“My Son Is Alive”: Is Family Therapy Appropriate for Families of the Disappeared in Sri Lanka?

  • Gameela SamarasingheEmail author
Part of the AFTA SpringerBriefs in Family Therapy book series (BRIEFSFAT)


Families of the disappeared have had numerous opportunities to voice their concerns and ask questions about their missing relatives before many Commissions that were set up in Sri Lanka. They have been frustrated because none of their questions have been answered to date and Commissions are not able to respond to their feelings regarding their “ambiguous loss”. The paper argues that social support programs rather than Family Therapy may be more appropriate responses to support families of the disappeared in Sri Lanka. It recommends that attention must be given to the impact of wider systems and social contexts on people’s lives, especially in contexts such as disappearances in Sri Lanka and that more fundamental problems at the collective level need to be addressed before those of the family and the individual. It recommends ways in which the psychosocial sector can contribute to the reconciliation discourse that includes working with families of the disappeared.


Truth Reconciliation Ambiguous loss Families of the disappeared Sri lanka Family therapy 


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Copyright information

© American Family Therapy Academy 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ColomboColomboSri Lanka

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