The European Room for Listening

November 13, 2023

The European Room for Listening (ERL) project aims to to offer support and professional listening at a time of war and multiple existential crisis. The ERL is hosted by an international group of EAP psychotherapists from different countries.

The European Room for Listening ERL 

Background, idea and purpose:

 There is a war going on in Ukraine.

It affects Ukraine, but it also affects the neighboring countries, who has received a huge amount of refugees.

And it affects all people in Europe!

Psychotherapists in Ukraine and in the neighboring countries need the attention and ears from their European colleagues. They need to share what they experience of being psychotherapist during this time of war and endure the situation in their everyday lives. They need to share their doubts, their anger, their fears with European colleagues who are willing to listen, so the stories can be shared – and we can help each other through this terrible situation.

Therefore we invite you to join the project of establishing an online network with support of EAP, where we will facilitate open online meetings between European psychotherapists to listen and to support their colleagues in Ukraine and the neighboring countries.

The Polish Organization WAPP Support Project association will be the host together with co-hosts from EAP.

How did the idea about the project start?

At the EAP meeting in Vienna, five colleagues from different European countries (Ewa Dobiala, Poland, Vibeke Lubanski, Denmark, Christina Winkler, France, Enver Cesko, Kosovo, and Ludmila Moskalenko, Ukraine), decided to find ways to supporting psychotherapists mainly from Ukraine but also from neighboring countries. Our colleagues need us: the psychotherapists who are offering help for clients inside of Ukraine, refugees in- and outside of Ukraine and people who are traumatized from the war situation.

The main idea was motivated from Ewa Dobiala, our colleague from Poland, whom is very much involved already in supporting Ukrainian colleagues, and last year organized the first Conference on Ukrainian psychotherapists working with traumatized people(see attached report from this Conference).

After this conference, we as a voluntary group decided to exchange our ideas and suggestions how we can work together to establish a professional international group, who will support, both professionally and economically the needed activities. This includes bringing all professionals, who are dealing with Ukrainian psychotherapists to connect to other European colleagues.

The need is to create a space for psychotherapists, who deal with the war on a daily basis to psychotherapist in the rest of Europe, in order to share their stories and experiences and raise awareness around the human costs of the war.

As we are international professional psychotherapists from different countries, we decided to name the project “European Room for Listening – ERL”, as our aim is to offer support and offering professional listening.

Purpose of “European Room for Listening”(ERL).

The main goal of this ERL is to bring together the psychotherapists mainly from Ukraine and neighboring countries – at a yearly physical meetings/conferences and a monthly virtually meeting – in order for them to share their experiences among all psychotherapists and get the opportunity to receive  support and protect their mental health.

The other specific goals of ERLTo protect from burn out syndrome

  • To reflect experiences among different psychotherapist from different countries
  • To release and heal the wounds from war experiences
  • To offer help, advice, counseling or psychotherapy for needed professionals
  • A research project might emerge from the value of such exchanges in a war situation

Why is this project needed?

Ukrainian psychotherapists and psychotherapists from other countries indirectly touched by war use all possibilities to get therapy and supervision, but most of their therapists and supervisors are in the same field of war trauma. More than, being trainers, supervisors for other colleagues in their own countries, Ukrainian and Polish psychotherapist need support at a wider level. In time of war it is very important to take under deep consideration all aspects connected to dignity and humanity. Sincere presence of another person can heal trauma and help out of the feeling of being victim of the situation. We believe that European Colleagues could give such sincere presence to Ukrainian psychotherapists, supervisors, psychotherapy trainers and other colleagues touched by the war. This project is for psychotherapy in the whole world and for its development. It’s a project for psychotherapists, who are ready to listen to difficult questions about the nature of human beings. It is a project to connect our European resources for healing trans-generational trauma.

Time and status

We create the European Room for Listening every last Wednesday of the month between 5-8 PM. Anyone wishing to join can use this link to connect and join:

At past meetings so far, 2-3 ukrainian psychotherapists prepared a presentation telling about what they experience at the moment. Participants are invited to primarily listen, but also to share the reactions, perceptions and feelings they get in contact with while listening.

We already established a warm and caring room together.

The meetings get supported by an interpreter, who translate from Ukrainian to English and from English to Ukrainian.

Further plans

We will continue to invite all European psychotherapists to join us in the room every last Wednesday of the month. We are also preparing for a “in situ” meeting in Poland at the end of November, where we will meet and work with our Ukrainian colleagues in a workshop. At the meeting we will discuss the further development and needs in the coorperation between us.

We also plan for a larger conference in August 2024 in Poland.

How can the EAP help?

We need the support from the EAP, more participants and we also would like to apply for support to paying the interpreter for her excellent work.

We continue to develop the work together and are very open to input.

Best regard from

Ewa Dobialo (Poland)

Ludmila (Ukraine)

Enver Cesko (Kosovo)

Christina Winkler (France)

Vibeke Lubanski (Denmark)