Bosnien-Herzegowina: Marjana Senjak

Love and kindness will prove to be the successful tools of peace building. Every day thousands of ordinary people all over the world work diligently for the world to be a better place.

— Marjana Senjak

In August 1992, Marjana Senjak established the Center for Psychological Help in Zenica. She initiated cooperation among her professional colleagues and began working at collective refugee centers. She and her colleagues established a SOS hotline for people with war traumas, also for soldiers. In 1993, Marjana co-founded the Medica Zenica Center for treatment of women survivors of rape and people suffering from war trauma. Over the last few years, the center has been expanded to include survivors of domestic violence and incest.

Marjana Senjak utilizes a wide range of psychological theories and techniques, including general psychological concepts, transactional analysis, psychodrama, gestalt, and body-oriented healing in her work. She also uses her knowledge of alcoholism and addiction in work with youth and family counseling. Since the beginning of her work at the Women’s Therapy Center, Marjana established psychotherapy groups for women survivors of war rape. Together with her colleagues she innovated three different psychotherapy approaches for group treatment of war rape survivors. The first approach is based on general psychotherapy concepts; the second is an adaptation of Ellen Bass and Laura Davis’ approach to incest survivors in their book “The Courage to Heal.” The third approach is based on an adaptation of the therapy process in Judith Lewis Herman’s “Trauma and Recovery.” In her organizational and management work she uses a community-based approach with a decentralized decision-making structure. A true leader, Marjana has all the abilities great leaders possess. She is inspiring, supportive of others' leadership qualities, able to share her vision, encourages the active involvement of others in teamwork and manages to bring out the best in everyone. She uses a client-oriented approach with deep respect for the needs, characteristics, and culture of each person. She provides unconditional acceptance of each human being – whether it be in her psychotherapeutic, educational, organizational, or community work. Marjana also has taken on promoting and defending the human rights of war rape survivors. She works on peace building, conflict resolution, and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Kosovo. She believes in the therapeutic and healing effect of truthful human engagement and its contribution to the recovery of individuals and communities.

Medica – Women’s Therapy Center Zenica