Towards Integrated Peacebuilding: Psychosocial Skills and Professional Care for Peacebuilders in the Field

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Next upcoming training: to be announced

Contact: info@peaceunit-iahv.org

Benefits

Practical benefits to both personal well-being and resilience and inter-personal and team dynamics;

  • Improved health, immunity, sleep and reduced anxiety, depression, burn-out
  • Increased energy levels and sense of rejuvenation
  • Deep release of chronic and accumulated stress, trauma and healing
  • Access to inner peace in the midst of conflict
  • Increased understanding of the integrity of psycho-social factors in every stage, level and sector of peacebuilding, and of their crucial contribution to the failure or success of peacebuilding processes
  • Increased confidence and skills to identify and integrate key psycho social factors into peacebuilding programming for increased and sustainable impact
  • Finer intuition, increased creativity, better clarity of mind and greater focus
  • Improved ability to manage challenging situations and people
  • In-depth insight in our nature and functioning as human beings (both ourselves and others)
  • Increased awareness and self-knowledge about one’s own mind, emotions and inner life
  • Nourishment of our inner resources that support the development of peacebuilding skills and internalization and strengthening of already learned peacebuilding skills
  • More ease, sensitivity and harmony in interpersonal relationships and a deeper sense of team and community

The benefits of the techniques taught in the training are immediate and deepen over time with continued personal / group practice. Several independent studies on the numerous mental and physical health benefits of the training, such as reducing cortisol and alleviating depression, anxiety and PTSD, have been published in international peer-reviewed journals. (www.aolresearch.org)

“We are offering psycho social support programs, but we have never done an analysis like this to understand what are actually the psycho social factors we need to work with. Now I know why I see that look of unsatisfaction in the eyes of the refugees I work with: my program and approach lack their wellbeing! Thank you for teaching us a new perspective of peacebuilding.” Syrian refugee camp coordinator, Tripoli, Lebanon 

“I think this will address the roots of conflict, the psychological dimension that nobody deals with or comes close to. This is an effective group approach for psycho-social issues. I felt the effect of the techniques for myself on many levels and I think it would be very practical to extend it to my social environment and work since it is a real need. We need to introduce now effective techniques to dissolve tension between many people.” Sanaa, Social worker, Beirut

“You are more specialised than any of the agencies providing psycho-social support.” Youth worker, Tripoli, Lebanon

“Our words and how we behave as peaceworkers are the equivalent in our field to a surgeon’s hand when doing surgery. Just as the slightest shake or mistake in surgery can cause harm, we also need to be intimately aware of how our words and behaviour are understood and perceived, and to ourselves model and manifest the values and practice we’re promoting.”

Kai Brand-Jacobsen, Director of the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) and Global Peacebuilding Adviser to IAHV

For Whom?

  • Individuals
  • Organisations
  • Educational institutes and training programs (one week module)

IAHV trainings have benefited UN personnel, World Bank Management cadres, European officials, staff of international and national NGOs, university students and many more. IAHV Peacebuilding’s approach to integrated peacebuilding has been heralded by experienced practitioners and organisations as addressing a key need to improve health and well being in how peacebuilding is done, and in the quality, impact and effectiveness of peacebuilding, development and humanitarian aid.

“This program helped me in finding one of the most important keys to achieve my psychological, mental and physical health. As a psychotherapist I will be more effective and concentrating in my sessions with the patients and as a trainer for teenagers and adults I will be more focused and calm in conveying to them my believe in the importance of peace.” Lubna, psychologist from Syria, Beirut 

“The subject of the workshop is highly important, not only for our beneficiaries, who are refugees and vulnerable persons, but also for all the social workers, because they are in daily contact with refugee and host community problems, so they are absorbing negative energy from them. These kind of workshop can help us as social workers to get rid of the stress which we are exposed to during work and give us the opportunity to work better.” Zeina, Amel Center Manager, Haret Hreik, Lebanon

Background

Peacebuilding practitioners are often working under extremely challenging conditions, which often lead to stress, tension and reduced productivity, but also to burn-out, depression or substance abuse. The impact this has upon the quality of our work as peacebuilders is often underestimated. Rarely have we been trained or educated in practical stress and self-management tools to effectively handle this aspect of peacebuilding work.

