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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Psychology workshops for Tsunami Emotional Relief

Daily Mirror: "11/04/2005; Practical psychology workshops for Tsunami Emotional Relief Program

To help in the re-building process of the nation post tsunami, The Institute of Personnel Management Sri Lanka (IPM) recently sponsored and hosted a free workshop to harness the energy of the Sri Lankan people to aid the enormous tsunami emotional relief program.

The workshop was initiated and facilitated, with the help of the IPM Sri Lanka, by Dr. Chintha Dissanayake and Mrs. Gloria O'Donoghue, Chartered Psychologists of the British Psychological Society, who donated their time and expertise to the program.

The main focus of the workshop was on advancing the level of knowledge and understanding of the psychology of grief and emotional recovery, highlighting the needs associated with each stage of adjustment - especially within the context of the recent tsunami disaster; and imparting the skill and confidence required to recognise the needs of survivors and be able to help and support them or make them aware of appropriate support available / needed.

Individuals with a keen interest in familiarising themselves with the psychological effects of loss and grief, particularly in relation to the recent tsunami disaster, were attracted to this one day workshop.

The program was based on well-established theories and models of psychology including that of Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross's psychological model of understanding Grief and Loss, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and information on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. From a more practical standpoint, volunteers were guided through practical exercises in skills such as effective communication, active listening & questioning techniques and developing empathy. These skills were highlighted as being vital in any emotionally sensitive support effort.

In addition to finding the theory interesting, participants found the practical exercises particularly useful. Many commented on how valuable these skills would be in day-to-day life as well as within the context of helping survivors of the recent disaster.

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