ARTICLES

Bread and roses: supporting refugee women in a multicultural group

This field report describes the support and reconciliation work in a weekly multicultural and multilingual therapeutic group of African refugee women in a shelter in Johannesburg, South Africa. The problems of the participants, the therapeutic approach (which includes team building exercises, guided imaginations, story telling, drawing, modelling and discussion) as well as the impact on the participants, are all discussed.

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Responding to the psychosocial impact of the Tsunami in a war zone: experiences from northern Sri Lanka

Three days after the Tsunami hit the war-torn Jaffna district in northern Sri Lanka, a mental health task force was formed. The approach of this task force, comprising a cooperative initiative between 18 humanitarian agencies, is described in this field report.

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Mental health of Afghan refugees in Pakistan: a qualitative rapid reconnaissance field study

For the past 25 years, Afghans have accounted for the greatest number of displaced persons in the world. A large proportion of this population has sought refuge in neighbouring Pakistan. Many Afghan refugees have experienced unimaginable suffering due to war and its consequences. Mental health is an essential aspect of the care of refugees, yet the mental health and well-being of Afghan refugees has not been well studied.

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Training trainers for counsellors and psychosocial workers in areas of armed conflict: some basic principles

Training counsellors, or psychosocial workers, in areas of armed conflict requires an explicit vision of the relationship between the educational methods used by the trainer, and the main messages of the training. This article describes the educational methods, subject matter and main messages of contact-oriented training of trainers for counsellors or psychosocial workers.

Integrating a psychosocial perspective into poverty reduction: the case of a resettlement project in northern Sri Lanka

This article is about the growing interest in combining the traditionally separate objectives of poverty reduction and psychosocial support provision. It cites this development within the broader trends in the psychosocial field globally, and locally. It utilizes data from Sri Lanka to illustrate the interaction between psychosocial suffering and poverty in conflict zones.

The social world of dreams and nightmares in a post-conflict setting: the case of Gorongosa in central Mozambique

The paper describes socio-cultural theories of interpretations of dreams among the population in central Mozambique. In general, dreams are considered a means of communication, conveying important messages that are applied to organize the social world. The prolonged civil war has impacted upon these dreaming systems by adding another dimension to the interpretation. War-related dreams do not serve as communication channels, but are experienced as striking repetitions of past events.

The disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of child soldiers: social and psychological transformation in Sierra Leone

This article gives an overview of the processes of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of child soldiers in Sierra Leone. In contrast to many other situations, in Sierra Leone there has been an effective, integrated response involving a large number of civil society organizations and committees as well as the government.

Cleansing the wounds of war: an examination of traditional healing, psychosocial health and reintegration in Sierra Leone

Traditional healing ceremonies have been lauded as an effective and integral aspect of psychosocial healing and reintegration for children associated with the fighting forces. This article describes the results of a qualitative study of the effects of traditional cleansing ceremonies for girl soldiers who are survivors of rape in Sierra Leone. The principal research question asked how these purification rituals contribute to psychosocial healing and reintegration. Two overarching themes emerged from the data.

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