World Therapy for Equal Dignity

HumanDHS is primarily grounded in academic work. We are independent of any religious or political agenda. However, we wish to bring academic work into "real life." Our research focuses on topics such as dignity (with humiliation as its violation), or, more precisely, on respect for equal dignity for all human beings in the world. This is not only our research topic, but also our core value, in line with Article 1 of the Human Rights Declaration that states that every human being is born with equal dignity (that ought not be humiliated). We agree with Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, who advocates the building of bridges from academia as follows, "I have always believed that good scholarship can be relevant and consequential for public policy. It is possible to affect public policy without being an advocate; to be passionate about peace without losing analytical rigor; to be moved by what is just while conceding that no one has a monopoly on justice." We would like to add that we believe that good scholarship can be relevant and consequential not only for public policy, but for raising awareness in general.


We look for interested people, who would like to develop our WHED page. Please see our Call for Creativity.


With our Therapy for Equal Dignity (WTED) project idea, we wish to highlight the notion of dignity in therapeutical approaches. We believe that therapy ought to contribute to building a world of equal dignity for all. In former times, therapy often entailed elements of humiliation so as to "teach lessons" or, in a more covert way, to create submission. We believe that these times are bygone.

Some of the people who visit our website are looking for therapy or other services to help heal individual experiences of humiliation. When we learn that abuse has taken place (entailing humiliation, for example), we find ourselves feeling moved by the suffering of the person who is contacting us and want very much for them to receive help to achieve the better place in life they so rightly are seeking for themselves. 

As a network, however, we had to confront the question of whether we are in a position to provide that kind of help, either as a network or as individual representatives of the network on the coordinating team. We realized that we as a network have very definite limitations in terms of energy and resources, and that we could easily lose focus on the primary mission of the network, which from the first has been our commitment to fostering social and cultural change. Our efforts and energy are directed toward changing the social and cultural conditions that lead to and perpetuate humiliating practices. We don't have the resources to do this and also provide individual therapy. Therefore, in responding to people who have very real and very legitimate needs for therapy, we have to be clear that Human DHS does not offer therapy or referral services. While this can be painful for us, and for the person who approaches us for help, the mission we have undertaken at Human DHS is the confrontation of abuse, rankism and the humiliation endemic to it, on the historical scale. We are working for a different world. We therefore entrust to others the task of helping the victims of this world as it is today to become freed of its debilitating effects, while we are taking on the conditions - the cultural and institutional structures - that condone and perpetuate abuse.  Although it is our objective to respond to all who are interested in the network with care, we are concentrating our energy on advancing large-scale efforts to prevent and end humiliating practices. Therefore, we encourage those who have suffered individual experiences of humiliation to seek appropriate therapeutic services through other professional organizations and social services in their communities.

To put it another way, our work has taught us that we cannot achieve our goals by attempting to heal individual cases of humiliation. That will only leave the structures intact that will create still more victims. Therefore, we, as a HumanDHS network, have chosen to lovingly redirect individual victims of humiliation to seek other services with appropriate care providers in their communities. We owe it to our overall aim to keep our energy and resources focused on social and cultural change.

By way of sharing with you some history as to how this view was arrived at, Evelin worked as a clinical psychologist until 1991, helping wounded souls recover from their wounds. What she saw and heard, made her feel there an urgent need to change the larger systems that were producing wounded souls in the first place. She changed her focus toward addressing the conditions that make abuse possible, in order to influence those conditions and diminish - and ultimately eradicate - humiliating conditions and practices.

As a network we respectfully leave it to those who work to help the wounded recover, while we do a different part of the overall task, we work to prevent the creation of more victims in the future.

We would be thankful for any help to compile a list of relevant therpeutic approaches on our this page.



Please note that the entire HumanDHS website is maintained by volunteers, since its inception in 2003, and this is mainly done by Evelin Lindner. Until 2012, she usually pasted interesting news into this Links section. From July 2012 until 2017, she tagged interesting information on From 2017 onward, you see Evelin's personal list of interesting web links on Twitter:

The System Improvement Process
SIP was developed to solve any difficult large-scale social problem. This includes the "excessive humiliation problem." Systems Engineer Jack Harich invites all researchers to study SIP (in a personal message, 15th January 2013).

