TVNZ/NZPA: Study questions power of ‘truth-telling’

New research from the University of Otago is questioning whether ‘truth-telling’ – retelling stories of the trauma and grief experienced during war – is actually a beneficial exercise for people.

The research instead suggests that it could worsen mental health, although it may have other benefits.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Brouneus explored interviewees’ backgrounds, exposure to traumatic events during the genocide and the rate of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“The risk of depression and PTSD was far higher for gacaca witnesses – those who had told their stories before village-based tribunals initiated by the Rwandan government in 2002 as a way to promote justice and reconciliation – compared to non-witnesses, she said.

“However Brouneus said truth-telling might still be important for peace-building.”