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‘Our heroes can become our enemies’ – Correct psychological rehabilitation for ATO fighters is pledge of Ukrainian future

‘Our heroes can become our enemies’ - Correct psychological rehabilitation for ATO fighters is pledge of Ukrainian future

‘You can be a winner on the field of battle, but you would lose the war because the winner is not able to revive his country. That is why psychological rehabilitation of military is so important’’.

This thought was expressed by volunteer, French specialist in neuropsychology and psychosomatic medicine, specialist in the theory of leadership and founder of non-governmental organization ‘Smile for Ukraine’ Nicolas Takyssel during press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Project manager of ‘Smile for Ukraine’ Julia Savchuk underlined importance of rehabilitation issue.

‘Our heroes can become our enemies. It would be like gangrene that destroys our country from the inside’, – she added.

Organization ‘Smile for Ukraine’ operates on volunteer conditions and needs support of Ukrainian community and government.

‘For us it is important to establish contact with maximally large number of psychologists throughout Ukraine’, – project manager Diana Prokopishina added.

Takyssel has experience in working with management of big French companies that work in the field of psychology of leadership. He mentioned that it was due to low level of psychological culture in the country that he had decided to found NGO in Ukraine to provide psychological help for servicemen.

‘Unfortunately, in Ukraine it is not popular to seek help from a psychologist’, – the volunteer added.


The program of Nicolas Takyssel, who has worked with top athletes of techniques to optimize personal potential, is quite different from other rehabilitation programs existing in Ukraine.

According to the volunteer, it is important to understand that psychology of a military in Donbas is a whole program which should be unblocked. It is obvious that it is impossible to do with art-therapy, like painting. Work of psychologist should have programmatic nature.

The specialist believes that program of rehabilitation of a military who plans returning to civilian life and of another serviceman who plans returning to war should be absolutely different because they have opposing goals.

According to volunteers, the main activities of the organization are the following:

  • conducting special rehabilitation programs for Ukrainian military;
  • conducting special rehabilitation programs for children from the East of Ukraine and internally displaced people, as well as for kids who have lost their parents;
  • conducting trainings for Ukrainian psychologists and cooperation with Ukrainian NGO, providing specially tailored programs for rehabilitation;
  • conducting trainings for volunteers to acquaint them with ‘Smile for Ukraine’ programs on psychological rehabilitation so that volunteers can further use these programs in their work.


According to Nicolas Takyssel, he personally has managed to consult more than 60 Ukrainian servicemen, about 300-400 military got help from other Ukrainian psychologists who base their work on the technique of ‘Smile for Ukraine’.

Source: Ukraine Crisis Media Center

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