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Psychological Interventions in International Reconciliation Efforts

24 July 2006


Literature on the psychological aspects of reconciliation efforts between people in international conflicts was reviewed. Only non-diplomatic efforts with college-aged people and older were included. A review of the literature suggested that identity change, empathy, and generalizability are essential psychological changes that must occur in any reconciliation effort. The necessity of acknowledging the truth in reconciliation is less clear, while the psychological change of forgiveness is a culturally-determined psychological change. A review of the different types of reconciliation work revealed that Kelman's Interactive Problem Solving Approach is the most comprehensive. Finally, the author found that psychologists' training and ethical code make them good candidates for facilitating reconciliation efforts, though future research should determine the most culturally appropriate and effective interventions.


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