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ARTICLES

Contents:

  1. Stress disorders among Internally-Displaced-Persons (IDPs) and their Psycho-Social Rehabilitation. Abstracts, Fifth European Congress of Psychology, 1997, Dublin, Ireland, p.30
  2. The main problems of child IDPs (Internally-Displaced-Persons) and the peculiarities of Psycho-Social Rehabilitation. Abstracts, Fifth European Congress of Psychology, 1997, Dublin, Ireland, p.155
  3. Multifactorial Study of the attitudes of Internally-Displaced-Persons (IDPs) in Georgia. Abstracts, Fifth European Congress of Psychology, 1997, Dublin, Ireland, p.223
  4. Psycho-Social Rehabilitation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) community in Georgia. 6 Th European Congress on Research in Rehabilitation, Congress Proceedings, `1998, Berlin, Germany, p.151
  5. Overcoming of "Enemy Image" as a form of Psycho-Social Rehabilitation. 6 Th European Congress on Research in Rehabilitation, Congress Proceedings, `1998, Berlin, Germany, p.456-457
  6. The Rehabilitation work on the Victimisation phenomenon. 6 Th European Congress on Research in Rehabilitation, Congress Proceedings, 1998, Berlin, Germany, p.448-449

STRESS DISORDERS AMONG INTERNALLY-DISPLACED-PERSONS (IDPs) AND THEIR PSYCHO-SOCIAL REHABILITATION

Sarjveladze Nodar
Foundation for the Development of Human Resources, Tbilisi, GEORGIA

The programme of psycho-social rehabilitation of Georgian IDPs from Abkhasia and South Ossetia is being implemented by the Foundation for the Development of Human Resources with the financial support of the Norvegian Refugee Council. Rehabilitation was required for 4000 IDPs. Four types of stresses influencing the difficulties of the lives of IDPs were revealed: 1) everyday life stresses which are associated with economic crisis and the frustration of biological needs and the safety needs, 2) stress of adaptation associated with the necessity of adjustment to the new conditions of life, 3) stress of uncertainty associated with the unpredictable future and undetermined social status, 4) PTSD according to DSMR-4, low levels of self-respect and fear of identity loss. The strategy of psycho-social rehabilitation includes: 1) training for acknowledgement of "here and now" problems and their resolution (in order to overcome stress of adaptation), 3) cognitive restructuring of desirable future images (in order to reduce the stress of uncertainly), 4) re-living of the traumatic experience by a client in a dissociated state and the utilization of meditative trance states (in order to overcome PTSD symptoms).

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THE MAIN PROBLEMS OF CHILD IDPS (INTERNALLY-DISPLACED-PERSONS) AND THE PECULIARITIES OF PSYCHO-SOCIAL REHABILITATION

Beberashvili, Zurab; Javakhishvili, Darejan; Sarjveladze, Nato & Makhashvili, Nino
Foundation for the Development of Human Resources, Tbilisi, GEORGIA

The Center for psycho-social rehabilitation of IDPs attached to the Foundation for the Development of Human Resources was engaged in the psycho-social rehabilitation of IDPs in Georgia. These activities were supported financially by the Norwegian Refugee Council. The rehabilitation work with children and adolescents revealed that the main problems are as follows: the feeling of being unprotected and helpless; the frustration arising from the need for self-respect and self-identity; the feeling of victimization which is expressed by means of identification with a victim or with an aggressor as compensation; paraautistic disorders. Hence, psycho-social rehabilitation of child IDPs should work at: strengthening the feeling of being protected, self-respect and self-identity; overcoming rigid stereotypes and "victim-aggressor" styles of interpersonal relations; promoting the processes of openness, self-expression and self-realization.

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MULTIFACTORIAL STUDY OF THE ATTITUDES OF INTERNALLY-DISPLACED-PERSONS (IDPs) IN GEORGIA

Charkviani, David & Sarjveladze, Nodar
Foundation for the Development Of Human Resources, Tbilisi, Georgia

A multifactorial social-psychological study of Georgian IDPs from Abkhasia and South Ossetia was carried out with the financial support of the Norwegian Refugee Council. The investigation studied 750 IDPs. We were interested in the following attitudes to the social institutions of Georgia, to personal past, present and future, to representatives of other nationalities and ethnic groups; IDPs' life expectation, self-esteem and life planning, the local population's attitudes to the IDPs. The results of the investigation are as follows: IDPs feel a deep isolation from their new social environment, in fact they do not participate in the institutional life of the society; they consider themselves as victims of discrimination and segregation; they are unsatisfied by the present and they are "suspiciously" optimistic about their future. IDPs try to compensate for this psychological discomfort by the mechanisms of high self-esteem and ethnic self-stereotype and at the same time by discrimination against their rivals (IDPs asses Abkhasians, Ossetians and Armenians negatively, Russians and Chechens - ambivalently). The tendency towards not taking responsibility for what is going on and the high retrospective evaluation of the past were also demonstrated. The local population's attitude to the IDPs is negative. 

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PSYCHO-SOCIAL REHABILITATION OF THE INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS (IDPS) COMMUNITY IN GEORGIA

Sarjveladze, N., Sarjveladze, N.
Foundation for the Development of Human Resources, Tbilisi, Georgia

The programme of psycho-social rehabilitation of Georgian IDPs from Abkhazia and South Ossetia is being implemented by the FDHR with the financial support of the Norwegian Refugee Council (1995-1997). Rehabilitation was required for 4000 people of the IDPs community in the different regions of Georgia. The protracted character of the Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-Ossetian conflict caused new problems in Georgia. The state is unable to solve the social problems of 300000 IDPs. Increase in the new generation aggravated every-day life problems, the problem of their integration with the local society is still acute. Among the IDPs latent tension with the locals becomes more and more intensive. The majority of IDPs experience the feeling of being isolated from society. At the same time the informative media manipulates with the help of the "enemy image". The majority of IDPs wishes to go back and they are aware of the necessity of contacts with the confronting party. Both IDPs and a part of Abkhazian and Ossetian population express readiness to be involved in the folk diplomacy. However, a threat exists of developing the latent phase of PTSD into a manifested one and transmitting it to the younger generation. The victimisation is being widely propagated within society and even in kindergarten. The protracted conflict and uncertain future caused the development of so-called passive mass-middle-aged individuals, the problem of their employment or involvement into rehabilitation being extremely acute. At this stage the societal rehabilitation of IDPs in Georgia covers the following psycho-social programs which are being carried out by FDHR. The programs aimed at:

  1. the implementation of a joint regional project between the Georgian and the Ossetian partners in the field of psycho-social rehabilitation of traumatised children
  2. introducing folk diplomacy activities between Georgian and Ossetian adolescents and students, tolerance-building and its transmission to younger generation
  3. overcoming "enemy images" and victimisation
  4. training of non-professional helpers and establishing the network of self-help groups among IDPs
  5. developing the skills for conflict management

Four types of stress influencing the difficult lives of IDPs were revealed, these included:

  1. everyday life stresses, which are associated with economic crisis
  2. stress of adaptation associated with the necessity of adjustment to new living conditions
  3. stress of uncertainty associated with the unpredictable future
  4. PTSD, low levels of self-respect and fear of identity loss.

The strategy of psycho-social rehabilitation includes:

  1. training for acknowledgement of "here and now" problems and their resolution (in order to overcome everyday life stress)
  2. effective communication and conflict management training (in order to overcome stress of adaptation)
  3. cognitive restructuring of desirable future images (in order to reduce the stress of uncertainty)
  4. re-living of traumatic experiences if a client is in a dissociated state (in order to overcome PTSD symptoms).

References:

1. Sarjveladze, N. (1997): Stress disorders among Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and their Psycho-Social Rehabilitation. Fifth European Congress of Psychology, Dublin, p.30

2. Volkan, V., D. (1996): Bosnia-Herzegovina: Ancient Fuel of a Modern Infemo. Mind and Human Interaction. 3, p.110-127

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OVERCOMING OF "ENEMY IMAGE" AS A FORM OF PSYCHO-SOCIAL REHABILITATION

Javakhishvili D., Sarjveladze N., Makhashvili N., Beberashvili Z.
(Foundation for the Development of Human Resources, Tbilisi, Georgia)

