Since January I have been trying to articulate the best practices in doing trauma recovery or trauma healing work in international settings. The foundation of this approach to trauma recovery is, (a) Listen first to the needs, resources, and concerns of a community(b) identify local leaders who can be trained to be the primary trauma recovery workers (rather than outsiders being the primary clinicians), (c) tailoring interventions to the needs of the community, and (c) above all…do no harm by over-promising, under-delivering, etc.
Today, I opened up my most recent American Psychologist (66:6, September 2011) and found my thinking confirmed in Watson, Brymer, and Bonanno’s Postdisaster Psychological Intervention since 9/11 (see citation at the bottom of the page). On page 485 they list what experts consider an appropriate steps to take in postdisaster behavioral health interventions. Now, most of you don’t probably get excited about research articles like this but I can tell you I did. Here’s the chart (click to see a larger image)
It is nice to find confirmation for something I was thinking but hadn’t read elsewhere.
From: Watson, P. J., Brymer, M. J., & Bonanno, G. A. (2011). Postdisaster psychological intervention since 9/11. American Psychologist, 66(6), 482-494. doi:10.1037/a0024806
One response to “Getting confirmation on global trauma recovery plans”
Dr. Munroe, First I am a new subscriber to your blog and I would like to thank you for sharing as I have similar interests. I remember feeling very inspired by Dr. Langberg many years ago at an AACC world convention where she began unfolding a vision for international care. My husband and I along with our neighbors from Atlanta have been working with a ministry in Rwanda since 2004. Tears came to my eyes as I could see how what I did in rescue mission in the South may be useful in our work in Rwanda…
As far as this research suggest and what would be common sense is that international trauma work requires long term relationship building and presence. What are your thoughts about how this can happen when it is so expensive to travel to places like Rwanda. My hope was when I first traveled to Rwanda in 2005 that I would return the next year. As our economy changed, so did many plans… Is there a way to incorporate technology in the training and long-term support required…