Worth a Look: Books on War and Torture Victims, Asylum and Refugee Trauma

Cultural Intelligence, Peace Intelligence, Worth A Look
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2014 Refuge and Resilience: Promoting Resilience and Mental Health among Resettled Refugees and Forced Migrants

Taking an interdisciplinary approach and focusing on the social and psychological resources that promote resilience among forced migrants, this book presents theory and evidence about what keeps refugees healthy during resettlement. The book draws on contributions from cultural psychiatry, anthropology, ethics, nursing, psychiatric epidemiology, sociology and social work. Concern about immigrant mental health and social integration in resettlement countries has given rise to public debates that challenge scientists and policy makers to assemble facts and solutions to perceived problems. Since the 1980s, refugee mental health research has been productive but arguably overly-focused on mental disorders and problems rather than solutions. Social science perspectives are not well integrated with medical science and treatment, which is at odds with social reality and underlies inadequacy and fragmentation in policy and service delivery. Research and practice that contribute to positive refugee mental health from Canada and the U.S. show that refugee mental health promotion must take into account social and policy contexts of immigration and health care in addition to medical issues. Despite traumatic experiences, most refugees are not mentally ill in a clinical sense and those who do need medical attention often do not receive appropriate care. As recent studies show, social and cultural determinants of health may play a larger role in refugee health and adaptation outcomes than do biological factors or pre-migration experiences. This book’s goal therefore is to broaden the refugee mental health field with social and cultural perspectives on resilience and mental health.

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2014 The Politics of Haunting and Memory in International Relations

International Relations has traditionally focused on conflict and war, but the effects of violence including dead bodies and memorialization practices have largely been considered beyond the purview of the field. Drawing on Jacques Derrida’s notion of hauntology to consider the politics of life and death, Auchter traces the story of how life and death and a clear division between the two is summoned in the project of statecraft. She argues that by letting ourselves be haunted, or looking for ghosts, it is possible to trace how statecraft relies on the construction of such a dichotomy. Three empirical cases offer fertile ground for complicating the picture often painted of memorialization: Rwandan genocide memorials, the underexplored case of undocumented immigrants who die crossing the US-Mexico border, and the body/ruins nexus in 9/11 memorialization. Focusing on the role of dead bodies and the construction of particular spaces as the appropriate sites for memory to be situated, it offers an alternative take on the new materialisms movement in international relations by asking after the questions that arise from an ethnographic approach to the subject: viewing things from the perspective of dead bodies, who occupy the shadowy world of post-conflict international politics. This work will be of great interest to students and scholars of critical international relations, security studies, statecraft and memory studies.

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2011 A Mental Healthcare Model for Mass Trauma Survivors: Control-Focused Behavioral Treatment of Earthquake, War and Torture Trauma

Mass trauma events, such as natural disasters, war and torture, affect millions of people every year. Currently, there is no mental health care model with the potential to address the psychological needs of survivors in a cost-effective way. This book presents such a model, along with guidance on its implementation, making it invaluable for both policy-makers and mental health professionals. Building on more than twenty years of extensive research with mass trauma survivors, the authors present a model of traumatic stress to aid understanding of mass trauma and how its psychological impact can be overcome with control-focused behavioral treatment. This text offers a critical review of various controversial issues in the field of psychological trauma in light of recent research findings. Including two structured manuals on earthquake trauma, covering treatment delivery and self-help, the book will be of use to survivors themselves as well as care providers.

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2010 In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness

In an Unspoken Voice is based on the idea that trauma is neither a disease nor a disorder, but rather an injury caused by fright, helplessness and loss that can be healed by engaging our innate capacity to self-regulate high states of arousal and intense emotions. Enriched with a coherent theoretical framework and compelling case examples, the book elegantly blends the latest findings in biology, neuroscience and body-oriented psychotherapy to show that when we bring together animal instinct and reason, we can become more whole human beings.

