"I Have Never Worked With Victims so Victimized": Political Trauma and the Challenges of Psychosocial Interventions in Ecuador


  • Gina Donoso


This contribution aims at investigating critically how and to what extent psychosocial interventions are key elements of comprehensive subjective recovery from political trauma. The paper is based on the analysed data collected during a research project in Ecuador from eighteen in-depth interviews with clinical and social psychologists who had direct and indirect work experience with political trauma survivors, and thirty-seven survivors who were invited to participate in focus groups sessions based on a voluntary basis. The analysis questions which elements psychotherapy and other forms of reparative processes should take into account to address victims of political trauma in an effective and sensitive practice. The study´s main conclusions are that trauma survivors are affected by secondary victimization and their comprehensive recovery is drastically diminished because of: (1) lack of awareness of the need of political trauma approaches; (2) psychosocial reductionisms on the interconnection between the subjective and the political; and (3) psychologisation of political issues.