Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik

An independent international centre for advanced studies


“The interplay of culture and trauma: psychotraumatology and psychotherapy in a multicultural reality”
23 May 2011 - 27 May 2011
Course directors:
Boris Drožđek, De Hemisfeer, Den Bosch, Netherlands
Rudolf Gregurek, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Vamik Volkan, University of Virginia, United States
Ilany Kogan, Psychoanalytic Practice, Israel
Course description:

Although modern psychiatry and psychology, based on the western scientific knowledge, have many universal values, they can show serious gaps and problems when practised in situations where helpers and victims are of different cultural backgrounds. Societies shape the self and self-schemas of individuals in different ways. Because of this, the conceptualisation of experienced traumatic reactions can differ according to victim’s cultural background, as can expectations of how the most adequate healing process should look like.

Contextual thinking offers an appropriate paradigm for intercultural trauma treatment. In treating psychological sequels of trauma, one should acknowledge the necessity of focussing on both the intrapsychic and biological dimensions of traumatic experiences, as well as on the interpersonal, and the socio-political/cultural dimensions.

The healing process is a balancing act. The recovery occurs when a “new” balance between resiliency and damage emerges, a balance that enriches survivor’s quality of life.

Course lecturers:
Eduard Klain, University of Zagreb, Croatia