Critical Psychosocial Interventions: a scoping review

Noxolo Dumani, Jade Morkel, Nick Malherbe, Josephine Cornell, Shahnaaz Suffla

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    Critical psychosocial interventions aim to improve and maintain well-being by addressing the individual and the social as a single psychosocial entity. Critical psychosocial interventions can assist in developing a holistic and context-sensitive understanding of suffering which can inform how suffering is addressed. As such, critical psychosocial interventions are informed by and go beyond conventional psychological interventions that locate psychological suffering and healing within the individual subject. Psychosocial interventions range greatly in their aim and scope, and little has been written on their general effectiveness. The purpose of this scoping review is to examine the effectiveness of critical psychosocial interventions. Using particular selection criteria, we conducted an online search of five prominent databases and two search engines. We found that although the particularities of the studies ranged greatly (e.g., their focus and method), there were also several similarities that cut across the different studies (e.g., they responded to a traumatic event and relied on existing resources within communities). In conclusion, we suggest some future directions for critical psychosocial intervention studies, including a stronger political focus, a focus on protracted psychosocial trauma, and a harnessing of resources beyond those that are immediately available.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-36
    Number of pages36
    JournalCommunity Psychology in Global Perspective
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 19 Sept 2023


    • scoping review
    • critical psychosocial interventions
    • suffering
    • healing
    • community


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