Abstract Title:

[Spirituality as coping in Tibetan torture survivors].

Abstract Source:

Ugeskr Laeger. 2010 Jan 11;172(2):137-40. PMID: 20074492

Abstract Author(s):

Peter Elsass, Jessica Carlsson, Kristian Husum

Article Affiliation:

Psykologisk Institut, Københavns Universitet, DK-1353 København K, Denmark. peter.elsass@psy.ku.dk

Abstract:

INTRODUCTION: There is solid documentation for the positive relationship between spirituality and health, but few examples of how this link may be used in projects of rehabilitation after war, civil conflicts and natural disasters. One such example is the Danida funded Tibetan Torture Program in India. This study aims to provide evidence of the Tibetan torture survivors' degree of traumatisation and their use of spirituality to overcome their difficult situation. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study consists of an assessment and a rehabilitation part. A total of 102 Tibetan torture survivors were interviewed about their coping mechanisms in overcoming trauma. In all, 36 of these survivors were receiving counselling and both the clients and their 16 professionals were interviewed after the treatment with open-ended questions about what was helpful and not helpful. RESULTS: The torture survivors had symptoms of severe traumatisation (Hopkin's Symptom Checklist), but probably not as extensive as torture survivors from other cultures. CONCLUSION: The Tibetan torture survivors use Tibetan Buddhism as an important coping mechanism. Most clients expressed satisfaction with counselling, but criticised the crudeness of our methods.

Study Type : Human Study

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