In the wake
of mass human catastrophes in places like Sierra Leone, Kosovo and
East Timor, international experts in stress and trauma, typically
from Western countries, rush to lend assistance. But how effective
is their help? Critics suggest that their efforts to train local
staff to respond to trauma-induced human suffering often meet with
little success because their approach is insensitive to local values
and long-term needs - a consequence of the lack of ethical or professional
humanitarian guidelines for international trauma intervention training.
The UIC Department
of Psychiatry, together with the International Society for Traumatic
Stress Studies (ISTSS), is hosting a special forum entitled
"Exporting Training after Trauma: Questions and Concerns."
are leading international experts in trauma:
Fairbank and Yael Danieli, the president and past president of ISTSS
Van Ommeren, project director in Kathmandu, Nepal, Transcultural
Saul, head of the International Trauma Studies Program, New York
Derrick Silove, director of the Psychiatry Research and Teaching
Unit, University of New South Wales
Stevan Weine, associate professor of psychiatry and codirector of
the UIC Project on Genocide, Psychiatry and Witnessing, University
of Illinois at Chicago
5 - 7 p.m.
845 S. Damen Ave., third floor lounge
are members of a taskforce on international trauma intervention
training established by ISTSS and headed by Weine.
Weine said, training efforts "impose Western-based models, ignoring
the culture, history, organizations, capacities and deficits of
the local people…. Even the notion that trauma yields psychopathology
has been challenged."
ISTSS was founded
in 1985 for professionals to share information about the effects
of trauma. The forum is free and open to the public.