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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractTrauma resulting from torture and other forms of organized violence has been recognized as a growing international public health problem. International NGOs have responded to this problem by initiating anti-torture information campaigns and by establishing collaborative torture rehabilitation and community mental health programs in more than 120 communities in refugee resettlement countries as well as in countries recovering from war-related violence and gross human rights violations. These programs have faced the challenge of recognizing and integrating the non-Western ethnomedical and ethnopsychiatric beliefs of the populations being served into programs founded on Western medical epistemology. The appropriateness of applying in such settings Western diagnostic criteria such as post-traumatic stress disorder has been called into question. Buddhist beliefs further problematize the idea of culturally sensitive treatment. This paper examines torture rehabilitation programs working with Khmer and Tibetan populations with particular attention to the potential contribution of indigenous healing modalities and religious beliefs and practices.
Degree ProgramGraduate College