Research as a Therapeutic Journey: Humanizing Mental Health Research in Disaster Situations

Authors / Editors: Abigail P. Del Puerto, June Caridad P. Lopez Botor, Nephtaly Joel B.


Psychosocial predisposition of individuals and families in post-disaster communities is unique due to potential psychological traumatic reaction towards devastating catastrophic experience. This predisposition demands from the researcher more humane and creative approach in theory building and research when working with this special group of cohorts. Consolidating our experiences in researching and providing mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) with, among and for survivors of typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda), this methodological paper re-tells the journey we have undertaken and lays out the agenda for more humane research paradigms when working with potentially traumatized groups. We recommend that research be seen as a therapeutic journey, which must facilitate healing and recovery and that the researcher should be a sojourner in healing rather than a fisher of information for research’s sake.


Presented at the COHRED 2015 Global Forum on Research and Innovations for Health. August 26, 2015. Philippine International Convention Center, Manila, under the title "Resounding Voices: Enhancing Resilience through Participation in Assessing Needs and Resources"