Masahiro Minami

The Think-Tank seminar series

Development and Field Implementation of Action-Based Psychosocial Reconciliation Program in Rural Villages of Post-Genocide Rwanda – Promoting relationship and community healing, reconciliation, and peace

Facilitators

Masahiro Minami, Director, Prison Fellowship Rwanda-Morita Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Research, Rwanda. University of British Columbia, Canada. Visiting Scholar/Clinician, University of Exeter, UK.

Dr. Ishu Ishiyama, Secretary General of the International Committee for Morita Therapy, Associate Professor of Counselling Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Canada.

Date and time

13:00 - 14:00, 5 February 2013

Abstract

The psychosocial reconciliation between survivors and perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide is an unavoidable process essential to build and maintain peace and harmony in this young post-war country. This presentation begins with a video recording of a narrative dialogue between a victim and a perpetrator of the genocide, engaged in an actual reconciliation counselling session in a rural village of Rwanda. The presenter highlights key challenges, posing critical, yet realistic, obstacles to promoting psychological reconciliation and conflict resolution in this extreme context. In order to address this situation, the presenter developed and implemented an alternative new approach to psychological reconciliation in partnerships with local NGOs. The presenter covers an overview of the Action-Based Psychosocial Reconciliation Program (ABPRP).

ABPRP is firmly founded on therapeutic principles from Japanese Morita therapy and key therapeutic principles are outlined together with the ways in which these are applied in this post-war humanitarian intervention work. The presenter also introduces an overview of clinical/research activities taking place in the research centre in Rwanda today. This presentation concludes with the presenter sharing his own learning experience of joy and challenges in implementing, directing and researching a clinical program in rural villages of Rwanda.