Schaffen wir das?: State-of-the-art of psychotherapy with refugees in host environments
Dr. Boris Drožđek

Virenze Trauma Team

Focus Summary

This presentation discusses complexity of “the refugee experience” and its impacts on mental health of the refugee population. Medical and other, more inclusive, frameworks for understanding of mental health challenges in refugees are presented and commented upon.

Finally, the presentation provides a literature review of the state-of-the-art of psychotherapy with refugees in host environments, together with dilemma’s the field is confronted with at the beginning of the 21st century.

Key Insights
  • The framework for understanding complexity of the “refugee experience” should be multidimensional and culture sensitive.
  • A broad rehabilitation framework makes sense, and should combine evidence based approaches with the traditional, emic ones, and psychosocial interventions, like advocacy for human rights of the refugee population.
  • In such a framework is the therapist not only delivering mental health interventions, but is also a social actor.
Key take-outs from the ISHHR 2017 Conference (industry feedback, networking, peer presentations):

Overview of challenges in different settings and contexts worldwide.

Future goals — what’s next?

Further spreading of knowledge among peers, development of new treatment approaches and connecting peers working in different contexts with each other.

How can local / national / international media better assist in bringing the vital issues discussed at ISHHR 2017 to light, and further encourage real, positive change and understanding?

Media should refrain from sensationalism, news should not be presented as snaphot but integrated into context in order to be presented in an adequate way and make mening to the audience.

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