Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Charles Curry-Smithson


Human trafficking is a global, modern day epidemic that exploits millions of men, women, and children for sexual and labor purposes. This paper examines human trafficking, the psychological effects of trafficking on its victims, Psychosocial Rehabilitation programs and practices, and the functions of anti-trafficking shelters. Its purpose is to determine especially effective Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) practices for survivors of trafficking residing in long-term shelters.

The research methods used were participant observation of resident participation in PSR activities at the Vietnamese Migrant Workers and Brides Office (VMWBO), analysis of structured interviews of VMWBO residents treated by an American psychiatrist, and a literature review of previous research on PSR use with survivors of sex and labor trafficking.

PSR techniques aim to help survivors of trafficking integrate into safe communities, where they can lead healthy and meaningful lives. VMWBO residents found certain PSR practices - Reflexology and Psychology - relevant and helpful, while others - English - they did not find useful. PSR practices which had direct applicability to their present and future lives were rated the highest, while recreational PSR activities were rated much lower than their counterparts.

When designing a program of especially effective PSR practices, it is most important to receive feedback from its participants. This is to ensure that survivors who suffer the psychological effects of trafficking experience an improvement in their quality of life as a result of PSR. Along with participant feedback, it is necessary to prevent survivors from focusing on their past, so that they can concentrate on their future. They should also be encouraged to leave their sheltered environment as a reminder that life does exist outside of their healing process.


Child Psychology | Civic and Community Engagement | Counseling Psychology | Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Social Psychology | Social Psychology and Interaction | Social Welfare | Social Work