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Key emotional themes in therapeutic work with refugees and asylum seekers


Andrea Perry, a member of the International Family Tracing Service, discusses her therapeutic work with refugees and asylum seekers. She explores common and recurring emotional themes including the agony of that moment when everything changed: catastrophic loss of home, people and place; living with uncertainty, hope and hopelessness; feeling you can never find a true sense of belonging again; huge frustrations about the long waits, sometimes for years, before a decision is made as to whether you can stay in this new country or not: distress around identity and self-valuing: “Who am I if I don’t have my family, my work, my country?” Andrea also gives focus to the clash between the dream of a new life, when you imagine being welcomed into a place that provides safety and sanctuary, but in reality, you are treated with hostility and suspicion.

Andrea discusses what practitioners need to be aware of in ensuring their relational time with refugees and asylum seekers is truly therapeutic. She explores how to provide a secure base, what to do when emotional dysregulation is at such a pitch that it triggers dissociation or emotional numbing: your own and theirs; supporting them in such a way that they feel safe to tell their stories of agonising separation and loss; how to help them process terrifying life changing events; the importance of validating feeling over-whelmed, alone, frightened, wanting to give up. On a lighter note, Andrea looks at the success and delight of shared creative projects. Finally, Andrea will talk about how to work with interpreters and the support practitioners need to do this therapeutic work.





Full Webinar: £29  - 30 day subscription

Running time 
37 mins.

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