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Open Access EMDR-HAP Training in Sri Lanka Following the 2004 Tsunami

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On December 26, 2004, an earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a catastrophic tsunami. In Sri Lanka, 35,000 people died, 21,000 were injured, and more than half a million were displaced. An EMDR training program was conducted as a joint project of three organizations: EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs (HAP), International Relief Teams (IRT), and the Sri Lankan National Counselors Association (SRILNAC). Between March and December 2005, 30 Sri Lankan counselors were trained in EMDR. These counselors demonstrated competence in EMDR on several measures, treated more than 1,000 children and more than 350 adult tsunami victims with EMDR in 2005, provided narrative reports and outcome measures for most of their clients, and formed the Sri Lanka EMDR Association (SEA). The crucial steps in establishing and implementing this training program are explained, with a summary of the subjective impressions and learning experiences most valued by the training team, including an excerpt from a trainer's journal. This information may be useful to future cross-cultural humanitarian efforts following large-scale disasters.

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Keywords: 2004 INDIAN OCEAN TSUNAMI; CROSS-CULTURAL TREATMENT; DISASTERS; EMDR; HUMANITARIAN EFFORTS; SRI LANKA

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2008

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