Culture and Trauma

Research has demonstrated that major psychiatric disorders are influenced by cultural factors. While in recent years impressive advances have been made in understanding the complexity of posttraumatic reactions and the provision of innovative mental health services for victims of trauma, the impact of culture on trauma and healing has not been studied enough.

Meanwhile, the Western scientific community and policymakers encourage the use of the Western paradigms for understanding and treating of the consequences of massive trauma across different cultures. The Western scientific community seems to overlook the possibility that non-Western cultures may have developed their own, emic healing strategies, which have helped them to cope with the consequences of traumatic experiences throughout their history.

In this chapter, the relationship between culture and trauma will be discussed. ...

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