Five Hours to Baghdad: Lessons Learned by Two Psychologists on a Multidisciplinary Health Care Mission to Iraq

By Denis Belicki and Kathryn Belicki.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In October 2009 we traveled to the Kurdistan region of Iraq as part of a multidisciplinary health care team, to explore ways of facilitating capacity building. As the psychologists on the team, we were specifically interested in psychological well-being. In this paper we consider the important role that psychologists can play in health care missions to post war countries, and we discuss several issues: practical considerations regarding involvement in this type of work; assessing and managing the risks of visiting and working in a politically unstable, developing country; and the difficulties in facilitating capacity building, including the tensions between that form of intervention and providing humanitarian aid.

Keywords: Capacity Building, Trauma, Psychological Well-being, Mental Health, Iraq

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.311-320. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 622.402KB).

Dr. Denis Belicki

Clinical Psychologist, Private Practice, Queenston Psychological Services, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Denis Belicki is a clinical psychologist in private practice. He has particular expertise in the treatment of traumatized individuals.

Dr. Kathryn Belicki

Professor, Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Kathryn Belicki, PhD, MTS is a professor of psychology at Brock University, Ontario, Canada. She obtained her PhD in clinical psychology, and recently has completed a Master’s of Theological Studies. Prior research interests have included the study of nightmares, as well as the impact of childhood trauma and abuse on adult functioning. In recent years she has focussed on the study of forgiveness and forgiveness seeking.


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