The Burdens of Truth: An evaluation of the psychological support services and initiatives undertaken by the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission

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Abstract

Discusses how apartheid in South Africa was characterized by extreme levels of brutality and state initiated violence. To attempt to deal with the aftermath of this violence and break the silence associated with decades of human right violations—the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established. The purpose of this Commission was to facilitate a "truth recovery process" aimed at reconciling South Africans with the past. The author focuses on the degree to which the limited psychological services that have been set up by the TRC have aided individual psychological restoration. Also included in the discussion is the national or collective psychological impact of the TRC, work and mandate of the TRC, and limitations on the TRC's ability to offer services to those who testified before it and exactly how the TRC has psychologically affected these individuals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-28
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican Imago
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1998

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