Source: (2005) Peace and Change. 30(3):329-358.
Sharing experiences during residential weekends in a program for victims from the different communities involved in the conflict in Northern Ireland and ex-combatants has been demonstrated to promote healing and reconciliation. In the sessions, during which a nondirective participant driven approach was used, the following mechanisms for healing have been identified: empathy, desensitization, cognitive restructuring, observational learning, and modeling. Reconciliation between victims/survivors from the different camps is brokered by the shared healing process but is also a direct function of the opportunities for interaction and collaboration. Encounters between victims/survivors and ex-combatants have been promising, but so far the obstacles are better understood than the parameters for success. Dissonance theory and the analysis of forgiveness as a transaction have been helpful in clarifying the problems. (author’s abstract)
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