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Dr. David Allen and ‘The Family’ unite with Gambier community

  • Dr. David Allen (center) and members and stakeholders of 'The Family: People Helping People' project form a prayer circle during an impromptu visit to the Gambier Village community on Saturday. ERIC ROSE

For The Guardian

Published: Oct 28, 2013

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Dr. David Allen and members and stakeholders of “The Family: People Helping People” project made an impromptu visit to the Gambier Village community on Saturday speaking to residents and showing solidarity with those who may be affected by recent events and may need someone to talk to about their problems.

“It is not ‘us and them’,” Dr. Allen said. “It is us.

“If we are the problem, then we are also the solution and we can work on ourselves to solve it.”

Dr. Allen said he and The Family were encouraged by Teen Challenge Bahamas and Temper and Anger Management Group Director Eric Fox to go into communities and speak to people to see how they can help them.

“Eric challenged us earlier today at our training session and said that if we wanted to ‘reach’ areas like Gambier, we have to go to Gambier,” Dr. Allen said.

Dr. Allen and The Family are currently in the process of training about 44 lay therapists to work in every Urban Renewal area.  They include social workers, church and civic leaders and survivors of abuse and crime.  Those persons, in turn, will strengthen and lead the free, confidential group therapy initiatives in their area.

During the walkthrough, the group spoke to residents about any frustrations and concerns they may have in their lives, prayed for those who requested it and encouraged many to talk about their problems before it leads to reactions.

“The whole idea is to go to the place of pain,” he said.

The themes and ideals for The Family project are “Change Your Mind, Change Your Life, Change Your World’ and ‘Jaw Jaw Stops War War’,” Dr. Allen said.  “If we can encourage people to talk to others and see that there is a support system that cares about them and want them to be a part of it, in a positive way, we can make a difference in major way.”

Dr. Allen pointed out that one of the programs that The Family is undertaking is speaking to relatives of recent murder and suicide victims, giving them an opportunity for group therapy and a listening ear.

“We want to reach out to those who are hurting by offering God’s grace through good psychological support,” Dr. Allen said.

By the end of the walkthrough, Dr. Allen and Elder Samuel Gay of the Gambier Mission Seventh Day Adventist Church connected together to initiate the possible formation of a group therapy “family” at the Gambier Church Hall, on Fridays at 6 p.m.  All in the area are invited to join the free, confidential program.

“Changing a way a person thinks about their life and their situation could change their lives and, naturally, their world.  We want them to know that there are people out there who care.”

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