Intervention Journal

December 2003 - Volume 1 - Issue 3

Introduction

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Authors:
van der Veer, G.

Colophon

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ARTICLES

Psychological Interventions: some key issues facing practitioners

The ever-growing range of approaches to psychosocial intervention in areas of armed conflict reflects a wide diversity in underlying perspective. Practitioners are faced with questions of effectiveness and appropriateness of interventions. The author presents a conceptual framework formulated by the Psychosocial Working Group that offers a way of understanding psychosocial well being, that embraces the breadth of the field. This framework is used to explore the assessment of the impact of events, by directing attention towards both the depletion and accretion of human, social and cultural resources as a result of armed conflict. Issues of effective, appropriate and ethical interventions are discussed in relation to the fundamental importance of facilitation of community engagement.

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Authors:
Strang, A.B. and Ager, A.

Psychological Impact of Military Violence on Children as a Function of Distance from Traumatic Event: the Palestine case

The psychological well-being of 114 Palestinian children aged 5-16 was assessed with questionnaires. Three groups of children were distinguished: children living at close proximity (500 meters or less) to a bombed target; children living within a distance of 500-1000 meters, and children living at a greater distance than 1000 meters. The results showed that the well-being of Palestinian children was negatively affected by the military and political violence to which they were subjected. The study also demonstrates that psychological security is as crucial as physical security to the wellbeing of children. It may not be sufficient to relate the impact of a traumatic event to the physical distance alone, psychological distance also has to be taken into account.

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Authors:
Baker, A.M. and Kanan, H.M.

Stress and Coping in Traumatised Interpreters: a pilot study of refugee interpreters working for a humanitarian organisation

Twelve Kosovo-Albanian interpreters at the Danish Red Cross (DRC) asylum reception centre participated in an interview about their background and work. The majority had fled from the Serbian persecution in Kosovo, which involved living in a permanently
hypervigilant stat, with intense fear of rape, ethnic suppression and civil war. All of the interpreters reported a heavy workload and a high level of distress. The most distressing part was interpreting at interviews for psychologists, where stories of torture, annihilation, persecution, and loss were told. A considerate and respectful treatment of this staff group may enhance the quality of therapeutic work as the interpreters get an opportunity to contribute with their culture specific knowledge.

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Authors:
Holmgren, H., Sondergaard, H. and Elklit, A.

Working Towards Overcoming Psychological Consequences of Oppression: an example from India

This article focuses on the psychological consequences of oppression in the form of caste-based discrimination in India. These psychological consequences are described as processes in the minds of oppressed people, processes that are often unconscious. First the position of the so-called untouchable castes (Dalits) is described. Then a report is presented of a Group Relations  onference (which is a temporary experiential learning institution), during which Dalit-leaders, who have taken the responsibility to fight for the human rights of their brother Dalits, met executives of other humanitarian organisations and managers of business houses. During this conference, the Dalits were able to identify unconscious processes based on oppression that were interfering with the effectiveness of their organisations.

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Authors:
Chattopadhyay, G.P.

Youth Clubs: Psychological Intervention with Young Refugees

The war in former Yugoslavia (1991-95) exposed hundreds of thousands of children and adolescents to very intensive, often multiple traumatic experiences, followed by a chain of chronic and increasing problems in exile. This paper describes the theoretical framework, implementation and evaluation of Youth Clubs, a community-based psychosocial intervention implemented during the war years with the aim of supporting the psychosocial recovery and reintegration of young refugees in Serbia. The evaluation study confirmed that Youth Clubs are an efficient intervention that reduces suffering and prevents a negative outcome of traumatic experience in the majority of adolescent refugees. The author discusses the hypothesis that the ‘healing’ effect of the Youth Clubs intervention might be due to providing norms and context for the interpretation and understanding of traumatic events, offering young people opportunities to master the reality and find some new, meaningful goals that they can identify with and fight for. Thus, their pre-existing “conceptual maps”, which were destroyed or profoundly shaken by the traumatic events, could be replaced by new ones enabling the young to give meaning to past and present experience and to pave the way towards the future.

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Authors:
Ispanovic-Radojkovic, V.

Strengthening Social Fabric Through Narrative Theatre

In this paper, Narrative Theatre is described as a means of strengthening the social fabric in dislocated communities. In the first part, we describe basic theoretical constructs underlying the social foundation of human functioning. The key elements are bonding and bridging as dynamic features of social fabric. This is followed by a brief discussion of the emancipatory roots of Narrative Theatre. In the third part, we give a conceptual framework based on deconstructing problem stories and reconstructing the emancipatory opportunities in the preferred strength-based story. The concepts of critical consciousness and reflexivity form part of the framework. Lastly we briefly present a case study that illustrates the use of Narrative Theatre as a powerful tool to promote individual and community social action and mental health.

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Authors:
Sliep, Y. and Meyer-Weitz, A.

Folk Theatre Improves Psychosocial Work in Kashmir

This article shows how a psychosocial project initiated by a Western, medical humanitarian organisation can connect with non-Western local traditions. In this case, the traditional folk theatre of the rural areas in Kashmir is used as a medium for psychoeducation.

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Authors:
Souza, R. and Sloot, M.

REVIEWS

Mollica, R.F., Xingjia Cui, M.A.R., et.al "Science-based Policy for Psychosocial Interventions in Refugee Camps; A Cambodian example" (Journal of Nervous and Mental Disorders Vol.190.3, 2002)

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Authors:
Aarts

Joffe, C., Brodaty, H et. al. "The Sydney Holocaust Study: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other psychosocial morbidity in aged community sample (Journal of Traumatic Stressg) - reviewed by Petra Aarts

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Aarts

SUMMARIES

Summaries in Arabic

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Résumés en Français

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Resumenes en Español

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Summaries in Tamil

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