Challenges and impossibilities of 'standing alongside' in an intolerable context: Learning from refugees and volunteers in the Calais camp.

Burck, Charlotte and Hughes, Gillian (2018) Challenges and impossibilities of 'standing alongside' in an intolerable context: Learning from refugees and volunteers in the Calais camp. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 23 (2). pp. 223-237. ISSN 1359-1045 (Print); 1461-7021 (Electronic)

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Abstract/Book Review

This article describes the experience of setting up a psychosocial and therapeutic support project in the French Calais refugee camp, by a group of family therapists and clinical psychologists from the United Kingdom. This came about in response to reports of a humanitarian crisis unfolding on our doorstep, with the British government's lack of support for the growing numbers of refugees gathering along the UK border with France. The project involved working alongside other agencies in the camp to provide psychosocial and resilience-based therapeutic support to unaccompanied young people, women, children and their families and also to many volunteers in the camp. The process of setting up the work is described, as well as the challenges and dilemmas of offering an intervention in extremely unsafe and insanitary conditions, where for most the experience of trauma was ongoing. The project was informed by systemic-narrative practice and community/liberation psychology, which incorporate the political and social context. A narrative framework offered a way of drawing on people's strengths and resources, rooted in their cultural and social histories and helping them connect with preferred identities, which we found to be essential in the context of ongoing crisis.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Refugees, Unaccompanied Young People, Children And Families, Refugee Camp, Systemic And Narrative Practice, Community/Liberation Psychology, Psychosocial Interventions, Resilience
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Protection
Groups & Organisations > Refugees - Psychology
Race and Culture > Refugees
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Systemic Psychotherapy
Department/People: Adult and Forensic Services
Depositing User: Mr Mat Zaremba
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2018 13:20
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2018 13:22
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/1738

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