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Key 2 - Unlocking the shackles

Unlocking the shackles


The intervention we call Operation Open Heart (OPOH) follows a pneuma-psycho-somatic approach, that is an integrative approach to the personality which includes the spirit, soul and body. OPOH is particularly linked to the spiritual consequences of series of traumas, abuse violence and negligence. A trauma opens the door to transgenerational transmission of patterns of behaviour linked to unresolved trauma. These are at the centre of the intervention in addition to consequences linked to the impact of personal choices.

These consequences can be unforeseen at times.

Nightmares, sudden awakenings, sweats, night-time visions, aches and pains, skin disorders, migraines, recurrent back pain, insomnia, depression, suicidal thoughts, sterility, hearing or seeing things which appear to be irrational and so on.  These things are like a corollary; they hinder a complete – that is both physical and psychological - healing.

Our intervention is based on Biblical teaching [1]. In accord with the ethical orientation of SAS, the intervention is not linked to the religious teaching of a particular group, but takes into account the fact that the human being is a unique creature whose life has a meaning and who belongs in society.


The heart is at the heart of the problem; this is because it is all about restoring and facilitating emotional and social relationships.

Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” this is what the participants discover all through the Listening and Sharing Workshop with a therapeutic aim. Today’s behaviour, today’s emotional reactions are closely linked to the first abuse, to that which broke our hearts into a thousand pieces. Marcel Pagnol understood this well when he had César say: “You have split my heart in two” – with this splitting giving rise to inner results such as insecurity, shame, guilt, self-hatred and hatred of others. The discovery of individual responsibility is often a crucial and liberating stage in the healing of someone who has been the victim of violence.  This person becomes aware of  his or her own true identity and his or her ability to decide to make his or her own choices, and to take authority. This person is then able to gradually become aware of what impedes him or her.

The aim is not to merely survive, but to live – free from all psychological and spiritual shackles.


This intervention is very important in the healing process of post traumatic syndrome. While it is a crucial stage, on its own it is not sufficient to effect a lasting change. So that an intervention can be completely effective, it is much better if a person knows the origins of his or her traumas and has mourned the losses associated with these traumas. This work is done in the Workshops with a therapeutic aim.

The proposed approach is based on two themes

(1)    Taking authority over what is worrying the person and what is inhibiting him or her from being fully him or herself.  This intervention takes several hours  and follows a well defined process which needs to be strictly followed.

(2)    The second theme is a recognition of the alters – the broken off parts of the psyche  - the breaking apart of the personality, which is a direct consequence of trauma.  This is a work of recognition, then of restoration, followed by a reintegration according to the original plan of what one could call the true personality. The intervention is delicate work and requires well trained staff who have a real sensitivity for this approach. A number of sessions of work will often be required.


It is also of capital importance that people who have benefitted from this work keep firmly in mind what they have learnt, and that they react immediately when old ways of thinking or acting emerge.  It takes discipline, especially at the beginning, just after the intervention. This discipline will allow the person to stand fast and develop his or her emotional relationships without falling into the trap of uncontrolled emotional reactions.  Later, this then becomes an ingrained habit.

Quite often, a brief but heavy fatigue follows after the intervention. So, it would be wise to avoid scheduling any other activities on the same day. Some people may also wish to cry, to be angry or vomit and so on.  Do not be alarmed at this, these phenomena are linked to the alters and require a particular kind of intervention which is mentioned in the section Key Number 3 “Integrating the broken off parts of the soul”.

In order to give as great a chance of success as possible to the intervention, the intervention should be preceded by the Workshops with a therapeutic aim.

A view to lowering the costs of health

Joining good mental health, a healthy intellect, an untroubled confidence, and good physical health is an aim which is not impossible , if we look at all of these from a Christian perspective – as Proverbs shows us:

Proverbs 3:4-8

3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you.  Bind them  round your neck and write them on the tablet of your heart.

4 Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

6 In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes. Fear the Lord and shun evil.

8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

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