The politics of humanitarian aid
A case study of EMDR in Cambodia
The global expansion of psychotherapy through humanitarian aid is a political act. International aid organizations assert power over resource-scarce countries, make critical decisions about who receives care, who provides care, and what modalities are delivered. Once embedded in a country, programs exert influence between international interests, local governance, and the targeted population. This study adds to the limited information on how the humanitarian aid phenomenon is experienced by the practitioners who must navigate these conflicts through a case study of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in Cambodia. As a non-Western nation with a colonial and autogenocidal history, Cambodia offers a unique perspective for those interested in the concerns and challenges of globalized psychotherapy. As found in this case study, EMDR as humanitarian aid and a mental health movement pushes traumatology while simultaneously necessitating the need for EMDR. Findings suggest that Cambodians working as psychologists become dependent upon and caught between competing aid organizations.
Copyright (c) 2022 Lorien S. Jordan, Desiree M. Seponski, Amber Kelley, Nea Krpo
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.