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The Function of Specialized Vocabulary Development in Psychosocial Rehabilitation in Traumatized Populations

Abstract

This paper presents a model for the function of specialized vocabulary schemes in the development, implementation, and dissemination of trauma rehabilitation initiatives. With 65.3 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, of whom 21.3 million are recognized refugees (UNHCR 2016), understanding trauma rehabilitation is timely. This paper takes an interest in the effects of interventions that leverage specialized vocabulary schemes to assist victims of conflict to overcome psychosocial trauma. Lessons are taken from three research studies conducted in conflict and post-conflict environments, which are discussed in the context of literature that demonstrates how vocabulary development is critical to psychosocial rehabilitation. From a review of these studies, a model of the function of specialized vocabulary schemes in the development, implementation, and dissemination of trauma rehabilitation initiatives is presented. Rehabilitation using one's own language is key to the restoration of human rights after ongoing psychological torture as it provides a means for categorizing experiences and developing understandings.

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Correspondence to Alison S. Willis.

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Willis, A.S., Nagel, M.C. The Function of Specialized Vocabulary Development in Psychosocial Rehabilitation in Traumatized Populations. J. Hum. Rights Soc. Work 3, 29–34 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41134-017-0046-z

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Keywords

  • Language development
  • Vocabulary schemes
  • Psychosocial rehabilitation programs
  • Education for rehabilitation