The mind, body, and soul work together to compose who you are. A victim of human trafficking is not only hurt physically and mentally, but their very identity is under attack. That is why from an aftercare perspective it’s important to focus on healing all aspects of a person’s identity, not just their physical brokenness. If you don’t free a person from the physical, mental, as well as spiritual bondage, you aren’t freeing them at all.
Dr. Benjamin Keyes has developed a holistic therapy called Healing Emotional Affective Responses to Trauma (HEART). This model is designed to target the hardships and responses associated with trauma, specifically human trafficking. Dr. Keyes describes the HEART model as, “a step by step process of reaching the depth of emotional experiences; resolving and restructuring cognitive distortions, and reframing the affective responses. It is also a way of reframing those same emotional processes.” Through this model, survivors are able to come to an understanding of who they are by working through the trauma they have experienced. The HEART model focuses on the challenges that are more specific to those who have been involved with human trafficking and brings healing for the mind, body, and soul.
This year, in partnership with Abolition International, Dr. Keyes and his colleague Dr. Lee Underwood are implementing the HEART model in at least 4 domestic homes that are members of the A.I.S.A. The HEART counseling model will be first introduced to A.I.S.A. member shelter The Samaritan Women in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Underwood will continue to follow up with the shelters to review the results of using the HEART model and will gather valuable research on its impact for further progress.
At Abolition we believe in quality aftercare for survivors of sex trafficking. If you’re going to free a person from the bonds of slavery, you must free their body, mind, and soul while giving them a chance at a better life.
If you are interested in learning more about quality aftercare and becoming a member of the A.I.S.A., contact us.
Dr. Keyes is currently the Program Director and Associate Professor at the School of Psychology and Counseling at Regent University located in Virginia. He holds a total of 4 National Board Certifications, specializing in dissociative disorders, domestic violence, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, trauma and addictions. Dr. Keyes currently serves on the Abolition International Shelter Association Advisory Council.