Finding a voice through `The Tree of Life': A strength-based approach to mental health for refugee children and families in schools

Hughes, Gillian (2014) Finding a voice through `The Tree of Life': A strength-based approach to mental health for refugee children and families in schools. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 19 (1). pp. 139-153. ISSN 1359-1045

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Abstract/Book Review

The Child and Family Refugee Service at the Tavistock Centre in London has run a series of 'Tree of Life' groups for both parents and children in schools. The groups were developed in response to a concern about the majority of psychological treatments, which focus predominantly on vulnerability factors in refugee populations, and the effect that this can have on those they are attempting to help. In addition, these are modelled on western assumptions, which do not adequately take account of culture. The Tree of Life groups have provided an alternative to traditional mental health services, which many refugee families find hard to access because of perceived stigma and lack of knowledge about what is on offer. The groups employed a strength-based narrative methodology, using the tree as a creative metaphor, which enabled parents and children to develop empowering stories about their lives, which were rooted in their cultural and social histories. From this secure base, participants were able to develop shared, culturally congruent solutions to their problems. The groups have been found to benefit parents and children alike, as well as the school communities in which they have taken place.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online before print: February 26, 2013. Tust users: Click on 'Full text available to Trust users only' link; Select 'Full text'; Login via your institution, Select UK Access Management Federation; Select 'Tavistock & Portman'; Login via Shibboleth password
Uncontrolled Keywords: Refugee, Children, Families, Mental Health, Well Being, Strength-Based Approaches, Early Intervention, Schools, Group Interventions, Tree Of Life
Subjects: Race and Culture > Race and Culture- Social Welfare
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Depositing User: Ms Linda Dolben
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2013 15:44
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2016 10:28

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