Social responsibility, as for all successful, growing companies, is a very important direction for Smart Capital Group. The group implements various charitable projects in this direction and is the author of many interesting and important projects.
In today's interview with The FINANCIAL, our respondents are the founders of BEKARI:
Ms. Nana Gotua, who is also the Head of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) at Smart Capital Group, and Ms. Marina Raidt-Altunashvili, Co-Founder and Chief Music Therapist, a licensed psychotherapist with many years of German and British experience, an oncopsychologist and educator.
Q: Ms. Nana, how did the idea of founding BEKARI come about? Tell us the story.
“The cooperation between us was established in 2017, when Ms. Marina with special invitation was actively involved in the rehabilitation and development of children with hearing impairments, as well as in the introduction and development of music therapy for children in the charity foundation "AI IA”. 3 years of fruitful cooperation have given us very positive results. Music therapy still plays an important role in the integration of the foundation beneficiaries with the voice world.
The main purpose of Ms. Marina's return to Georgia from Germany was to introduce her many years of international experience in music therapy in our country. She shares this important experience with young people who are already her assistants at BEKARI”
Q: Ms. Nana at the head of the center are ladies, was this any determining and decisive factor for the founding of BEKARI?
“Today, the women's movement around the world is gaining new momentum to make the world more gender balanced and harmonious. One of the main goals of our partnership is to support and empower women in Georgia. We want to make "BEKARI" a space where women will be able to develop their personal abilities through music therapy.
Unfortunately, in our region there are very high onco-gynecological problems among women, women with this experience are in dire need of support from people who have gone through this path themselves. I think group therapy with us is a very good source of support.
The issue of domestic violence against women is acute in our country. We are ready to contribute to overcoming this problem and help women with this experience. Post-pandemic stresses are very relevant today, which each of us has to deal with. Music therapy is a useful and at the same time enjoyable process of coping with stress.”
Q: Ms. Nana psychological problems are especially common in women in Georgia, what role does BEKARI play in improving their psychological condition?
“The complex socio-economic processes developed in the country since the 90s have significantly changed the role and function of Georgian women. She was largely responsible for the financial and therefore psychological hardship of the family breadwinner. This process is still relevant today. The solution to psychological problems begins with their recognition, women's acceptance of this issue is quite high, which increases the demand for therapy.”
Q: Ms. Marina, what are the core values of BEKARI?
“The core value of our center is to make the individual happier than he or she was before the therapy began. This means that she has adequate ideas about herself, has acceptance of herself, is socially realized. The conceptual basis of the center is the mental health care of individuals and groups. By improving the physical, psychological and social spheres and achieving harmonious functioning between these spheres, improving the quality of life of the individual and society in general and increasing the quality of general well-being.”
Q: Ms. MARINA what are the main problems you face when working with women, what causes their psychologically unstable condition?
“In the case of women, the main causes of referrals are often chronic stress, chronic fatigue syndrome, depressive mood, conditions related to chronic or cyclical pain, such as endometriosis, various types of complications due to pregnancy and childbirth, personal, social or physical Middle-aged crisis, psychological and physical violence, etc. I have the greatest experience working with gynecological oncology patients.”
Q: Ms. MARINA what is the attitude of women that with music therapy they overcome psychological problems?
The initial mood is certainly positive. Maybe it's because music therapy is perceived in a creative, fun, entertaining and relaxing way and not in a therapeutic way with all of this. Then they realize and see the psychotherapeutic effect and the fact that music is only a way and means to achieve this therapeutic effect. I cannot say in Georgia yet, but in Europe it is known that music therapy is often called one of the most desirable and beloved forms of therapy.
It should be noted that at first they are quite skeptical of the therapeutic effect of music therapy, however in the end they are very satisfied and amazed by the result achieved and pleasantly surprised by the improvement in their quality of life.
Q: What results do you achieve by working with them? What is your assessment?
“The music created during the therapeutic interaction process gives them feedback. This is when the topics that are the cause of their discomfort and anxiety are discussed. There is deepening in oneself, so to speak, looking into one's own soul, getting to know oneself better, listening to one's own desires - physical or mental. Sorting out thoughts and emotional attitudes. The most exciting thing that music therapy offers is the recover belief, or discovery of one's own beliefs and the desire of the recipient of the therapy to seek and discover new resources within oneself. At first it is realized that there is an "other way". In this way I act as a guide to them, it already means a lot.”
Q: As we know, music therapy is conducted both individually and in groups. What are the group dynamics and benefits during group music therapy?
“During group therapy, not just a music therapist, the whole group cares about your better being, getting involved in the process of finding the path I talked about above. Offer each other ways of overcoming each other, share experiences with each other, show empathy, care, support each other. A very important thing happens - overcoming the fear of being alone. They realize that they are not alone.The group member knows exactly how non-critical the environment is, how receptive, managerial and as tolerant as possible. The fact that the environment can take your problem without criticism already means a lot”
Q: Ms. Marina, why did you decide to establish BEKARI in cooperation with Germany?
“I think there are a lot of things in Europe that adapting to our culture would give us very good results in terms of improving people’s quality of life. I am very happy that I was given the opportunity to apply my knowledge and experience to my own country. Under the patronage of Ms. Nana Gotua and Smart Capital Group, we have established a music therapy center in Georgia, and most importantly, by German standards. By the way, a very good tandem came out by combining two individuals, their skills and abilities Ms. Nana Gotua’s and mine. I hope together we can plan and implement many very good and useful projects.”
Q: Ms. Nana What role do you think BEKARI will play in improving the mental health situation in the Georgian market?
“BEKARI has great potential to help people maintain or improve their mental and even psycho-somatic health and assist them in successful health management. The main goal of BEKARI center is to offer European standard services to the people using our service in the Georgian reality. Create a therapeutic space where they get maximum results. I think Ms. Marina's many years of international experience and our dynamic cooperation with German partners give us a solid foundation for this.
We can confidently say that today, not only in Georgia, but also in Transcaucasia, "BEKARI" is the first therapy center with advanced international standards, which offers therapies through music. With our far-reaching goals, we would like to share BEKARI’S experience with all people and specialists interested in the field of music therapy, both in Georgia and in our region. Introduce the latest approaches and amazing results that can be achieved with this unique method.”
Q: Ms. Marina, what are Bekar's future plans?
Unfortunately, due to the strict consideration of the regulations of the Covid Pandemic, we have refrained from carrying out many activities, however we hope the situation will change very soon and we will be able to plan important events. Also, it is our great desire for music therapy to be officially involved in state programs. We also cooperate with foreign organizations, with whom interesting and useful activities are planned, what kind of activities we will keep secret for now. As you know, I am a member of many international music therapy associations, a member of the German Association of Music Therapists (DMTG), a member of the German Society of Nordoff Robbins, and an official licensed music therapist in both the German and international registries. I want BEKARI to become a platform for sharing their experiences for our country.
Q: Ms. Nana, how do you see your role in BEKARI’S future development?
Among the social projects we have implemented, I consider BEKARI to be the most concurrent step with the challenges of modern life. Despite opening up in pandemic conditions, the center really justified the need to establish a small distance of existence. In the coming years we will have to work actively to create our own success story, both regionally and internationally.