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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 232-243

Peer counsellors training with refugees from Iraq: A Jordanian case study

German-Jordanian clinical psychologist. She has worked since 1990 with refugees and other victims of war and peacetime trauma in Germany, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine and Armenia, and advised national and international NGOs and UNorganizations on policy, strategy and programme and project development for prevention, early intervention and rehabilitation. She currently serves on the Steering Committee of the National Humanitarian Support Networkin Jordan that was founded as a response to the Amman bombings in November 2005. Contact address: PO Box 15011, HKJ Amman 11134 – Jordan. 00962-79-5556155

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The author trained 49 peer counsellors in two refugee camps, over the course of 2004, and traced the impact of their work until the end of 2005 at the request of CARE International in Jordan. The article gives an overview of the training content and strategies, as well as the process of integrating peer counselling as a self-help tool into a community that is affected by ongoing stress and trauma. ‘Peer counselling’ was understood as a process of mutual support that addresses people in need in their respective environment and also therefore includes components of community social work. The article highlights the main components of a culturally sensitive, client centred empowerment approach to psychosocial intervention in a situation of continuous deprivation and insecurity, as well as its challenges. Further details of the training will be presented in a separate publication.

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