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Counselling and Psychotherapy with Refugees

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Blackwell looks at the role of political conflict in creating refugees and introduces us to the vital importance of politics in the therapeutic context. In his discussion of forced migration and cultural transitions, he describes some of the essentials of working cross-culturally, and attunes the therapist to the influence of their own political and cultural context. This is a concise book with many complex issues introduced succinctly and outlined clearly. It ends with chapters on working with interpreters, advocacy and welfare issues, supervision, and a comprehensive list of references and resources.'

- Bereavement Care

'It is most welcome to come across this easy-to-read book directed at those with responsibility for counselling or offering psychotherapy to recently arrived immigrants. Although primarily aimed at therapists, as a very broad introduction to working with refugees, it contains material relevant to social workers and health care professionals. This text does succeed in setting out a broad. introduction to the major themes of therapeutic work with refugees.'

- British Journal of Social Work

'This excellent book has been written by a psychotherapist and supervisor with many years' experience at the medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, and he explains clearly and concisely the issues experienced by refugees, as well as the different areas of concern for counsellors and psychotherapists working with them. I can wholeheartedly recommend this useful, easy to read, concise and intelligently written book for anyone interested in this area of work.'

- Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal

'It is rare to me to read a book in one sitting. But this slim volume more than inspires the concentration and deserves the investment. Do not be put off if you are working directly with refugees. Without doubt, the book fulfils its description as an essential tool to help counselors and psychotherapists engage with the experiences of persecution, violence and exile often faced by refugees. But the book also doubles as a concise and accessible framework for describing the role of psychotherapy in the modern world where `identity' is so problematic that an understanding of the political and cultural context is central to the task. Dick Blackwell has based the book on the work undertaken at the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture and Organized Violence where he has worked for over 16 years. His experience shines through the straightforward accessible prose with numerous nuggets of wisdom and common sense all delivered in a direct style that manages to avoid the dangers of a polemic. But what makes the book such a gem is his belief, and presumably his experience, that even in the face of appalling atrocity, a willingness to connect, to respect and to learn can build the interpersonal structure where healing can take place.'
- Therapeutic Community Journal

'The different experiences of refugees and therapists are documented in separate sections, which make it easy to read. I also like the fact that the author addresses the important and often overlooked challenges of working with interpreters and the dilemma for therapists of becoming advocates. These ongoing challenges are clearly outlined and discussed in a straightforward manner, with useful insights given from the author's own experience. The book is written in a factual and easy-to-follow manner and is accessible enough to be used as a tool in the therapy process as it could be given to a client to enable them to understand the experience of psychotherapy. I found this book to be extremely useful, well laid out and a good basic manual to have on hand when trying to understand the experiences of refugees. I would highly recommend this book as a reference for those working with refugees and as a basic information pack for those who are training or preparing to begin psychotherapy work with refugees.'

- Community Care

This concise book is an essential tool to help counsellors and psychotherapists understand and engage with the experiences of persecution, violence and exile often faced by refugees. Dick Blackwell's unique framework is based on work carried out at the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture. It offers a flexible approach to the special circumstances of displaced and traumatized clients from different cultural and political backgrounds. The author considers four levels of experience - political, cultural, interpersonal and intrapsychic - and explores each of these in relation to both the client and therapist. He also includes practical information on advocacy, supervision and working with interpreters.
  • Published: Jan 15 2005
  • Pages: 128
  • 214 x 140mm
  • ISBN: 9781843103165
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Press Reviews

  • Transactional Analysis Journal

    Counselling and Psychotherapy with Refugees is clear, well-conceived, and does not overwhelm therapists trying to find their way in this complex field. Dick Blackwell, a psycho-dynamic psychoterapist and supervisor, has a wealth of experience gained through working with the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture and Organised Violence. His book provides therapists across modalities with an accessible framework as it concisely raises issues for us to reflect on while adapting our own way of working with such clients.