The trainings promote the development of resilience in trainees by experiencing for themselves the benefits of the practices which they bring to the beneficiaries. The trainees’ experiential processes are given more importance than the accomplishment of specific objectives. In this way, each step of the trainees’ learning process is valued, respecting their difficulties and pace of learning.
Long-term perspectives are considered in various ways. First, the participative and community-based approach encourages participants to bring in their existing resources and import personal meaning to training materials. Secondly, since burnout and compassion fatigue occur often in the helping professions, the training brings as emphasis on self-care of carers: participants learn to regulate their own stress reactions and difficulties. A third measure is to implement the training in phases – training done at regular intervals over extended periods of time, including regular group supervision and individual coaching.
Before any intervention is implemented, a series of research and analysis of local conditions is conducted. Culturally-specific bio-psychosocial stressors and coping mechanisms are determined, and the training materials are tailored accordingly. Concepts are thus meaningful and appropriate for the trainees. Moreover, often there are existing programs and technical expertise available on site.
As a central component of the training methodology, participants are encouraged to build upon their own knowledge and wisdom, making the impact of the training more long-lasting.
In summary, preliminary assessments for each training are composed of:
- Pre-intervention research of history and nature of problems, local perceptions of distress and illness, coping mechanisms, setting, culture, community resources;
- Pre-intervention analysis of existing expertise and programs;
- Adaptations of training materials tailored to cultural considerations.
Monitoring & Evaluation
The training quality and effectiveness is monitored and supervised with adequate systems to meet programme requirements. To do this, specific quality indicators for each program are tailored. Each project is thoroughly assessed in three possible ways:
- Internal monitoring of the local/national organisation;
- External monitoring via a professional monitoring unit;
- External monitoring via clinical research methods (in collaboration with the University of Yale).