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In consultation with leaders in the field we seek to tailor the community

intervention to each unique context using a co-creation model. In this

way there is a greater sense of ownership for participants while building

sustainability leading to less reluctance to the delivery of services.

A typical intervention will be preceded by a needs assessment with

a set of recommendations. We seek to understand the particular pain

points and challenges that a community and its members are

experiencing as well as what previous attempts, if any, were used

to address those needs.

A typical PRISE intervention includes an average of four 90-minutes group meetings with pre-post and follow-up measurements

along with qualitative interviews. We gather evaluative data with pre-post and follow-up measures to demonstrate efficacy and track progress.

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In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mount Nyiragongo Volcano erupted in spring of 2021 and half a million people were displaced from their homes and hundreds of children were separated from their parents.


  • The first group meeting is for recipients and is devoted to screening and taking pre-treatment measures as a method of obtaining baseline functioning. We then provide stabilization and resourcing designed to reduce distress and manage intense emotional experiences and the acute stress reactions that accompany trauma. Our aim at this point is to provide psychological first aid to contain and forestall later complications as well as provide people with self-management tools to build self-efficacy and self-sufficiency. We focus on teaching further techniques designed to reduce symptoms and provide psychological security and safety. Our aim is to forge relationships by building rapport and connection while creating a “mini-community within a community.”

  • The second to fourth group meeting involves full trauma processing with one of the two PRISE group protocols called the PRISE Resiliency Package. Each protocol has several safety mechanisms woven into the fabric of the work. We reduce ancillary triggering and social anxiety by prohibiting group participants from articulating their trauma narratives.This reduces accomplishes several tasks. It mitigates vicarious traumatization and bypasses fears of being ostracized due to the taboo of disclosure that pervade many cultures. It also renders the group process more streamlined and efficient while also protecting the group leaders from vicarious traumatization.

  • PRISE groups allow us to access larger numbers of people in need with a culturally sanctioned delivery of services.
    Groups also break isolation so prevalent in a pandemic world. Many emotional difficulties are a sociological phenomena promulgated by the erosion of supportive community structures. Groups can partially ameliorate these deficiencies.

  • We take post-intervention measures such as one-month and three-month follow-ups whenever possible to determine that positive gains were maintained. If changes are found to be less robust than anticipated this gives us an opportunity to make any necessary course corrections and additional adaptations for the people we serve. “We are always building the ship as we sail with an understanding that in humanitarian work we must always adapt to changing conditions”

  • Whenever possible we include a wait-list control group that receives the intervention at a later time to demonstrate that the gains were not due to the passage of time or some other variable. This kind of data collection is considered the "gold standard" method for research.

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