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Reaching out to Refugees: Lessons for Trauma Treatment and Psychotherapy Delivery

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

Responding to therapeutic needs of refugees: In this webinar, Professor Frank Neuner, Professor of Clinical Psychology from Bielefeld University, Germany, will talk about the challenges therapists face when treating persons who have experienced war and exile, and the lessons we can learn from this for trauma treatment and psychotherapy delivery.

Many refugees from war areas flee to Europe. Due to traumatic events they experience in their home countries and on perilous journeys, and finally due to adverse conditions in exile, a large proportion of refugees present with posttraumatic stress disorder and depression. However, the current theories and treatments of trauma-related disorders are not designed to respond to refugees’ presentations. Moreover, the current way the treatment is provided is not well suited to meet the needs of refugees.

Experiences of refugees from war-torn countries help to challenge some core assumptions and prompt us to adapt the current thinking about psychopathology, therapy, and treatment delivery.

The lecture is followed by a discussion hosted by Agnieszka Popiel, M.D., Ph.D. / Associate Professor, co-founder and co-head of SWPS University’s Clinic of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy. We focus on the following issue: If evidence-based practice (EBP) is defined as the integration of the best available research with clinical expertise in the context of patient characteristics, culture, and preferences (according to the American Psychological Association) - delivering treatment to refugees presents a challenge for a (quite idealistic) equilibrium of EBP. People who have suffered so much deserve the best available treatment. Our discussion focuses on questions that are emerging when clinicians equipped with evidence-based treatments face people fleeing wars.

Date of Recording: October 19, 2023, 18:00–19:00 CEST (UTC+2), online

On Stage:

  • Keynote Speaker: Frank Neuner, Prof. Dr.

  • Panelist: Agnieszka Popiel, Ph.D. / Associate Professor

  • Host: Marta Jackowska, Ph.D. / Assistant Professor

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