The Role of Faith in Psychosocial Response
Religion and belief can act as powerful coping mechanism for individuals dealing with traumatic experiences.
Despite this fact, the role of faith in psychosocial response to trauma often tends to be overlooked by practitioners working with survivors of trauma, R&D and IPD are addressing this significant gap by working on a one-year research project on ‘Developing a Faith Sensitive Psycho-Social Response to Trauma amongst Muslim Women’ (co-led by R&D and the International Programmes Division at IRW). Funding for the project has been approved by IR Canada.
HAD Postgraduate Fellows Sandra Iman Pertek and Kathleen Rutledge started their fieldwork in Tunisia, Turkey and Iraq, where they interviewed Muslim women who have experienced trauma following violent conflict and forced migration. Meanwhile, HAD’s Head of Research, Dr Jennifer Philippa Eggert, has just come back from Gaziantep, at the Syrian-Turkish border, where she delivered research training to our Syrian partner organisation Syria Bright Future (SBF). The training was aimed at preparing SBF for the upcoming field research phase of our research project on gender, faith and trauma in Syria.
The project involves data collection on the ground, in the form of interviews and surveys. Dr Eggert, the Head of R&D, will be the academic lead on the project. She will train the Syrian data collectors, and advise on the data collection and analysis in Syria, in close cooperation with SBF. The project is expected to help inform guidelines for practitioners on how to integrate a faith perspective into psychosocial response to trauma.