Voices of Trauma: Treating Survivors Across Cultures
Boris Drozdek, and John Wilson (Eds.) (2007), New York, NY: Springer.

John Paul Lederach
Dr. John Paul Lederach is Professor of International Peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana and concurrently Distinguished Scholar at the Eastern Mennonite University (the Conflict Transformation Program). He has written widely on conflict resolution and mediation. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Colorado and has been at the Eastern Mennonite University since 1990.
He puts much emphasis on "envisioning a future" as an important part of the peacebuilding process.
He is the author of The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace (Oxford University Press, 2005), The Journey Toward Reconciliation (Herald Press, 1999), Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies (USIP, 1997), and Preparing for Peace: Confliction Transformation Across Cultures (Syracuse University Press 1995).

The Focusing Institute
The Focusing Institute is a not-for-profit 501C3 organization founded in 1986. Its mission is to make Focusing available to the academic and scholarly communities and to the public at large. We are an international community. The Focusing Institute received the Charlotte Buehler award from Division 32 of the American Psychological Association for our work in developing resources and training for psychotherapists and bringing self-help and community development skills to the public...
Focusing is direct access to a bodily knowing...
There are three key qualities or aspects which set Focusing apart from any other method of inner awareness and personal growth. The first is something called the "felt sense." The second is a special quality of engaged accepting inner attention. And the third is a radical philosophy of what facilitates change... [Please read more at]

Re-Evaluation Counseling Communities
Re-evaluation Counseling is a process whereby people of all ages and of all backgrounds can learn how to exchange effective help with each other in order to free themselves from the effects of past distress experiences.

Bert Hellinger
The Bert Hellinger Approach for systemic solutions with families and organizations.

Marshall Rosenberg
The Center for Nonviolent Communication:
A global organization helping people connect compassionately with themselves and one another through Nonviolent Communication language, created by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

Victor E. Frankl and his Logotherapy
Please see: Frankl, Victor E. (1963). Man's Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy. New York, NY: Washington Square Press, Simon and Schuster. Earlier title, 1959, From Death-Camp to Existentialism. Originally published in 1946 as Ein Psycholog erlebt das Konzentrationslager.

Morita Therapy
Morita psychotherapy was developed by Japanese psychiatrist Shoma Morita in the early part of the twentieth century. He was chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Jikei University School of Medicine and was influenced by the psychological principles of Zen Buddhism. His method was initially developed as a treatment for a type of anxiety neurosis called shinkeishitsu. In the latter part of this century the applications of Morita therapy have broadened, both in Japan and North America.
Please see, among others:
• Morita, Shoma & Levine, Peg (1998). Morita Therapy and the True Nature of Anxiety-Based Disorders (Shinkeishitsu) . New York, NY: State University of New York Press.
• Reynolds, David K. (1987). Water Bears No Scars: Japanese Lifeways for Personal Growth. New York, NY: William Morrow.

Australian Center for Post Traumatic Mental Health
The Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health at the University of Melbourne undertakes world class trauma related research, policy advice, service development and education. New guidelines by the Australian Center for Post Traumatic Mental Health have just been published.
Please

New Journal on Child Trauma
Child Trauma is a new peer-reviewed journal with a primary mission of serving as a data-informed practical resource for mental health professionals who work with children, adolescents, and families. The focus is prevention, assessment, and treatment of child and adolescent trauma, loss, and related issues. Since trauma and loss are potentially related to many child and adolescent issues, the scope is broad. The journal publishes general and special-topic issues.
Please

Treatment of Depression
by Thomas J. Scheff (2007)
Drawing on his papers:
• Shame and Community: Social Components in Depression (2000)
• Four commentaries on my article published along with it in Psychiatry (2000)
• Looking Glass Selves: The Cooley/Goffman Conjecture (2003)
Please see

The Development of Positive Psychotherapy as Developed by Nossrat Peseschkian

Global Health and Social Justice Conference: “Violence as Disease”
Thursday, March 29 - Friday, March 30, 2007
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA