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FIELD REPORT
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 267-277

Implementing Integrative Adapt Therapy with Rohingya refugees in Malaysia: a training-implementation model involving lay counsellors


1 PhD, School of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Australia
2 MPhil, Perdana University-Centre for Research Excellence (PUCRE), Selangor, Malaysia
3 MS, Department of Psychology, Jagannath University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
4 BA, School of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Australia
5 MBBS, Health Unit, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Malaysia
6 MPhil, Perdana University-Centre for Research Excellence (PU-CRE), Selangor, Malaysia
7 MD, School of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Alvin Kuowei Tay
PhD, School of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales
Australia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/INTV.INTV_45_19

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Contemporary scalable psychological interventions utilise task-shifting approaches that enable non-specialists such as social workers, nurses and lay persons to deliver structured interventions after a brief training and ongoing supervision by professionals. This field report describes a training-implementation approach we used to train lay counsellors to implement a psychological intervention, Integrative Adapt Therapy (IAT), with Rohingya Refugees in Malaysia. IAT is a theoretically guided programme based on the Adaptation and Development After Persecution and Trauma (ADAPT) model. Unlike existing cognitive behavioural treatment (CBT)-based interventions, IAT helps refugees trace their emotional and behavioural problems to the underlying psychosocial disruptions (reflected in the core ADAPT ‘Pillars’) they experience. We assessed implementation outcomes by conducting a focus group with the twelve lay IAT counsellors who completed a training workshop followed by six-month supervised implementation of the IAT programme with Rohingya refugees. The implementation outcomes focused on the value and benefits of the programme to the counsellors’ clients and broader community, implementation challenges, cultural acceptability, and recommendations for improvement in training. There was a strong agreement amongst the counsellors that both the clients and they themselves benefited from the programme. Furthermore, the general consensus was that the clients reported improvements in their relationships with people (ADAPT Pillar 2: Bonds and Networks), in having a more realistic view about their Roles and Identities (Pillar 4) and in gaining a sense of purpose and meaning in life (Pillar 5: Existential Meaning). In addition, the focus group agreed that the programme fitted well with the culture and values of the Rohingya people. Implementation challenges include ensuring that the intervention team reflects gender balance, that the programme is sustainable and refining strategies to facilitate programme attendance and adherence.


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