Free Training of 100 Lebanese Mental Health Professionals in PTSD Treatment

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Prof. Alain Brunet, teacher-researcher at the Department of Psychiatry of the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University (McGill) in Canada and researcher at the Douglas Institute in Montreal, and Dr. Sami Richa, Professor of Psychiatry at the Faculty of Medicine (FM) of Saint Joseph University in Beirut (USJ), Head of Department at Hôtel-Dieu de France Hospital and President of the Lebanese Society of Psychiatry, are joining forces to train 100 Lebanese professionals free of charge in the treatment of trauma.

Project aim

The aim of this project is to train, at record time, 100 Lebanese mental health professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, etc.), to become ready to treat the victims of the Beirut Port explosion suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Project description

The proposed project is largely inspired by “Paris Mémoire vive (Paris MEM)”, a program implemented in France following the Bataclan (2015) and Nice (2016) attacks. In the wake of these attacks, a training protocol – called Reconsolidation Therapy – was urgently provided by Alain Brunet (McGill) and his team to 200 clinicians in 20 hospitals in Paris and Nice, enabling hundreds of patients to be successfully treated.

The program suggested for Beirut involves a partnership with Prof. Sami Richa, a clinician-researcher, and the Department of Psychiatry of FM-USJ.

Why train in the psychotherapeutic protocol of Reconsolidation Therapy?

- Training and educational material already exist in French and English.
- The training offered is fast (16 hours over 3 days) and comprehensive.
The training is already taught each month face-to-face or remotely (online).
The training is recognized by the Ordre des psychologues du Québec (OPQ), by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and by the Datadock (France) as continuing education.
The protocol taught is based on 20 years of scientific research carried out at the Douglas Institute (McGill University).
The short-term therapy (8 weeks) allows us to treat more and more patients.
Weekly group clinical supervision will be offered.
Trained trainees will also be able to ask questions on a confidential discussion forum to Alain Brunet and his team. The forum will serve as a community of practice through a web platform managed by the International Association for Reconsolidation Therapy (IART), a non-profit association.

Who will be trained?

The 100 trained therapists will commit to treating a number of patients free of charge and collecting clinical data as part of a research project involving the Douglas Institute and St-Joseph (Lebanon) and McGill (Canada) universities.

The non-profit IART will organize the training logistics. The training will be given face-to-face or remotely (online) according to preference and practicability and in respect of the COVID-19 public health situation. The groups will be formed progressively according to applications.

Provisional schedule

The start of training is scheduled for September 23 with the training of a first group of 6 Lebanese therapists. A ramp-up is planned gradually with the objective of training a hundred mental health professionals within 6 months. 20 professionals have already been trained.


A thorough professional training

Having studied both philosophy and psychology, I am a highly critical thinker. I have rarely had the opportunity to find nothing to complain about, when confronted with so much professional rigor that underlies a friendliness and availability at all times. I only have to thank you again, and I encourage my colleagues to do the same. Thank you and see you soon. 


Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist

Private Practice

September 23/24/25, 2020

Easy to understand and quick to use

It's a very interesting online training. It is really simple and easy to learn, and quick to use. 6 sessions are enough to help the patient deal with these emotions triggered by memories. It's excellent and it' s new. I think that this therapy will allow people suffering from PTSD to quickly return to a rather normal life, given that the risk of relapse is very low.

Nathalie RICHA

PhD in clinical psychology – Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

September 23, 2020

Fast and impressive results

For someone who is not at all accustomed to online meetings, this has been an easy experience despite all the inconvenience we have in Lebanon, especially with the internet connection. The discussions were rich thanks to trainee therapists from all over the world. As for the content, it is a highly relevant and unique training because it combines speech therapy with minimal medication. For us psychologists, we don't like the idea of medication very much. This therapy is much faster than others. We have impressive results only after 6 to 7 sessions.



September 23, 2020

An effective therapy to target the trauma

It was really a golden opportunity for us to be present among the first group of trained Lebanese therapists. Up until now, we didn't really have training to target such trauma. I find this technique easy to use, very effective and very helpful in the present circumstances. It's a brief therapy which really doesn't require complex equipment. It requires very few resources to be able to get started and help people. Our goal is to be able to help and care for patients effectively and efficiently on the ground, using a technique which is guaranteed to work.

Dr. Elina Dirani, M.D.

PGY-3 Psychiatry at USJ

September 23, 2020

A therapy that gives us a lot of hope

I would like to thank Dr. Brunet. This training has been very rewarding thanks to discussions with many therapists of different specialties from different parts of the world. The therapy has given us a lot of hope, because it is very easily applicable and will allow us to help many patients. So far, the conventional therapies employed were too time-consuming and patients did not really feel benefits quickly. However, Reconsolidation Therapy is short, and the results are noticed as early as the second or third session. We will be able to treat more people with PTSD.



September 23, 2020