Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Presentations: International Congress of Psychology

I have now finished my presentations at the 30th International Congress of Psychology (22-27 July 2012) in Cape Town. On Monday 23 July 2012, I hosted a symposium at 11am, entitled "From the individual to the collective: Exploring social transformation through psychosocial Interventions". This symposium reported on the findings of Trauma, Peacebuilding and Development project with various authors of the case studies speaking. I will also presented, with with Dr Elizabeth Gallagher our research on "Youth, masculinity, the past, and conceptualisations of trauma in post-conflict Northern Ireland". We hope to have a book about the project out next year.

Yesterday, the 24th I was part of a symposium focusing on the issue of reparations after violent conflict entitled "Surviving gross human rights violations - exploring survivors' experience of justice and reparation". My paper was entitled "Healing political wounds: The role of macro interventions in assisting victims of political violence".

An audio clip of my introduction is available here: Audio Clip (3 Minute Introduction)

The main points, as tweeted were:

  • At ICP 2012 presenting paper “Healing the Wounds: The role of macro interventions in assisting victims of political violence”
  • The impact of political violence is not the same everywhere but practitioners argue it is with concepts like PTSD
  • This can remove context and fail to take account of the historical and individual meaning associated with political violence
  • If we don't recognise context in addressing political violence we can fail to see the how macro interventions operate
  • By macro interventions I mean truth commissions, or trials or tribunals
  • The delivery of truth, justice and reparations are part of this context, and are key to individual healing
  • This highlights the limits of defining psychological support as only about therapy or interpersonal assistance
  • Changing the context or the environment changes individuals mental health
  • Changing the context is a mental health intervention. This is all our responsibility #icp2012