Report on situation in Ukraine for C&A section EFPP during the Biennial Delegates Meeting 2023 in Berlin.

Ihor Zhuchenko, Ukraine, delegate in C&A section EFPP, APPU


The children and families of Ukraine have endured a year of escalating violence, trauma, destruction and displacement. Children continue to be killed, wounded and deeply traumatized by violence that has sparked displacement on a scale and speed not seen since World War II. Schools, hospitals and other civilian infrastructure on which they depend continue to be damaged or destroyed. Families have been separated and lives torn apart. The ongoing war of Russia against Ukraine, which started in February 2022, has had devastating effects on children. The war has led to the displacement of over a 5 million people, destruction of homes, schools, and other essential infrastructure. Children, being the most vulnerable population, have been profoundly impacted by the conflict. The war in Ukraine has had a severe impact on children’s physical and mental health. Children living in conflict zones are exposed to violence, trauma, and displacement, which have long-lasting effects on their well-being. The lack of access to medical care and proper nutrition has also affected their health. According to a UNICEF report, the war has led to a rise in child mortality, malnutrition, and infectious diseases. The war has had a significant impact on children’s education. Over 700 schools have been damaged or destroyed, and many children have been forced to drop out of school due to displacement or lack of access to education. The education system has also been disrupted, with teachers and students facing challenges such as lack of resources, constant air raids and blackouts.

About APPU C&A section

The Association of Psychotherapists and Psychoanalysts of Ukraine is one of the oldest all- Ukrainian professional associations. It contains 5 sections and one of them is Child and Adolescent section which I present. The section gathers psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, social workers, and teachers. We also actively involve students and interns of the medical and psychological university faculties. The section is presented in all regions of Ukraine (and currently also outside of Ukraine also). The participants are involved both in public and private psychotherapeutic services. From the beginning of war, we are actively involved in different kind of volunteer projects. We do provide on regular basis psychological help to refugees and displaced people, their families. This work is done individually and in groups.

What was done

In June with the help of the C&A delegates of the EFPP we have provided an online seminar called “When Children and Adolescents Experience War and Have to Move Away From Home”. The main speaker was Sheila Melzak. And for this occasion, we also translated into Ukrainian and distributed a booklet named “Far from the battle but still at war” which is about coping in the school setting with refugee children and providing support to their families. And here I want to express gratitude to Deirdre who invited Sheila, Piret who helped in organization and invited MindMedia company who provided technical support for free. And our section working group Maria-Teresa, Odile, Lydia, Evie, and Frank for helping and supporting us during these hard times. Also I want to thank Monika and The Board of Polish Ch&A Section of Polish Society for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy as they have decided to donate income from the lecture “The use of Infant Observation in Clinical Practice” to the Ukrainian Ch&A Section in order to support efforts in maintaining continuity of child and adolescent psychotherapy in Ukraine. Since March 2022 we organized the project “Trauma and Childhood” and “Each war is against children”, which includes a series of lecture seminars and regular sessions of two Work Discussion Groups educating on topics that war bring into life of a child. This was organized by the Committee for Psychoanalytic Assistance in Crises and Emergency of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA PACE). Since April 2022 there is a group for participants not only of the Ukrainian C&A section but for all that need support in their professional work in different cities in Ukraine. Starting on 15th of July 2022 there is ongoing supervision project for the professionals in psychoanalytic field and other professional working with children. First block included 11 participants and was provided by Johanna Williams who is child analyst of the British psychoanalytic society. And at this point, I want to say sorry for ignoring some of the proposals of help in organizing seminars therapeutic or supervision groups for us. Some of my colleagues say that they have so many propositions of different trainings and groups provided externally that they have no time to participate in even half of them. So currently there may be no such big need in particular help, but we foresee that this might change the nearest future. And of course, we will ask you if there will be any need in helping us in future projects of education, groups or supervision.

Our plans

We are restoring our work to create an educational project for the C&A psychoanalytic psychotherapist. This is done in the cooperation with the different European trainers in field of child and adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapy from EFPP and IPA PACE.

Ihor Zhuchenko, Ukraine, delegate in C&A section EFPP, APPU

Registered Charity Number 1046731 European Federation Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
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