Community level interventions in working with torture and trauma survivors – nexus between theory and practice

Community level interventions in working with torture and trauma survivors – nexus between theory and practice

2020-01-01 00:00:00
Not only does this interplay occur on individual and family levels, but also it is clearly visible on the level of refugee communities. As refugee communities survive trauma and exile, the nature of relationships and structures inevitably changes. Furthermore, a refugee community in exile, even though it is perceived by outsiders to be a “community”, is often a scattered group of individuals and families struggling to establish networks while dealing with psychosocial consequences of torture and refugee trauma.
Consequently, STARTTS work is based on the bio-psyco-social systemic approach and it consists of a balance between community development and clinical approaches. These two facets of our work are seen as spots on a continuum rather than opposing philosophical and value-based positions. Additionally, STARTTS is firmly committed to community participation, empowerment and capacity building.
This paper explores the impact of organised violence on communities and above mentioned theoretical frameworks as well as the actual community development work STARTTS has undertaken over the years. The examples provided will include community infrastructure building, group-work, community participation, community skill development, and assisting the communities to access the external and recognise and utilise the internal resources. The paper will look at both, strengths and challenges associated with these approaches, and propose a model for working with refugee communities in exile.
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