Action-Based Psychosocial Reconciliation Approach: Canadian Counselling Psychological Contribution to Interpersonal Reconciliation in Post-Genocide Rwanda

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The author introduces rural communities in post-Genocide Rwanda, where needs for interpersonal and psychosocial reconciliation between survivors and perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis are grave. The author illuminates unintended yet common side effects of forgiveness-seeking as a method of interpersonal reconciliation, including the dignity injuries this approach has brought to survivors. An overview of an alternative approach to interpersonal reconciliation, termed Action-Based Psychosocial Reconciliation Approach, will be introduced along with its conceptual-empirical foundations and beneficial effects. The second half of the paper discusses the author’s personal reflections on how his training in the context of Canadian counselling psychology has shaped and continues to guide his ongoing work supporting community psychosocial reconciliation in Rwanda. The author shares his views on the relational signature of the counselling psychological approach, its applied nature, a directionality of scholarship, its harmonious fit with the field of mental health services research and praxiological epistemology, and ethicality of engagements. The author concludes with a call to fellow Canadian counselling psychologists for their active participation in international/global endeavours.
interpersonal reconciliation, Morita therapy, contact theory, praxiology, mental health services research
Minami, M. (2019). Action-based psychosocial reconciliation approach: Canadian counselling psychological contribution to interpersonal reconciliation in post-genocide Rwanda. Proceedings from the 2018 Canadian Counselling Psychology Conference, 97-109.