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USAID RULE OF LAW PROGRAM
USAID სამართლის უზენაესობის პროგრამა

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03 Feb 2023

Training for PDO on Communication with People with Psychosocial Needs

The USAID Rule of Law Program supports the Public Defender’s Office (PDO) in empowering its Department of Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

On December 21-22, 2022, and January 30-31, 2023, the Program organized training for forty-six staff members from the PDO’s Tbilisi and regional offices on communication standards, skills, and approaches while working with people with psychosocial needs. Expert psychologist Maia Tsiramua led the training sessions for the PDO’s structural units that have the most active communication with citizens, such as the reception of citizens, regional divisions, and several thematic departments.

The sessions covered topics such as the anatomy of discriminatory behavior, characteristics of persons who experienced violence, Stockholm syndrome, the phenomenon of minority stress, mental health - myths, stereotypes, common issues, and anger and aggressive behavior management. The expert also described methods for effective communication, including techniques on: active listening, “I” messaging, “sandwich feedback,” and verbal de-escalation. The training included mini-lectures, role-playing exercises, and discussions of several practical cases with the active involvement of the participants.

Based on the analysis of the discussed cases during the training, Tsiramua prepared recommendations for the PDO to effectively deal with the professional stress of its staff members.

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