Trauma and Resilience among Displaced Populations : A Sociocultural Exploration.

Theisen-Womersley, Gail [Browse]
  • Springer Nature 2021
  • Cham : Springer International Publishing AG, 2021.
  • ©2021.
1 online resource (312 pages)


Summary note
This open access book provides an enriched understanding of historical, collective, cultural, and identity-related trauma, emphasising the social and political location of human subjects. It therefore presents a socio-ecological perspective on trauma, rather than viewing displaced individuals as traumatised “passive victims”. The vastness of the phenomenon of trauma among displaced populations has led it to become a critical and timely area of inquiry, and this book is an important addition to the literature. It gives an overview of theoretical frameworks related to trauma and migration—exploring factors of risk and resilience, prevalence rates of PTSD, and conceptualisations of trauma beyond psychiatric diagnoses; conceptualises experiences of trauma from a sociocultural perspective (including collective trauma, collective aspirations, and collective resilience); and provides applications for professionals working with displaced populations in complex institutional, legal, and humanitarian settings. It includes case studies based on the author’s own 10-year experience working in emergency contexts with displaced populations in 11 countries across the world. This book presents unique data collected by the author herself, including interviews with survivors of ISIS attacks, with an asylum seeker in Switzerland who set himself alight in protest against asylum procedures, and women from the Murle tribe affected by the conflict in South Sudan who experienced an episode of mass fainting spells. This is an important resource for academics and professionals working in the field of trauma studies and with traumatised groups and individuals.
Funding information
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung
Source of description
Description based on publisher supplied metadata and other sources.
Language note
  • Intro
  • Contents
  • 1 Introduction
  • Mental Health of Refugee Populations
  • The Problem with PTSD
  • Calls for a More Contextualised Understanding of Trauma
  • Adapting Clinical Practice
  • Addressing the Gap in the Literature-Implications for Research
  • The Context of the Research
  • Why Read This Book
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Conceptualising Experiences of Trauma and Migration from a Collective, Sociocultural Perspective
  • Applications for Professionals
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • 2 Trauma and Migration
  • Pre-migration
  • Torture
  • Migration
  • Requesting Asylum
  • Prolonged Detention
  • Court Proceedings
  • Being Denied Asylum
  • Post-migration
  • Reception in the Host Country
  • Multiple Losses and Social Isolation
  • Continual Exposure to Trauma
  • Unemployment
  • Race-Related Trauma
  • Language Proficiency
  • Gender
  • Daily Stressors
  • Considering the Interrelation of Factors
  • Case Study One: Trauma Among Displaced Victims of Torture in Athens, Greece
  • Case Presentation
  • First Feedback Loop: Breakdown of Interpersonal Relations
  • Second Feedback Loop: Delayed Asylum Procedure
  • Third Feedback Loop: Living Conditions
  • Fourth Feedback Loop: Hospitalisation and Interpersonal Encounters in Medical Consultations
  • Case Study Two: Self-immolation Among an Asylum Seeker in Switzerland
  • The Self-immolation of Armin
  • Analysis
  • Concluding Remarks
  • 3 Prevalence of PTSD Among Displaced Populations-Three Case Studies
  • Case Study One: Durban, South Africa
  • Method
  • Results
  • Case Study Two: Yezidis in Iraq
  • Results: Topline Findings
  • WHO-5
  • Harvard Trauma Questionnaire
  • Case Study Three: Marawi, Philippines
  • 4 Beyond PTSD
  • Models of Trauma: Conflicting Theoretical Traditions
  • What Is "Trauma"?
  • Conflicting Concepts of Trauma.
  • The Problem of Pathologization
  • Criticism of the Use of PTSD as a Diagnosis Among Refugee Communities
  • The Instrumentalisation of the Diagnosis Among Asylum Seekers
  • Case Study
  • Representations of Trauma Among Refugee Victims of Torture in Athens
  • Representations of Trauma Among Medical Professionals Across Europe
  • 5 Culturally Informed Manifestations of Trauma
  • Defining Culture from a Sociocultural Perspective
  • Culturally-Informed Narratives of Trauma: Perspectives of Diverse Theoretical Traditions
  • The Impact of Trauma
  • The Interplay of Factors
  • Culturally-Informed Responses to Trauma: Attributing Meaning to the Experience
  • Pathways to Healing
  • Case Study 1: Mass Fainting Spells Among the Murle Tribe of South Sudan
  • Introduction to the Context
  • A Case of "Mass Hysteria"?
