Community based sociotherapy in Byumba, Rwanda

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A community based sociotherapy programme was implemented in the North of Rwanda in 2005. This article describes the background of sociotherapy, explains its principles and application in therapy for refugees in the Netherlands, and gives a justification for the introduction of the approach in a particular setting in post war and post genocide Rwanda. It then focuses on the development of the programme in this setting and addresses recruitment criteria for facilitators. It includes the qualities these facilitators and programme staff should have, the training process, the programme implementation, as well as the sociotherapy methods applied in the field with some examples from practice, the reception by the various stakeholders and the expansion to other areas. The article ends with a selection of the many challenges the programme faces.

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