They describe relief from their symptoms:

“I was feeling terrible, heavy, desperate, disoriented. I didn’t have strength for anything, in my home and at my work. What I used to do was to cry. Today I feel like a new person. I feel lighter, with more strength to work and to have my own business.”

“I used to drink alcohol. I couldn’t sleep and I used to drink but after coming here I have stopped drinking”

 

They recognize that these changes have an impact on close relationships with family and friends those around them:

“I used to get angry at the smallest things and would beat my daughters in frustration. Even though I used to feel guilty about it, I could not control myself. I realised that my anger’s in check now, I don’t fight with my husband and don’t beat my daughters- these changes were better for my mental health”

 

“What change has happened to me is when I used to get angry my habit was to beat my children. This behavior resolved and now I don’t do this”

 

We hear not only about a reduction of mental health symptoms, but additional dimensions of change that are important to them, such as breaking the silence about their experiences:

“I used to be disturbed while recalling my past incidents. I always thought about it. But this made us express our stories into a textile and now I don’t feel very disturbed when I express those things. We expressed it in a piece of cloth. That’s it”

 

“I used to remain quiet and didn’t feel like telling anyone. But it shouldn’t go like that. I didn’t use to speak like this, I used to feel fear but now I don’t feel fear and shame to speak”

 

“The pain we were going through was inside our hearts for very long but we were unable to pour it out in any form. This was a shared pain because we belong to the same community. That’s what I tried to portray in this textile. After looking at this, my own, and even other community member’s grief lessened a bit. I felt relieved a bit too while making it. I have tried to reflect the situation because the situation is indescribable. But, with this I felt quite relieved.”

 

They speak of how CTP has helped them with stress reduction:

“I feel relieved when I come here. I feel that this time is for me. I mean I feel like I exist. We have tension but when we come here we feel relieved. That is why we wait for the day to come.”

 

Earlier, it used to be a burden in our hearts but now, it gives a little relief. We felt happy after coming here. After listening to other’s pains, our suffering seemed less. Our pain gradually decreased. I feel like a free bird with a positive outlook.”

 

Nearly all the participants emphasize what a difference CTP has made in moving from social isolation and stigma to authentic,supportive connection with others:

“We also met with the friends each week; we came closer to them next week and closer next week. Since then I have understood their feelings and they understood me.”

 

“They listened to us, understood us.  I know they cannot do anything but even if someone listens to you that is a great thing.”

 

Instead of being helpless in the face of problems, participants develop the capacity to find solutions:

“Previously, when we had problems, we used to run away. But after coming to CT program, we came to know that we should not run away from our problems. We realized that rather than running away from problems we should develop solutions to them”

 

“When I used to get tensed I would close the door, block every tiny ray of light, cover myself with blanket and sleep. Now, when I am tensed, I try to find its cause. I also share it with my close friends and ask them to identify my mistakes so I could work towards improving it.”

 

“This training made me able to talk to trustful friends about my problems and I was able to take care of wounds of my heart. I still follow few things from the training – if I’m unable to sleep then I do deep-breathing exercise, I used to stay angry before but I learned staying angry doesn’t benefit a person’s health.”

 

They cultivate self-confidence:

“We used to be scared of this office. But now we don’t feel scared, we can speak and are confident of doing something”

 

“I thought that I can’t do anything but now I feel I can do something.”

 

CTP women experience improvements in self worth:

When I used to stay at home, I had only one concern in my mind about my children. But, when I came here, I realized that my existence too matters and I should take care of myself and think about myself as well. I had many changes in myself. Like, I started taking care of myself as well.”

 

Attitudes shift as women begin to challenge pervasive gender based violence and oppression of women:

“We should not tolerate if anyone abuses us; we should express it in right place. We should not tolerate. We understood these things.

 

“We are daughter but should be brave like a son and not to stay downhearted. Even if there is pressure one should be able to speak.”