  • Reflections
  • Case Study 2: Psychotherapy with a Guinean Refugee Victim of Torture in Athens
  • Conclusion: Introducing a Collective, Sociocultural Approach to Understanding Trauma and Recovery
  • 6 Collective Trauma, Collective Healing
  • Loss of "Home" as Container
  • Collective Responses to Trauma
  • Collective, Culturally-Based Interventions
  • Case Study One: The Displaced Yezidi Community of Northern Iraq
  • The Impact of Events
  • Manifestations of Trauma
  • Collective Trauma
  • Culturally Informed Idioms of Distress
  • Perceptions of Mental Health Services
  • Case Study Two: Displaced Populations Affected by ISIS in Marawi, Philippines
  • Origins and Layers of Trauma
  • Intergenerational Transmission
  • Effect on Adults and Children
  • Self-awareness of Trauma
  • Thematic Analysis of Qualitative Data
  • Subjective Experiences of the Marawi Siege
  • Individual Trauma Narratives-Specific Focus
  • Psychological Avoidance
  • Multiple Levels of Loss
  • Community Response
  • Impact on Children.
  • Religious Values and Beliefs
  • Uncertainty About the Future
  • Post-Traumatic Growth and Resilience
  • 7 Collective Resilience and Imagination
  • Collective Resilience Among Displaced Populations
  • Imagination, Trauma and Migration
  • Imagination from a Sociocultural Perspective
  • Case Study: Resilience and Imagination Among Victims of Torture in Athens, Greece
  • The Case of Jules
  • Discussion
  • 8 Collective Aspirations
  • Case Study: Collective Aspirations of Refugees in Europe
  • The Case of Mr B
  • 9 Working with Shame and Trauma
  • Migration and Post-traumatic Shame
  • Cultural Manifestations of Shame and Implications for Clinicians
  • Case Study One: Research Among Displaced Victims of Torture in Athens, Greece
  • Applied Approach to Dealing with Shame: The Case of Sylvain
  • The Shame of Dependence
  • Implications for Transformation
  • The Shame of Social Discrimination
  • The Shame of Being Unemployed
  • Case Study Two: Female Survivors of Sexual Violence in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 10 Working with Cultural Mediators
  • Case Study: Cultural Mediation Among Victims of Torture in Athens
  • Cultural Mediators as Negotiating Different Interpretations of Trauma
  • Translation: Accuracy Versus Interpretation
  • A Game of Alliances Between Refugees and Health Professionals
  • Working with Health Professionals Perceived as "Culturally Inexperienced"
  • 11 Working with PTSD in the Asylum Procedure
  • PTSD Among Refugee Populations
  • The Importance of Correctly Identifying Trauma in the Refugee Determination Process
  • PTSD and the Question of Legal Causality.
  • The Refugee Determination Procedure as a System of Activity
  • Asylum Seeker Perspectives
  • Discrepancies in Narratives of Trauma
  • Asymmetries in Trauma Narratives, Asymmetries of Power: The Case of Dilraj
  • Adapting the Trauma Narrative: The Case of Jules
  • Health Professionals' Perspectives
  • Conflicting Narratives Across the Activity System
  • Discussion: An Overview of the Various Critiques of PTSD Within the Asylum Process
  • Deconstructing the "Traumatized Refugee" Narrative
  • Implications for Health Professionals Working with Asylum Seekers
  • 12 Conclusion
  • Towards a Sociocultural Definition of Trauma
  • Implications for Mental Health Clinicians
  • The Role of Narrative Activity
  • The Collective Cultural Frame
  • Temporality
  • The Permeable Self
  • Universality of Experience
  • Implications for Mental Health and Psychosocial (MHPSS) Interventions in Humanitarian Settings
  • A Community-Based Response
  • A Culturally Relevant Response
  • A Longitudinal, Contextually Situated Response
  • A Depathologizing Response
  • A Resiliency-Based, Forward-Looking Response
  • Correction to: Trauma and Resilience Among Displaced Populations
  • Correction to: G. Theisen-Womersley, Trauma and Resilience Among Displaced Populations,
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