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This article develops issues raised in Hans Buwalda’s article, ‘Children of war in the Philippines’. It considers the training of indigenous workers in mental-health care in areas of recent or continuing armed conflict. It explores the possibilities of combining Western therapeutic techniques with local and culturally appropriate ways of working. It stresses the need to acknowledge and address the emotional impact of the work and participants’ own concerns, and discusses the kind of support which workers need. It looks at teaching methods and course content, with a view to creating a safe atmosphere and an interesting programme, taking into account cultural considerations. Finally it suggests ways of developing models of training for the future.

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