Sharing Circles: learning from a community based psychosocial intervention model implemented with vulnerable populations in Myanmar

The last several decades of ongoing conflict and oppression in Myanmar (as it is now officially known) has had an extensive psychological and emotional impact on its people. Unfortunately, there has been a distinct lack of psychosocial programming provided through culturally appropriate methods in Myanmar. This study investigated an eight session psychotherapy group called Sharing Circles. Trained local staff implemented a group intervention in Yangon, Myanmar with 57 Burmese participants from Yangon identified as belonging to one of three vulnerable groups. Preliminary findings suggest the Sharing Circles may be an effective psychosocial technique for improving psychological symptoms and providing psychosocial support. Limitations included: lack of a comparison group, relatively small sample size, convenience sample, and simple pre and posttest design. Further, well designed, studies of group interventions with identified vulnerable groups are needed to confirm and clarify initial findings as well as to evaluate its potential application in other conflict affected regions.

Vukovich, Maria; Mitchell, Gwen Vogel