Practitioners lack of proper exposure and training on how to address deep-rooted and complex psycho-social aspects often means they are neglected in peacebuilding programmes. Through a personal experience this training offers participants insight and confidence to handle crucial psycho- social factors in an effective way to make a meaningful impact on conflict and peace dynamics.

The quality and impact of our work is to a great extent defined by who we are as “peacebuilders” and how we engage with communities and the people we work and interact with on the ground. This training nurtures and strengthens on a deeper level those core aspects within ourselves that support the development of peacebuilding qualities and skills essential for transformative and effective practice, including: active listening, compassion and empathy, holding multiple realities, patience and endurance, balancing simplicity and complexity, facilitation, tranquillity, discernment and integrity. As such, IAHV’s training provides present and future peacebuilders in a short time frame with the insight and practical tools to develop one’s full potential as a peacebuilder, both as a human being and a professional.

Through this training IAHV hopes to contribute enriching and strengthening the peacebuilding field as a whole.

Current peacebuilding efforts focus extensively on external conditions and systems, while often failing to address a crucial dimension of peacebuilding. Namely: creating peace in the minds, hearts and attitudes of people. Anger, frustration, hate, depression, pain, and intolerance are key dimensions in many conflicts. Failure to comprehend or effectively address these powerful driving forces erodes the effectiveness of many efforts of mainstream peacebuilding. Few organisations actually implement effective psycho-social interventions on a scale significant enough to have an impact on conflict and peace dynamics. Working proficiently with psycho-social aspects of peacebuilding entails the promise of a strong psycho-social foundation for peace and increased impact of peacebuilding efforts on the ground.

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Training

IAHV Peacebuilding’s Towards Integrated Peacebuilding Training Program is a bespoke program created to provide professional peacebuilders and peacebuilding organizations with the experience and skills to improve and integrate psychosocial skills and self-care into their peacebuilding work.

Spread over 12-22 hours and 3-5 consecutive days, this training consists of 3 components:

Providing for Peacebuilders:

Personal resilience and stress management (also known as the Providing for Peacebuilders training) Draws upon proven and scientifically validated techniques to assist people working in difficult, challenging and often traumatic contexts to deal effectively with emotional and physical stresses. The central focus here is on ensuring health and well-being for peaceworkers and partners in the field, improving awareness of how our environment and context can affect our ability to engage proficiently in peace work, as well as concrete techniques and methods to assist us in dealing with stress and other emotional barriers, and to help others do so as well – integrating psycho-social health and well-being and personal resilience and stress management into effective peace work.

Framing & Factors:

Overview and in-depth examination of psychosocial frameworks of analysis and specific factors.

  • Draws upon concrete experiences in applied psycho-social peacebuilding interventions as well as knowledge about the psychology and functioning of human beings in conflict and violence/war experiences and contexts;
  • Trains participants to identify and engage with often ‘hidden’ or ‘buried’ sides of conflict and trauma which can be deeply impacting communities/parties behaviours and experience of conflict
  • Helps participants develop practical wisdom and skills to deal with challenging situations and people and to improve personal and professional performance
  • Includes: interactive group processes and discussions and practical support for self-reflection, learning and growth

Professional Skills Training:

Providing tools for analysis, design and delivery of psychosocial interventions to increase sustainability and effectiveness of peacebuilding outcomes.

  • Analysis of psycho-social factors in conflict contexts
  • Identification of key psycho-social needs and opportunities in programming context
  • Designing and integrating effective psycho-social interventions for increased impact
  • Uncovering peacebuilding assumptions
  • Learning from the Field: Learning from applied cases of psycho-social dimensions to peacebuilding programming

This program has been designed by experienced practitioners and peace workers for practitioners in the field to address a critical component of effective peacebuilding far too often overlooked. The integration of a strong personal experiential component with professional skills training to improve peacebuilding practice makes this a uniquely powerful program.

Each training is tailored to the needs of the organisation / participants / specific peacebuilding program.

Advanced next step trainings and follow up support and customised assistance are available.