Resilience in real-life from a non-Western perspective. (Cover photo, Appleton took responsibility for feeding kids in his village by diving and spearing food from the sea.)
“And if there’s any other person that is going through mental health problems or a very hard time in their life, or they have been through something really bad… I just want them to know that they’re not alone.” Alphanso Appleton
In This Episode of Therapist Uncensored on Trauma and Resilience,
Alphanso Kwame Appleton, a Liberian native, shares his experiences of growing up in a country devastated by civil war, living through the Ebola epidemic, and tragically losing his young daughter. Despite these repeated experiences of trauma, he is healing and has found purpose in his life. This is an incredible story that absolutely captures what resilience looks like and we are pleased that his recovery did not rely on traditional Western approaches. We have so much to learn.
Interview by Sue Marriott.
- Meeting in Liberia through Strongheart and by happenstance, through the work of Dan Siegel.
- Mentoring youth
Life in Liberia
- The Liberian Civil War
- Escaping to Monrovia
- Child Soldiers
- Lack of education
- How the love and faith of Alphanso’s grandmother, whom he describes as an
“Iron Lady”, protected him from rebel recruitment of child soldiers
The Effects of Lack of Education
- Effects on Society
- Effect on healthcare industry – and him personally regarding the loss of his daughter
The Ebola Epidemic
- The lack of belief and understanding that Ebola was real
- The spread of Ebola
- Alphanso’s photo that went viral thanking science for the Ebola vaccine
- “…maybe my photo will help young Liberians know science helps the world and become scientists too.” – Photographer Alphanso Appleton
- The loss of Alphanso’s 18 month old daughter, Lisa.
Alphanso’s Healing Journey
- Strongheart – learning a meditation practice
The Universal Language of Photography
- Expression of emotion through photos
- Current and future endeavors
- Misconceptions about Africa
- Words of wisdom
“Overall, it’s just finding something you love – something you love doing- something that brings you joy; something that makes you happy. Because that was a really key part of my transformation. That was a really key part of my healing.” Alphanso Appleton
Alphanso’s contact information email@example.com
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