Healing through giving testimony: An empirical study with Sri Lankan torture survivors.

"Sri Lanka has recently emerged from a three decade long civil war between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Behind the actual arena of conflict, forms of organised violence were often perpetrated on ordinary Sri Lankans who came into contact with law enforcement officials and other state authorities. The effects of these encounters on mental health, well-being, and community participation can be severe and long-lasting. Considering the generally poor availability of mental health services in many low-income countries, brief efficient interventions are required to enhance the lives of individuals and their families affected by torture, trauma, or displacement. In this context, the present study evaluated the effectiveness of testimonial therapy in ameliorating the distress of Sri Lankan survivors of torture and ill-treatment. The results indicated that over a 2- to 3-month period, psychosocial functioning was significantly enhanced in the therapy group compared to the waitlist control group. The general benefits of testimonial therapy, the ease with which it can be incorporated into ongoing human rights activities, and its application by trained nonprofessionals encourage greater use of the approach." 
http://tps.sagepub.com/content/53/5/531.abstract

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