1er congrès de la Chaire Internationale Mukwege

Comment donner un avenir aux femmes et aux enfants victimes de violences sexuelles dans les conflits ?


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R. Ghafoerkhan & L. Verhaak

Narrative Exposure Therapy ; a reintegrating psychological treatment for multi-traumatized survivors of sexual violence

Open Access


Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) is an evidence-based short-term psychological treatment for post-traumatic stress in survivors of multiple and complex (sexual) trauma applicable in diverse cultural settings. NET allows reflection on the person’s entire life as a whole, fostering a sense of personal identity. In NET, the patient, with the assistance of the counsellor, constructs a coherent chronological narrative of his/her life story with a focus on traumatic experiences. For the traumatic experiences the counsellor asks in detail for emotions, cognitions, sensory information and physiological responses. The patient is encouraged to relive these emotions while narrating, without losing connection to the “here and now”. In this way reprocessing, meaning-making and integration are facilitated. Distinctive features of the approach are the restoration of survivors’ dignity, the resulting acknowledgement, and the explicit human rights orientation through its ‘testifying‘ element. At the end of treatment the recorded autobiography may be used for human rights advocacy. The procedure is straightforward and can be easily understood. For children KID-NET was developed, which follows the same principles and procedures, however with use of child-appropriate creative elements. NET has proven to be effective when provided by local therapists and counsellors in low-resource setting (i.e. during conflict, war and disaster). In this presentation the theoretical background of NET will be explained, case studies of both child and adult victims of sexual violence who took part in NET will be discussed, and the audience will be actively involved in a short demonstration of the NET technique.

Pour citer cet article

R. Ghafoerkhan & L. Verhaak, «Narrative Exposure Therapy ; a reintegrating psychological treatment for multi-traumatized survivors of sexual violence», 1er congrès de la Chaire Internationale Mukwege [En ligne], Actes du colloque, URL : https://popups.uliege.be/chairemukwege/index.php?id=148.