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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 121-134

Sharing Circles: learning from a community based psychosocial intervention model implemented with vulnerable populations in Myanmar

1 Masters degree in International Disaster Psychology, and is a Ph.D. candidate in Research Methods & Statistics at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado. Additionally, she is a research & evaluation advisor at Salus World
2 Psy.D., specialises in trauma recovery and international disaster psychology. She is the Director of Clinical & International Services for Salus World, and is an Associate Professor at the University of Denver’s International Disaster Psychology (IDP) Masters Program in Denver, Colorado

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The last several decades of ongoing conflict and oppression in Myanmar (as it is now officially known) has had an extensive psychological and emotional impact on its people. Unfortunately, there has been a distinct lack of psychosocial programming provided through culturally appropriate methods in Myanmar. This study investigated an eight session psychotherapy group called Sharing Circles. Trained local staff implemented a group intervention in Yangon, Myanmar with 57 Burmese participants from Yangon identified as belonging to one of three vulnerable groups. Preliminary findings suggest the Sharing Circles may be an effective psychosocial technique for improving psychological symptoms and providing psychosocial support. Limitations included: lack of a comparison group, relatively small sample size, convenience sample, and simple pre and posttest design. Further, well designed, studies of group interventions with identified vulnerable groups are needed to confirm and clarify initial findings as well as to evaluate its potential application in other conflict affected regions.

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