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Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development

What Role can Faith Play in Psychosocial Support?

Monday, December 1, 2014

The role of faith in psychosocial support programs in ARDD: The psychosocial support unit of ARDD sees many people struggling with grief, loss and high amounts of distress. In order to help people effectively, we strongly belief that the context and cultural beliefs affecting the person must be well understood by our psychosocial team. A culturally sensitive approach to counseling is a recognized best practice in the field of psychosocial counseling. This term is often used in the humanitarian field but what does it actually mean? This means that humanitarian organizations need to adjust Western evidence-based approaches towards psychology to fit the social and cultural environments. This is easier said than done, because we have to keep in mind that it is not the realm of a psychosocial unit within a non-governmental organization to impose (religious) values on beneficiaries. This paper describes how ARDD bridges the gap between evidence based approaches and adapted this to the cultural norms and values of the beneficiaries without imposing values and beliefs on those that we help.

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