Selvije Izeti

Silvije Izeti is a clinical psychologist, presently working in the Kosovo Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture in Prishtina, Kosovo. She provides group, family and individual therapies focusing on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder using counseling and cognitive behavior therapy techniques.  She is a trainer for stress management with health care professionals ( Self-Care). She studied clinical psychology at University of Prishtina, Kosovo (2006), Three years studying Cognitive behavioral therapy at Kosovo Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture (2009) and holds a Certificate in Harvard's Global Mental Health: trauma and recovery. (2011)

Personal Statement: My interest in psychology stems from my being a witness to misery and trauma. I was sixteen when war started in my country. It was time when the World prepared to enter the third millennium with human and civic achievements, but we Kosovo Albanians suffered a real tragedy. From March 1998 till June 1999, Serbian state institutionalized terror, assassinations, and massacring, executions across Kosovo Albanians. Paramilitary and police, but also Serb soldiers could kill and they killed who they wanted and when they wanted, without feeling any responsibility neither moral nor legal nor human.

It was March 8, 1998, that made a huge change in me, and my family life. My father was coming to get me from school, and he was killed from Serb polices, just because he was a TEACHER. They killed him and threatened us, that if we talk with any international journalist, next it will be my brother, who at that time was twenty. Moreover they told us that if someone from internationals asks us about my father death we should say that he had an accident car. What a cruel life!!! Our life was turned inside and we could do nothing! But the worst had just begun, some months latter we were forced to leave our houses.

With hundreds of people, we were hiding in different villages,what we thought were more safe. Always we tried to find villages that were in the edge of the mountain so we could move more easily. I was just with my mother and my brother, my other two sister were married and lived in Germany. With all my close relatives , and many other people we spend days in mountains. There you could see elderly and sick people , children tired and exhausted, hungry and frozen, fighting for life. All our houses were destroyed.

When NATO bombing started on March 24, 1999, we had a spark of hope. I remember that we were all together with all my relatives in a very small house and we celebrated, because we thought that was the end of the war, but actually it was the beginning of one more wild war. In May 1999,my mother and my brother decided to hide in mountains, while they convinced me, that is safer for me to flee to Macedonia with my older uncle who was around seventy. From the four corners of Kosovo you could see people on foot columns, tractors, cars of the train that were in exile, persecuted by Serb forces. Among them were the sick and elderly and handicapped, pregnant women, children and newborn babies. Follow these traveling or walking miles and miles in difficult weather conditions with memories of upsetting people, dead and unburied corpse thrown by the roads, burning of our houses we achieved to go in Macedonia even we were robbed of cash and our personal documents were taken and immediately destroyed.

In Macedonia I was physically safe because I had my grandparents living there, but psychically I was destroyed. I hated myself that I came here without my mother and my brother. In the mountains - in fire, in hell - at least we were together, now I knew nothing for their fate. Every day I went in different camps in Macedonia, to get any information from my family, but nothing. Till the end of war in June I didn’t know nothing for them. One day after the agreement to end the war was signed I met my family in Macedonia and that was my Rebirth!!! Witnessing what loss can do to people’s psychologies awoke in me a desire to understand and help traumatized and bereaved people. After the war I volunteered in different NGO-s to help traumatized children through different therapeutic games. This prompted my desire to study Psychology, and I was lucky to be the first generation of psychologists in my country. Today for more than seven years I work in Kosovo Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture. I’m privileged and honored to be where I can help people of my country to heal their invisible wounds!