Abstract

Sri Lankans who are of a collectivist culture experience events that precipitate Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but the literature on existence of PTSD and appropriate treatment for this culture is scarce. The results (n = 438) of the Sinhala version of the Impact of Event Scale-Revised suggest that approximately 50% of those directly impacted and 25% of those indirectly impacted by the 2004 tsunami are exhibiting moderate to severe symptoms. Gestalt therapy techniques – including the Nova model (Young, 1998), finishing unfinished business (Crump, 1984; Cohen, 2003), re-authoring the trauma (Pack, 2008), FREE for Vets (Danish and Antonides, 2009), and therapeutic workshops (Chang, 2005) which may be more appropriate for a collectivist culture – are suggested. Limitations of this study and future directions for research are also presented.

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