obtain certificates of compliance to ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 13611:2014 standards and is WBEA / WBENC certified by Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. We serve the world’s leading businesses, government entities, healthcare institutions, academic organizations, and non-profits across the globe. MasterWord’s mission is to connect people across language and culture.

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