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Healing systems: A model of collective trauma and resiliency in post-conflict communities

Healing systems: A model of collective trauma and resiliency in post-conflict communities

Although there is an extensive body of literature on trauma at the individual level,  these efforts are insufficient to understand  the pervasive psychosocial impact of war at the communal level( Kantowitz and Kiak 2008). current models of trauma are inadequate because they individualize, pathologize, and decontextualize this phenomenon (Bracken & petty, 1998; (Wessells & Monteiro, 2000). Based on field research in Guatemala, sortheastern Turkey and cyprus, this paper discusses collective trauma as well as  communities’ organic resilient responses and effective intervention  strategies.

A model of collective trauma is presented which suggests that this phenomenon results from the experience of living in an environment rife with fear and instiutional failure, which can produce collective narratives that individuals communities,create based on their real and perceived limited accessto resources. in such settings, people often continue to operate in a survivar mode. These dynamics have important impacts because ultimately, they potentialy serve to maintain the marginalization of indigenous or minority ethnic communities by reinforcing their real and perceived lack of access to choices and power. Resilient responses can operate simultaneously to traumatic ones, and include communities’ capacities to generate internal authority, creating mechanisms of internal and external control, and communities’ ability to focus on youth, long-term planning, and institutional development in such arenas as education, as opposed to short-term survival strategies.

Conference: Demo
Areas of Interest / Categories: Recovery, Resilience, Trauma