This book, based upon a series of psychological research studies, examines Sierra Leone as a case study of a constructivist and narrative perspective on psychological responses to warfare, telling the stories of a range of survivors of the civil war. The authors explore previous research on psychological responses to warfare while providing background information on the Sierra Leone civil war and its context.
Chapters consider particular groups of survivors, including former child soldiers, as well as amputee footballers, mental health service users and providers, and refugees. Implications of the themes emerging from this research are considered with respect to how new understandings can inform current models of trauma and work with its survivors. Amongst the issues concerned will be post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic growth; resilience; mental health service provision; perpetration of atrocities; and forgiveness. The book also provides a critical consideration of the appropriateness of the use of Western concepts and methods in an African context.
Drawing upon psychological theory and rich narrative research, Trauma, Survival and Resilience in War Zones will appeal to researchers and academics in the field of clinical psychology, as well as those studying post-war conflict zones.
Preface Part 1: Background A Typical Encounter in Freetown. Psychological Responses to Warfare. The People of Sierra Leone. Eleven Years of Civil War and Eleven Years of Recovery Part 2: Survivors’ Stories Child Soldiers’ Stories: Killing Was the Order of the Day. Amputees’ Stories: Reconstructing Life as a One-foot Person. Mental Health Service Providers’ Stories: Heredity, Environment, or Demons? Stories from within Mental Health Settings: Social Context as a Frame and a Chain. Refugees’ Stories: Walking for your Life Part 3: Implications Post-Traumatic Stress, Growth, and Resilience. Mental Health Service Provision. Perpetration of Violence. Forgiveness and Reconciliation. Culture, Society and Ways of Understanding. Lessons Learnt. Appendix.