International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

Reparology™: A Scientific Evolutionary Model of Archetypal Requirements for Healing after Protracted

(Session Organizer) Diane Perlman, PhD, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, GMU

Conference: ISPP 2011
Affiliation: Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, GMU
Research Area: Political conflict, violence, and crisis

Universal themes emerge through clinical experience healing trauma, interviews with Holocaust survivors, truth and reconciliation practices revealing a formula, an archetypal psychological pattern for repairing interpersonal and collective trauma.

“Reparology™” suggests a science of repair, more comprehensive than reconciliation, which is problematic for some. Reconciliation may be a natural outcome of repair. This complex stage model consists of:
Acknowledgement of truth, accurate narrative
Bearing witness
individual and collective atonement
Apologies-“Earning forgiveness”
Restitution, reparation, compensation
Justice - restorative, symbolic, and compensatory
Memorials, collective rituals of mourning and remembrance
Redemption of perpetrator
Renewal for victim

TRCs arising globally evolve new forms. Incorporating components of this formula into designs maximizes healing potential - for survivors and for the well-being and functioning of society.

As society offers reparative experiences, more achieve better outcomes. As elements are not provided, victims may experience retraumatization -adding insult to injury. We can maximize opportunities for healing and reconciliation, individually and collectively.

Without support, some heal - primarily resilient people with positive early experiences and strong support systems. All can take responsibility to provide elements of healing to traumatized people.

We’ll explore the evolutionary meaning of forgiveness  - often misunderstood and misused in hurtful ways - as part of the formula, rather than as an isolated phenomenon. We will differentiate “earned” or “dialogical” forgiveness” from “unilateral forgiveness,” emphasizing the neglected power of apology in releasing victims and perpetrators from trauma and injustice. The capacity to apologize represents a higher level of psychological development and adaptation than forgiveness.