From Individual and Collective Trauma to Recovery: War, displacement and pandemics

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Course DatesLengthMeeting TimesStatusFormatInstructor(s)CRN
July 19, 2021 - August 18, 20217/19 - 8/184 WeeksOnlineCancelledOnlineSarit Lesser

Course Description

This course is designed to explore the psychological trauma of war, displacement, and pandemics. These collective traumas have catastrophic effect on the health and wellbeing of individuals and nations. They can destroy communities and families, and cause long-term physical and psychological harm. This course provides extensive overview of risk factors and protective factors, as well as unique cultural, ethnic, and religious factors that effect the development of trauma and its recovery. Through greater understanding of the mental health difficulties that arise, effective strategies for recovery can be developed.

To do this, students will read a combination of theoretical and empirical psychological material. Utilizing research studies, daily news publications, movies and documentaries, students will review evidence regarding the impact of trauma on individuals and groups, will explore evidence-based treatments, including individual, family, groups and system approaches, and will learn about processes like narrative therapy and play therapy, affect and somatic regulation, family-centered treatment, and trauma systems therapy.

Students will review the biological, psychological and social symptoms of trauma, intergenerational transmission of trauma, approaches to measure traumatic stress, and treatment of PTSD. Finally, students will explore the flip side of trauma-resilience and post-traumatic growth.

Students will:
• Gain greater understanding of mental health consequences of individual and collective trauma of war, displacement, and pandemics;
• Engage in weekly class discussions;
• Complete several writing assignments;
• Utilize theory and data to develop interventions for treatment.

Prerequisites: Some knowledge of current political conflicts around the world will be helpful but not required.

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEPY0967

Program Information


Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences for students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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