Intervention Journal

January 2003 - Volume 1 - Issue 1

Colophon

PDF
Authors:

Introduction

PDF
Authors:
Van der Veer, G.

ARTICLES

Collective Trauma in Sri Lanka

The ethnic war in Sri Lanka has brought psychosocial problems for individuals and families. In addition, it has had a devastating effect on Sri Lankan society; we can speak of a collective trauma. It has caused regression of all development, destroying social
capital, structures and institutions. It has also resulted in changes, for the worse, of fundamental social processes like socialization, social norms and social networks. However, despite the obvious negative sequelae of war, some positive effects on social processes too can be identified: emergence community organizations, decline of the cast system, emancipation of women and
decline of suicide rates. This article presents an overview of both positive and negative effects of the war on Sri Lankan society and discusses programmes for countering the negative effects.

PDF
Authors:
Somasundaram, D.

Mental Health Programs in Areas of Armed Conflict: The Médecins Sans Frontières Counselling Centres in Bosnia-Hercegovina

Mental health programmes in complex emergencies are generally accepted as an important component of aid work. However, this
is a relatively recent development and there is a lack of theory-based practice and little analysis of previous interventions upon which effective, appropriate and sustainable programmes can be based. This article describes the theoretical framework, objectives, implementation and intervention activities of the mental health programme of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1994-1998. Approximately 10,000 individuals were helped during this time. The aims of the programmes
were to provide culturally-appropriate support, assist in coping with extreme stress, counteract helplessness, and reinforce protective factors. Ten counselling centres were established where 70 local counsellors and supervisors worked after a training period of three months. Assistance and interventions provided by the counsellors ranged from mass psycho-education, training, individual outreach activities to crisis intervention and brief psychotherapeutic treatment – psychological structuring, working on (self) control, training self-help techniques, reconnecting the experiences to one’s emotions and discussing the personal meaning of traumatic experiences. Despite general acceptance that war may lead to serious mental health problems, the provision of help is stifled by disagreement on the cultural relevance and effectiveness of different interventions in emergency mental health programmes. This article, describing the establishment of a training programme and counselling centres during a war, and the
continuation of these programmes six years on, provides a strong case in favour of the applicability of these programmes.

PDF
Authors:
de Jong, K., Kleber, R. and Puratic, V.

Training Counsellors in Areas of Armed Conflict

This article is about the learning needs of starting counsellors in areas of armed conflict. The curricula for the training of counsellors usually are based on ideas regarding which knowledge, skills and attitudes are required for effective counselling. The curricula do not always take the personal needs and backgrounds of the participants into account. Counselling training in areas of armed conflict can only be effective if the trainer assesses these personal backgrounds and needs and adapts his training approach accordingly. Participants in training projects in areas of armed conflict often need a concise, short-term, practice-oriented training, stripped from professional jargon and connecting with their, sometimes, very modest educational level. Moreover, they need some form of support in dealing with the consequences of traumatic experiences in their own lives. The training therefore is education and group psychotherapy at the same time. In order to describe the working of such a training, we need two theoretical descriptions: one highlighting the educational side, and one highlighting the therapeutic side.

PDF
Authors:
van der Veer, G.

Interventions and Methods of the Theatre Action Group

In this article I will review three types of psychosocialinterventions done bytheorganisation Theatre Action Group (TAG) in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, aimed at successively children, their parents and the community, and teachers. The methods used during these interventions can be compared with counselling methods: where counsellors provide a therapeutic space through meeting the client in private and showing their genuine warmth, respect and interest, TAG creates a therapeutic space through games and
theatre, showing warmth, respect and interest in a similar way. This results in a healing process, manifested by signs of improvement in mental health such as an increase of self confidence, as well by significant changes for the better in the
community.

PDF
Authors:
Sithamparanathan, K.

Humiliation and Dignity: Regional conflicts in the Global Village

Often regional conflicts are treated as if they are placed in a vacuum, independent of their environment. This paper attempts to put regional conflict regions into the perspective of a globalising world. It is suggested that feelings of humiliation play a central role in this process. Human rights ideals extend dignity to all humankind and prohibit humiliating people as lesser beings. Human rights ideals thus define high goals and consequently create intense feelings of humiliation when violated. Every local conflict is inscribed into the global debate as to how the global village will look like in the future: will human rights reign, or will elites keep underlings
in a humiliating position? Expressions that are central to this discourse are discussed in this paper, such as ‘protecting my people’, ‘freedom’, ‘peace’, ‘stability’, as well as ‘war’, ‘enemies’, ‘friends’, ‘terrorists’, ‘soldiers’ and ‘police’.

PDF
Authors:
Lindner, E.G.

SUMMARIES

Summaries in Sinhala

PDF
Authors:
Editors

Summaries in Tamil

PDF
Authors:
Editors