Is there a best practice in international trauma recovery work?


Yesterday I presented with Marianne Millen at the 2016 Humanitarian Disaster Institute conference here in Wheaton, IL. We reviewed some of the lessons learned through our experiences partnering with Rwandan institutions like the Bible Society (BSR) and with local counselors and caregivers. Check out our presentation here if you want to see our slides.

In short, partnerships are the way forward. But partnerships are not merely so that “we” can help “them.” True partnerships share resources, knowledge, and skills. They enrich both parties. I can attest that I have learned much from my Rwandan friends as they from me. I am a better therapist (and maybe teacher) from what I have received.

Partnerships rarely form quickly. They take time, can be messy, are likely more expensive than other intervention strategies. But as the Rwandan proverb says, “If you want to fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” And yesterday during a conference plenary, Sheryl Haw (Micah Global) had this to say, “partnerships are the realization of being on God’s mission and not our own.”

1 Comment

Filed under christian psychology, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Rwanda, trauma

One response to “Is there a best practice in international trauma recovery work?

  1. AS

    Phil, I only saw one reference to FAITH in the slides. What are the local churches doing? Professionally, what is being intentionally done to explore the role of faith and spiritual formation in the face (transgenerational) trauma and issues of spiritual attachment?

    Thanks for your work in this, the land of my birth.

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