Since 1995 the FDHR has been running a project financially supported by the Norwegian Refugee Council: Psycho-social rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Abkhasia and South Ossetia.
The programme elaborated by the FDHR was aimed at the building of folk-diplomacy bridges between adolescents of confronting parties, overcoming of "enemy image" and the creation of mutually tolerant attitude. The programme implied a meeting of 8 Georgian adolescents refugees (living now in Gori) and 8 Ossetian adolescents from Tskhinvali and the delivery of a 5-day training seminar to them. The five days were devoted to the training of communication skills and conflict management, session on creative thinking and creative labour and courses in ecological upbringing. The activities and methods used comprised story telling, staging of sketches and role playing, brainstorming, creative labour, art-therapy, meditation exercises, excursions.
At the beginning the children were very cautious and tense when communicating with each other. They were split into two separate groups. What helped to overcome such a situation was a joint group activity and training. A story telling session was very important. The children had an opportunity to "voice what they had not voiced before" and to react emotionally.
We can conclude, that the objective of the meeting has been achieved: the children got so close to each other and were so eager to communicate, as if the time spent together was not enough. As we know, the adolescents are still in touch with each other - the Ossetians visit the Georgians in Gori and the Georgians - the Ossetians in Tskhinvali.
Overcoming of "enemy image" and the extension of tolerant attitude to the immediate surroundings in an effective and very important direction in psycho-social rehabilitation.

References:

1. Rogers, R. R. (1991). Intergenerational Transmission of Historical Enmity, in V. Volkan et al., eds, The Psychodynamics of International Relationships, Vol. II, Unofficial Diplomacy at Work, Lexington Books, Lexington, Massachusetts.

2. Volkan, V. D. (1991). Psychological process in unofficial diplomacy meeting, in V. Volkan et al., eds, The Psychodynamics of International Relationships, Unofficial Diplomacy at Work, Lexington Books, Lexington, Massachusetts.

3. Wynne, E. (1989). Storytelling in therapy and counselling. The national Storytelling Journal, Winter: 3-6.

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THE REHABILITATION WORK ON THE VICTIMISATION PHENOMENON

Beberashvili Z., Makhashvili N., Sarjveladze N., Javakhishvili D.
(Foundation for the Development of Human Resources, Tbilisi, Georgia)

Since 1995 the FDHR has been running a project "Psycho-social rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Georgia" supported by the Norwegian Refugee Council.
The rehabilitation work carried out with children and adults has shown that the most problematic issue revealed with IDPs at the societal level is a so called victimisation phenomenon.
The basic reasons for the existence of the above phenomenon are the following:

1. The IDPs do not experience the feeling of belonging with regard to the new social environment. They still experience difficulty in identifying themselves with the social environment.

2. The fear of loosing one’s own identity. The people, who have lost home, property, job and position, all that is associated with their identity, are now facing a danger of loosing their self respect as well.

3. The IDPs feel totally insecure, they are uncertain about their present and future.

These factors put the IDPs in the position of a “ victim”. Victimisation with the IDPs is, on the one hand, a symbol of new values, defence against the loss of one’s own identity, and, on the other hand, is a symbol of opposition against the values of the “strange” environment. The first case represents a search for secondary gains and the latter implies the creation of “enemy image”, where an enemy is not only the real confronting side, but also the new social environment. This might result in the revengeful attitude and increased aggression, in the development of passive life disposition. Stemming from the above, the victimisation phenomenon requires especial attention, since it involves a negative behaviour style and a danger of reinforcing destructive life position in the society as well as the transmission of this position to future generations.
The rehabilitation work related to the phenomenon in question took the following directions:

1. In the areas densely populated with IDPs self-help and employment promoting training groups were set up, where the IDPs acquired the skills related to self-help, self-management, positive problem solving, management of small business and business relations, conflict management. Relationships developed on a parity basis, their acceptance and recognition from the perspective of an active, independent person, increased the feeling in the IDPs of belonging to the new socium and helped to overcome estrangement from the society. The engagement in an active process and employment prospects helped the IDPs to acquire confidence in their ability to solve one’s own problems, to strengthen their “self” and fostered their personal growth. All this freed them from feelings of insecurity and the ambiguity related to the future.

2. Priority directions with children were the following: development of creative potential, improvement of communication skills, conflict management, development of tolerance, creative labour, etc. The listed measures, in particular creative labour and self-expression, reinforced in the young generation self-confidence, feelings of personal worth and the feeling of uniqueness of one’s own personality. Acceptance and recognition of other people’s subjective reality as well as the improvement of communication skills helped the integration of children into the community of newly acquired friends. All this reinforced the feeling of security and facilitated their personal growth and harmonious development.

References:

1. John E. Mack. (1991). The Psychodynamics of Victimization among National Groups in Conflict, in V. Volkan et al., eds, The Psychodynamics of International Relationships, Vol. II, Unofficial Diplomacy at Work, Lexington Books, Lexington, Massachusetts.

2. Howell, W. N. (1993). Tragedy, trauma and triumph: Reclaiming integrity and initiative from victimization. Mind and Human Interaction, 4: 111-119.

3. Tajfel, H.(1982). Social Identity and Intergroup Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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