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From The CriticsReviewer: Patricia E. Murphy, PhD(Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book provides a theoretical framework along with descriptions of diverse programs designed to meet mental health needs of those who have experienced the atrocities of war and who have been displaced either to another country or to a settlement within the boundaries of their homeland.
Purpose: The contributors hope to inform mental health providers of a method of treatment and prevention that is better suited than the western model of individual, clinic-based therapy to meet the needs of victims of genocide and war.
Audience: The title will appeal to the target audience of mental health professionals, policy makers, and students in mental health, public mental health, anthropology, and refugee and immigrant studies. Although the material deals specifically with refugees, the book might offer ideas to those who serve other groups with limited access to mental healthcare.
Features: An introduction looks at the limited success of western based psychiatry for refugees and offers an experience and research-based rationale for creating an alternative. After a description of an ecological method of care which uses the gifts of and empowers a community within the context of its culture, subsequent chapters illustrate this approach and its outcomes in settings as diverse as Chicago and East Timor.
Assessment: The well-reasoned approach of the authors and the clear description of the application of this method of healing makes this an extraordinary book which is apt to be of interest to those with education in psychiatry as well as to those with a less technical background.