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Psychosocial approach in work with families of missing persons.

Psychosocial approach in work with families of missing persons.

The problem of finding and identifying missing persons from the war in Bosnia Herzegovina  (1992-95) remains one of the most painful consequences of the conflict. Around 13.000 people are still considered missing. The suffering experienced by the families of missing persons can be viewed as a kind of torture, and therefore considered as a serious violation of human rights. This paper presents findings from a 2 year project working with 20 women with missing family members. Group work was conducted with 20 women at the location where their trauma occurred over a 2 year period.

The women had losses of family members ranging from one to twenty per woman. All had suffered from multiple traumas during the war. Our work was directed towards working through individual experiences, individual resources, as the way of dealing with loss and uncertainty. The work included our presence at the marking of the day of disappearance, the unveiling of a monument, as well as work with individual suffering. The study analysed the coping mechanisms of the women through the process of sequentional trauma. Through the project the identification of a number of missing persons was achieved. Those previously missing persons finally had names, not just numbers and they received their own place and space thus acknowledging their previous existence. The return to the place were separation of male family members happened, and community tradition and rituals, such as building monuments with the names of missing persons, made dealing with losses for group members easier. lt is necessary however in the future to pay more attention to the ways of dealing and coping with sorrow and suffering of these women, and how it reflects on the community.

Speakers: Uncategorized
Conference: Demo
Areas of Interest / Categories: Grief, Separation, War

Separation

Risk and resilience in depression: Why some people become depressed following stress while others do not

A sizable literature now exists documenting a strong association between exposure to major life events and the subsequent onset of Major Depressive Disorder (Monroe, Slavich, & Georgiades, 2008). Stressors of this type can be serious and include specific events such as the death of a spouse or a financially devastating job loss. Despite this robust association between stress and depression, some people who experience stress never become depressed. At the same time, other people experience stress and go on to develop recurrent forms of depression. Why are some people resilient in the face of stress while others are not? The present talk reviews recent research from our group that addresses these questions.

When parents rupture their children's loving bond with the other parent: identifying, and working against the parental alienation process and alienating behaviours

How do practitioners respond to parents and/or their children who present in the context of a high conflict separation and divorce where the relationship between the children and one of the parents is threatened or has been ruptured? The relationship between children and one of their parents may end for a number of reasons, including their own attachment choices, conflict mitigation strategies and abuse. However, in the absence of such factors and in the face of certain questionable actions by parents practitioners are left with the possibility that the deliberate or at least the inadvertent actions and behaviours of one parent damages or destroys the necessary loving relationship between their children and the other parent. 

When parents rupture their children's loving bond with the other parent: identifying, and working against the parental alienation process and alienating behaviours

How do practitioners respond to parents and/or their children who present in the context of a high conflict separation and divorce where the relationship between the children and one of the parents is threatened or has been ruptured? The relationship between children and one of their parents may end for a number of reasons, including their own attachment choices, conflict mitigation strategies and abuse. However, in the absence of such factors and in the face of certain questionable actions by parents practitioners are left with the possibility that the deliberate or at least the inadvertent actions and behaviours of one parent damages or destroys the necessary loving relationship between their children and the other parent. 

A Self-Psychological model and its relevance to the cross-cultural management of Trauma.

Psychoanalyst Henry Krystal discussed the core experience of trauma as a surrendering to the inevitability of death and destruction. A new psychological theory, Kohutian Self-Psychology, offers a new treatment modality, in which Empathic Attunement is used. Kohut theorised that trauma represented the loss or absence of a self-object and the consequent affect overstimulation and self-fragmentation, leaving the self vulnerable to further trauma. The therapist needs a reliable grasp of the client’s culture and lived experience to assist his/her expression of past trauma.