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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2011

Arturo Roizblatt, Niels Biederman and Jac Brown

This paper seeks to focus on the reflections of therapists who were working professionally in Chile during the time of human right violations in an attempt to inform and…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to focus on the reflections of therapists who were working professionally in Chile during the time of human right violations in an attempt to inform and to develop ways of working professionally in similar circumstances around the world.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the experiences of therapists who were working in Chile at the time and extrapolates from these experiences to provide suggestions and guidance for other therapists who find themselves in similar circumstances.

Findings

After Dr Salvador Allende was overthrown, Chile was governed by a military dictatorship that engaged in massive human rights violations. From the reflections of therapists 30 years later, this paper summarizes some of the psychological consequences of the traumas that therapists faced when dealing with clients who were directly affected by the same trauma. This included feelings of terror following state treachery, amnesia, fear of political resistance and guilt.

Practical implications

Therapists in these countries are encouraged to seek the protection of international organizations who deal with human rights violations, work in professional groups rather than isolation, and when challenging human rights violations by conducting therapy, to work similarly to a resistance movement.

Social implications

Therapists in countries where there is no repression should form professional alliances with their colleagues in these repressive countries to help protect them and provide support for their ongoing work.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the extreme danger that ensues for therapists who simply continue with their work during state sanctioned repression, and how this may be perceived as political statements against the repressive regime. Ways of dealing with this professionally are discussed.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2011

Nicola Graham-Kevan, Jane L. Ireland, Michelle Davies and Douglas P. Fry

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Abstract

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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