The paper is based on a long-standing research and clinical work with children and adolescents who were exposed to chronic adverse circumstances linked to war in ex-Yugoslavia, exile and deteriorated social context and to abuse and/or neglect in family. The main groups of factors influencing the outcome of traumatic experience were: dimensions of traumatic experience, child’s own resources, family network and the social context. Emotional and cognitive maturity of the child, high self-esteem, secure attachment, child’s ability to use spontaneously natural ways of healing like play, dreams, creative expression, were the most often recognized protective factors, while the history of previous trauma and pre-existing psychopathology were the most important vulnerability factors.
Parental emotional accessibility, empathy and provision of cognitive frame for comprehending the traumatic events facilitated the coping process in children and youth. The social context turned out to be of special importance for the coping of adolescents. lt could enhance their coping abilities by providing a cognitive framework for interpretation and understanding of the traumatic events and facilitating their integration in the life project of the young person. The opportunities to master the reality and put some meaningful goals that the young person can identify with and fight for are powerful "remedies" for healing after traumatic experience.
A continuous recording of the meeting held by STAARTS on Nov 14, 2018
Resilience refers to successful adaptation despite adversity, ability to overcome hardships and trauma, developmental competencies or even blossoming in harsh conditions. Abundant research is available on the child-family-and society-related factors that enhance resilience in various hardships including parental mental illness, childhood abuse and major trauma of war and terrorism. In addition to these explanatory factors, it is urgent to understand processes and dynamic mechanisms that underlie the human resilient capacities.
Medica Mondiale is an international non-governmental organization who supports women and girls who have been sexually violated during war and civil conflict. It also provides services for women affected by other forms of gender-based violence in post-war and conflict zones. medica mondiale built and supports women’s psychosocial and counselling and training centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Liberia and DRCongo and supports small scale psychosocial projects for women affected by violence in Cambodia, East Timor, Iraq, Israel, Nepal, Mexico, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Turkey and Uganda.
This workshop will present the process and outcomes of therapeutic group intervention for Assyrian-Chaldean adolescents who experienced dislocation, prolonged exposure to war and associated trauma.