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2008 Healing Invisible Wounds: Paths to Hope and Recovery in a Violent World

Healing Invisible Wounds reveals how trauma survivors, through the telling of their stories, teach all of us how to deal with the tragic events of everyday life. Mollica’s important discovery that humiliation–an instrument of violence that also leads to anger and despair–can be transformed through his therapeutic project into solace and redemption is a remarkable new contribution to survivors and clinicians. This book reveals how in every society we have to move away from viewing trauma survivors as “broken people” and “outcasts” to seeing them as courageous people actively contributing to larger social goals. When violence occurs, there is damage not only to individuals but to entire societies, and to the world. Through the journey of self-healing that survivors make, they enable the rest of us not only as individuals but as entire communities to recover from injury in a violent world.

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2007 Cross-Cultural Assessment of Psychological Trauma and PTSD

This work is a vital set of insights and guidelines that will contribute to more aware and meaningful practice for mental health professionals. Focusing equally on theoretical concepts, culturally valid assessment methods, and cultural adaptation in trauma and resilience, an array of experts present the cutting edge of research and strategies. Extended case studies illustrate an informative range of symptom profiles, comorbid conditions, and coping skills, as well as secondary traumas that can occur in asylum seekers.

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2005 Forced Migration and Mental Health: Rethinking the Care of Refugees and Displaced Persons

Although forced migration is not new in human history it has become, in our time, one of the world’s major problems. In the last few decades, armed conflict and political unrest have created vast numbers of asylum seekers, refugees and displaced persons. This has led, in turn to increasing involvement of professional care workers and agencies, both governmental and nongovernmental. While there is no doubt on the part of helping parties that care is necessary, there is considerable debate about the kind of care that is needed. This book presents a critical review of mental health care provisions for people who have had to leave their homeland, and explores the controversies surrounding this topic. Providing fresh perspectives on an age old problem, this book covers humanitarian aid and reconstruction programs as well as service provision in host countries. It is of interest to all those who provide health services, create policy, and initiate legislation for these populations.

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2004 Broken Spirits: The Treatment of Traumatized Asylum Seekers, Refugees and War and Torture Victims

Mental health problems among asylum seekers and refugees are becoming a public issue, but awareness of this problem among the mental health community is relatively low. Although advances have been made in the provision of innovative mental health services for asylum seekers and refuges with PTSD, they are not systemized, and not widely known to professionals in the field. A publication offering practical guidelines for the treatment of torture victims and political refugees does not exist. Broken Spirits aims to bring together the works of the most respected mental health professionals – from the U.S. and abroad – and make available the most current knowledge on complex PTSD, forced migration and cultural sensitivity in diagnosis and treatment.

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2002 Therapeutic Care for Refugees: No Place Like Home

This volume addresses the complexities involved in attending to the mental health of refugees. It covers theory and research as well as clinical and field applications, emphasising the psychotehrapeutic perspective. It explores the delicate balance between accepting the resilience of refugees whilst not neglecting their psychological needs, within a framework that avoides pathologising their condition.

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1997 Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence–from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

When Trauma and Recovery was first published in 1992, it was hailed as a groundbreaking work. In the intervening years, Herman’s volume has changed the way we think about and treat traumatic events and trauma victims. In a new afterword, Herman chronicles the incredible response the book has elicited and explains how the issues surrounding the topic have shifted within the clinical community and the culture at large.Trauma and Recovery brings a new level of understanding to a set of problems usually considered individually. Herman draws on her own cutting-edge research in domestic violence as well as on the vast literature of combat veterans and victims of political terror, to show the parallels between private terrors such as rape and public traumas such as terrorism. The book puts individual experience in a broader political frame, arguing that psychological trauma can be understood only in a social context. Meticulously documented and frequently using the victims’ own words as well as those from classic literary works and prison diaries, Trauma and Recovery is a powerful work that will continue to profoundly impact our thinking.