LAPS Areas of Expertise and Experience

Interventions

·      Psychosocial and educational support services

·      Child protection and GBV related services

·      Community-based assessment and development services

 

Specialized Counseling Services

·      Individual and group trauma counseling particularly for survivors of torture, severe war trauma, or sexual violence 

·      Marital and family counseling and mediation interventions

·      Child behavioral modification interventions

·      Caregiver interventions

·      HIV/aids counseling and awareness raising

·      Preparing child or adult survivors for court appearances and testimonies, including briefing, debriefing, and psycho-education

·      Crisis intervention for suicidal individuals or victims of recent violence

·      Community-wide healing process and services

·      Play therapy and other sports activities with children and adults in communities and at prisons.

 

·         LAPS counselors are trained on conducting detailed trauma history and trauma-related symptom assessment at the time of intake, creating individualized treatment plans and goals, monitoring the improvement of symptoms over a period of one year, and modifying intervention methods in the event that the clients are not experiencing improvement in their symptoms. Multiple methods of intervention, including non-clinical activities such as games and cultural performances, are often combined to yield maximum results. LAPS counselors are also highly experienced in mobilizing a community as a whole to foster a collective experience of healing as well as to resolve conflicts among family members or various sectors of communities.

 

Current Capacity

·      At the moment, LAPS is active in five counties of Liberia: Lofa, Grand Bassa, Bong, Montserrado, and Gbarpolu.

·      LAPS currently has 34 full-time staff and 10 part-time staff out of a membership of 52 trained staff with many years of experience.

·      LAPS also have a database department staffed with trained and experienced data managers with knowledge and skills in the electronic processing of data using the following data management software: SPSS; EPI Info and PSPP.

 

Current Projects: 

The Community Healing Project in Voinjama in Lofa County

In Lofa County LAPS are in the process of closing the ‘Community Healing Project’ that started in December 2015, and will end in 2016. From 1990-2003 Liberia suffered to brutal civil wars that left around a quarter of a million dead. Many of the people who were killed in mass killings and massacres were never buried traditionally during the war. Ever since the war the people who were left behind have suffered from traumas, nightmares and lack of closure as they have not been able to bury their loved ones in a traditional manner. The primary activity in the Community Healing Project is therefore to do reburial ceremonies. In these ceremonies, the ghosts of the dead are put to peace, which traditionally and culturally brings blessings to the living. By giving the spirits a proper burial they will in return do something good for the living who will be blessed with better harvests and peace of mind.

The reburial ceremonies bring together locals residents and local authorities to mourn the deaths of those who were killed during the civil war. The ceremonies are accompanied and followed up by counseling and home visits by the LAPS staff to improve the psychological well-being of the living. Furthermore, LAPS arrange recreational activities in relation to the ceremony: football. Games, dance and communal meals to celebrate that the spirits have been put to rest.

The Prospects Psychosocial Program in Buchannan in Grand Bassa, Gbarnga in Bong, and Monrovia in Montserrado

In Buchannan, Gbarnga, Monrovia and BopuloLAPS is in charge of implementing three subprojects in the Mercy Corps project “Prospects Psychosocial Program”. The three projects are: ‘Managing My Emotions’, ‘Planning for Success’ and ‘Man and Woman Relations’.

Managing my emotions

In this project, the LAPS counselors help men and women of all age groups to better understand and manage their emotions. The counselors educate the beneficiaries about the psychology of emotions. The focus is especially on anger to help understand why people get angry and what usually happens physically and psychologically when people are angry. Through education and group discussions, the counselors teach the beneficiaries about positive and negative forms of communication and how communication can escalate or de-escalate anger and violent outbursts. The counseling takes place in groups to foster healthy discussions and the sharing of previous experiences with anger and violent outbursts.

Planning for success

In Planning for success focus is on helping the beneficiaries set realistic goals in order to achieve larger goals for their future. In group sessions, the counselors talk to the beneficiaries about how they wish to develop and what they wish to achieve in their lives. The counselors will try to break down bigger goals into smaller goals to be achieved on the path to successfully fulfilling bigger goals. This includes focusing on what behavior fosters success and what behavior can have negative consequences in the long run. The group sessions promote support, friendship and help within the group as members share their positive and negative experiences and assist each other even after the counseling is done.

Man and woman relations (women empowerment)

The aim of this project is to improve the gender relations in the local community and to empower women to stand up for their rights. Again, there is focus on ways of communicating in healthy and unhealthy ways. In the groups, the counselors and beneficiaries discuss different forms of relationships between men and women and how to better communicate what relation the individual wishes to engage in as to avoid misunderstandings. ‘Mutual respect’ is a key term in the educational aspects of the counseling, where we discuss what a respectful relationship is, what can be done to form respectful relations and what to do when a relationship is not respectful? In this regard assisting individuals who are in abusive and violent relationships is key to the project

Prevention of Urban Violence in Samuel Doe Community, Monrovia, Montserrado 

Since September 2015 LAPS has been working in the Samuel K. Doe Community in the outskirts of Monrovia. Sam Doe is a community of around 49.000 people who live in three sub-communities: Cow Community, Sauccess Community, and Hope Community. The Doe Community is one of Monrovia's newly emerging urban slum communities. It is situated on the Bushrod Island belt of Monrovia, on swampy and marshy land. During the rainy season, there is usually flooding. This means that the roads, which are already in a deplorable condition, regularly become inaccessible by motorcar. As a result, motorbikes have become the main type of transportation by which, the community dwellers commute to and from the main road. Additionally, there is not much land available for dwellers to engage in recreational activities.

The governance structures of Doe community are still in a nascent stage given the newness of the community itself. The initial processes of establishing basic community leadership structures and other social systems are underway, to address the well being of community members as well as, to communicate the community’s plights to the national government.

LAPS has 11 employees working in Sam Doe from the local field office, ten Community Development Facilitators, and one supervisor. The local field office enables LAPS to know what is currently going on the community and allows us to change our tactics and adjust to local issues as they appear.

LAPS works with both men and women of all ages in the community. The aim of the project in Doe is to provide counseling and rehabilitation for people who are traumatized from violence. This is done through several services:

·         Counseling: LAPS provides 3-month long counseling programs that combine individual counseling with group counseling. Every third month LAPS welcomes 30 new beneficiaries to this program. The three-month program does not only focus on resolving the trauma, but it also focuses on reintegrating the survivor into the community. This is done by skill training activities where the counselors seek to re-engage the individuals into the activities they were doing before the violence happened. The beneficiaries are invited to do follow-up sessions after having completed the program.

·         Network meetings: In the Community General Network (CGN) LAPS invites local leaders from the community to participate in meetings where local issues are discussed. GCN provides a platform for resolving problems in the community and enables LAPS to be proactive to problems in the community.

·         Sustainability: In order to create sustainable development in the local community LAPS gives local volunteers counseling skill training in the Community Action Committee (CAC).

·      The UNVFVT project on Torture Survivors in Gbarpolu Bopolu

In this project, funded by the UNVFVT, we provide psychosocial and medical support services to survivors of torture, war trauma and GBV. Victims of the civil wars and people who appeared in the TRC are amongst the beneficiaries. In the project we provide both individual and group counseling, we do medical referrals and assist the beneficiaries to get free medical treatment. The main focus of the counseling is empowerment, and the intention is to identify what makes the local communities resilient and strengthen this. We do this by asking the beneficiaries identity resources and strengths within the local communities and focus on how to ameliorate these.

Date

Monday, 18th December 2017
1:24:10am