Updated: Mar 31
O’Connor, S, Byimana, L., Patel, S, and Kivlighan, D. (2021). Corrective Political Experiences: Psychological Impacts of Public Testimony for survivors of Torture. Professional psychology: Research and Practice, Vol.52, No. 6, 588-599
"Finding a path to recovering voice and confidence is important for healing from torture-related trauma. Participating in testimony may provide one such path. However, there are gaps in our understanding of how giving testimony impacts torture survivors engaging in public testimony in the U.S.—a context that may elicit feelings not only of safety but also of exposure. Accordingly, this study used a grounded theory methodology to develop a circumscribed model of the impact of testimony on survivors’ healing, drawing from experiences of 11 adult (7 men, 4 women) survivors. The resulting healing through testimony model illustrates how a survivor’s identity interacts with their context in the U.S. to shape how they step up to testimony opportunities, communicate their message, and digest their experiences. In turn, their identity evolves through corrective political (and personal) experiences. Ways in which survivors could be best supported by psychologists before, during, and after testimony are suggested. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)"