Asian Journal of Counselling

Culture, Trauma, and the Treatment of Posttraumatic Syndromes in a Global Context

2006.第13卷第1期(Vol. 13 No. 1).pp. 107–144

Culture, Trauma, and the Treatment of Posttraumatic Syndromes in a Global Context




Understanding how cultures create social psychological mechanisms to assist victims of natural and human-induced traumatic events requires knowledge of cultural systems and the nature of traumatic experiences. The purpose of this article is to present a holistic cultural view of trauma and posttraumatic syndromes in the light of theoretical assumptions and operating principles in Western psychology and trauma interventions currently applied in the global context. It reviews the literature pertaining to culture, trauma, and posttraumatic syndromes, including concepts of trauma archetype and trauma complex, and presents ten hypotheses about posttraumatic interventions in culturally diverse populations. A cross-cultural analysis of posttraumatic interventions revolves around the question of “What works for whom under what conditions?” It is suggested that healing and recovery is person-specific within culturally sanctioned modalities of counseling and interventions that include traditional practices, rituals, communal ceremonies, and conventional medical treatments. A set of core questions are proposed to guide future research and the development of culture-sensitive trauma theory and practice.