Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Douglas College grad’s PhD research focuses on reconciliation in Rwanda

                                                                David Denofreo Photo
Masahiro Minami believes meaningful actions, not just words, can heal deep psychological wounds. A Douglas College graduate, Masahiro has completed a PhD in Counselling Psychology at UBC. His research is focused on a new approach to fostering reconciliation between survivors and perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

An alternative to traditional therapy, his Action-Based Psychosocial Rehabilitation Approach (ABPRA) has a perpetrator atone for wrongdoing by offering services such as manual labour to a survivor. “It is a more commonsense way to realize the perpetrator is feeling sorry,” he says.

Originally from Japan, Masahiro came to Douglas after high school to study English. While earning his Associate of Arts degree at Douglas, he took a variety of academic courses and developed an interest in Psychology. “I was fascinated with how the human mind works,” he says.

Masahiro went on to earn degrees from SFU and UBC and work as a family therapist. As a UBC scholar, he is continuing his work to prove ABPRA can be used to build peace in Rwanda and other post-conflict areas around the world. “I just want to make a difference,” he says.

Learn more about Masahiro's work at pfrmcprr.org and about Associate degrees at douglascollege.ca/associate